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The Sisyphus/Dave connection … and more NC women involved in environmental sciences 

I’m plopped down in a hard backed chair at a Starbucks in Asheville, ever-hopeful that strong black coffee is the magical antidote to a snarled mess of post-St. Patrick’s Day cobwebs.

Scripture from Isaiah says there is “no peace for the wicked,” an offshoot of which is ‘no rest for the wicked.’ I am all too familiar with the Sisyphus syndrome related to that saying; the Greek of myth had his heavy stone and I have a trash bag. Sisyphus’ eternal suffering was punishment for haughty self-aggrandizement. My atonement? An obsession to pick up after others. Maybe a boulder would be easier.

Every weekday this week it was the same tortured routine. Litter and more litter. One bag full, and then another. I keep thinking maybe this is a phase I’ll grow out of and soon. But no. Trash is there and so am I.


Four consecutive days of trash collection yields the normal – and always sordid – results. No chunk of polystyrene is too small to pick up.

Newspapers like the Asheville CitizenTimes will be the only news-outlets-in-paper form (save for a few big national papers) that will still be around in 5-10 years.

Why? That’s the advantage of small town news coverage. If the Times doesn’t cover local Asheville news, there will be no one else who will. Not the Assoc. Press or CNN or the Wall Street Journal. That’s a good thing for small towns and is the niche of newspapers in modest sized markets.

There is a great story by Karen Chavez in Saturday morning’s edition about how more women in western North Carolina are entering the once “… traditionally male-dominated field of natural resource management and environmental sciences.”

The article cites several positive examples of how women are making a difference. Then, a few pages later, is more coverage of the still-depressing and unnerving news of 45’s anti-environment budget cuts.

Let’s hope these strong women – and others – can persevere in the face of utter stupidity and short sightedness.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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