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Donate 15 Minutes to Litter Duty

February 21, 1993

Re "Splitting at the Seams" (Jan. 29): If the people in the downtown garment district really want to stay in business, perhaps they'd better take a closer look at the photo with the story. It's nice that the automobile window washer got a new haircut, but how about the graffiti on the walls behind him?

He looks like he's standing in a garbage dump. No wonder buyers are heading to Dallas to do business. In the past dozen years, all of Los Angeles has started to resemble a garbage dump.

I became aware of this deterioration when I was an art director at CBS television and would make my morning drive down from Laurel Canyon through the Fairfax District. I noticed that the sidewalks of this prosperous and bustling retail community were filthy. Why, I wondered, weren't the shopkeepers out with a broom and hose at 7 a.m. like they are in Holland or Switzerland or Sweden? It wasn't the shopkeepers' garbage, but so what? It was there. Who did they expect to clean it up? Mayor Bradley?

Why this lack of social responsibility is indigenous to Los Angeles, I can't even guess. How big a deal is it for people to clean up around their residences? How big a deal is it to paint off the graffiti? Even if one day a week for 15 minutes everyone picked up the litter around their property and hoisted a broom, we'd have made a giant step forward toward having a livable city again.

BETSY PRYOR

Laurel Canyon

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