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Litter continues to be trashed on local sidewalks and homeowner's lawns

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Litter still is rampant in the Arden Arcade area along Marconi Avenue in Sacramento, particularly on people's lawns, on the sidewalk, and within a few blocks of various markets in December just like it was in August, but on different lawns. The culprits are young families with small children, teenage males, and other young people who don't respect their neighbor's lawns. The litter is strewn not so much on the side streets where the homeowners are constantly cleaning the mess, but mostly on the lawns of houses facing the main street where the heaviest traffic is, Marconi Avenue, Howe Avenue, Watt Avenue, and El Camino Avenue.

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Just this day slightly after noontime, two teenage boys on two bikes were riding on the sidewalk (not in the bike lane) along Marconi Avenue, narrowly missing an elderly person standing at the bus stop on the sidewalk. One boy gulped down the last of the liquid his metal soda can and flung the empty can on a lawn instead of holding it until a trash can appeared at the corner of Watt and Marconi. This behavior seems to continue daily. Either the cans and litter land on the lawn of a homeowner or on the lawn of a business. If it's not cans, it's paper plates and cups, even bathroom tissue and fast-food wrappers, some with food still in them.

As soon as the homeowners pick it up, more litter soon returns to their lawns, to sidewalks, in creeks, or to bus stop areas. Some of the worse littering areas are Marconi Area between Watt Avenue and Eastern Avenue. The litter also is strewn in front of many local stores, in parking lots, and around popular shopping areas.

The homeowners don't know why those living in the many apartment complexes along Marconi Avenue aren't picking up the litter as their children are throwing it. Most of the fast food litter comes from teenage boys walking to the food markets or waiting at bus stops, but the litter is no longer confined to the bus stop areas. It's now spread to the lawns of the homes along Marconi Avenue.

It's a constant stream of discarded fast-food wrappers, paper plates, and paper soda cups

Who cleans up after the kids throwing the trash? Mostly the senior citizen homeowners and those renters who care how the street looks. So what motivates people who won't hold their fast food waste and paper litter until they get to a trash can, usually found in front of food markets and shopping centers or often at bus stops. But not all bus stops even have trash cans nearby.

Certain areas of Arden Arcade are drifting into blight as more people are throwing bags of litter, usually from fast-food restaurant take out packaging on the street, on lawns, and especially on or near bus stop benches. In the past decade, the upscale bookstores have been replaced by Goodwill and other Thrift stores, and education-oriented clubs such as the various writers and publishers societies have moved their meetings out of Arden Arcade to other areas, such as Folsom, Fair Oaks, and other suburban locations. Any neighborhood needs respect from the people who live there.

Volunteers often are seen picking up the litter and other trash along the river or park sites, but what about the streets where people live, such as the litter on the bus benches, near bus stops, or in the parking lots of major stores? See, "Carmichael & Arden-Arcade - Creek Week." You find people volunteering to pick up trash at public clean-up sites in Carmichael and Arden-Arcade. It is a good place for people who want to pick up litter but cannot negotiate creek. But who's picking up litter near their own homes, such as along Marconi Avenue, especially where people wait at bus stops?

Often picking up trash and litter on lawns, sidewalks and sometimes at bus stops is left to pedestrian senior citizens who own homes within a few blocks of the littered areas

How many teenagers are seen clearing the neighborhood litter from the streets close to where they live? You find people of all ages volunteering to pick up trash along the river front where there's a view and perhaps possibilities of picnic areas that could be there. But what about around the corner from the Arden Arcade homes on Marconi Avenue--where the bus benches are located?

The only traces of socio-economic upward mobility attempts seems to exist around the CSUS campus, along Fair Oaks Avenue, and wherever home ownership exists as compared to apartment dwellers with dwindling income. See, "Crime in Arden-Arcade, California - Sperling's Best Places."

The blog shows that Arden-Arcade, CA, violent crime, on a scale from 1 (low crime) to 10, is 5. Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The US average is 4.

Arden-Arcade, CA, property crime, on a scale from 1 (low) to 10, is 5. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. The US average is 4. One issue is the older home-owners are being run down, nearly hit, or tailgated on sidewalks by the young bicycle riders who ride on the sidewalk instead of in the bike lane.

As the nondrivers, mainly seniors walk a block to the supermarket with their utility carts on the narrow sidewalks along Marconi Avenue, or the curb (where there is no sidewalk), the bike riders on the only sidewalk there is tailgate the pedestrians, sometimes hitting them or just missing them by a fraction of an inch. Some people are frightened to walk out to do necessary shopping. Others have loose dogs roaming the streets that follow or chase pedestrians, which usually are older adults.

The vegetarian-friendly eateries are disappearing from around Marconi Avenue and Eastern, replaced by fast-food eateries that emphasize burgers, beer, or fast-foods over cucumber and avocado sandwiches filled with sliced tomatoes and other greens. One exception is the Chinese chain fast-food eatery Panda Asian fast-food eatery on Marconi near Eastern Avenue which serves vegetarian friendly brown rice and vegetables along with the traditional stir-fry fast-food Asian entrees. There's also a Panda in the Country Club shopping center.

The sad news is that the anchor stores where so many seniors bought their clothing at the Country Club shopping mall, Ross is moving in November to the Town and Country shopping mall at Marconi and Fulton Avenues along with Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Those two stores were a blessing in earnest for nondrivers, especially seniors living near the Country Club Mall who bought clothing at Ross because they didn't have to take a bus to get there and their bedding and bath supplies at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

What's left is the Home Town Buffet and Office Depot in the outdoor part of the mall that's near Home Town Buffet. Macy's that seems so expensive compared to Walmart across the street attracts a different crowd of shoppers. There's even a Farmer's Market in warm weather in Macy's parking lots Saturday mornings from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. where people can buy fresh produce. The sad news is the disrespect some people have for the Arden Arcade sidewalks, usually strewn with fast-food containers and similar litter that should be put in trash cans near the bus benches.

In front of the phone company on Marconi a block from Watt Avenue is one of the worst blight-looking bus benches, often with food containers and litter strewn by offenders who leave their fast-food packaging garbage for people who work for the phone company to pick up. Or they toss it in the street. You often see shopping carts taken from various supermarkets and other large stores left along the sidewalk or near various bus benches along Marconi Avenue running between Howe Avenue and Eastern Avenue. The trash left on sidewalks, bus benches, and along private lawns are a blight on the eyes. Those benches need trash cans next to them.

For more information about what's happening to Arden Arcade, check out the US Census Bureau's statistics. The main problem is the lack of respect, mostly apartment dwellers have for the home owners' properties around the corner from Marconi Avenue. The neighborhood has become a poster child for the haves and have-nots. As soon as a car cover is put over an auto, it's stolen within two days. The house burglaries have increased and can be followed at the blog, "Crime in Arden-Arcade, California - Sperling's Best Places."

Panhandlers have set up shop at the corner of El Camino and Watt in front of Walmart's parking lot. The neighborhood is suffering from a lack of respect by people without property in a type of free-fall of stores from middle-class to poor in the last five years. One of the problems is the lack of activities for seniors in the neighborhood that they can walk to.

Anti-litter campaign may be needed

With two libraries along Marconi Avenue and a church every few blocks along Marconi Avenue, there's ample space for activities to get people to know one another and work together to stop the blight and the descent from a middle-class community of modest homes to a low-rent apartment-dominated neighborhood where it seems kids are allowed to throw fast-food wrappers, packages, and cups into the street instead of holding it for the can at the end of the block, especially along Marconi Avenue between Eastern and Watt Avenues. See, "Arden - Arcade Demographics — Employment, Education, Crime in."

The problem doesn't make sense. You have a majority of people in white collar jobs, with middle-class incomes. So why are kids and teenagers and even people in their twenties just dumping daily bags of fast-food packaging trash and cups all over sidewalks and bus benches? There ought to be a litter campaign to clean up the area of what's being tossed on the streets and benches -- fast-food packaging, cups, and leftover fast foods. Near Marconi Avenue and Eastern for example, there are fast-food eateries nearly every two blocks. Similar eateries abound near Fulton Avenue and Marconi. But where are the trash cans next to the bus benches?

Also, the phone company lawn at Marconi about a block or two from Watt Avenue usually is littered with fast-food leftovers, cups, and packaging from foods eaten by people. And on weekends, people are sitting on the lawn of the phone company with their loose-running dogs that bark and chase seniors trying to walk to the supermarket a block away. The issue is about respect for the area.

It doesn't make sense because Arden-Arcade is a middle-class neighborhood with many responsible home owners. The issue can't only be blamed on the apartment dwellers along Marconi Avenue. Everybody needs to pitch in and clean up the area. The issue is respect and also looking out for another person's property.

You can't leave a hose nozzle on your hose in front of your house without someone pilfering it and the same goes for a cover on your car. It's gotten so bad that many seniors who drive to appointments have to keep their cars indoors behind gates in their yards instead of conveniently parking in their driveway. But the daily problem is the constant barrage of litter, of panhandlers walking the streets afternoons knocking on doors asking for jobs.

Strangers who knock daily on doors may not realize how frightening strangers at the door who ask for work and appear unkempt are to retirees who have owned homes since 1951 when the houses were built. The best way to contact people is to put a letter in their mailbox, not rip out the wiring along the side of the house to shove a flyer between a wooden banister and the house. It has happened frequently.

So a message to all who care, please be responsible for your carry-out foods and packaging. And hold it 'till you get to a trash can. See, "Sacramento Bee -- Sacto 9-1-1." You can check out the statistics on the population of Arden Arcade at the site, "Sacramento County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau." People need to fight the litter blight that's taking over the area, starting with the trash. It's starting to look as littered with fast-food wrappers and cups as the light rail station at I-80 on a Sunday afternoon. When will an anti-litter campaign start, and who will participate?



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