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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.

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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 was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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