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Clean up after yourself. Do you remember? Sometime in childhood, a parent, a teacher, a grandmother, a neighbor or someone spoke those words to you.

AS SPRING comes to Northeast Oregon, and residents begin to move outdoors to parks, lakes, reservoirs and ball fields, it bears repeating: Clean up after yourself.

If the wind sneaks away the napkin from your lunch eaten at Pioneer Park, go pick it up and use the trash barrels. If your dog does his duty in the park or along a sidewalk, use the plastic pick-up bags found in several of the parks or the plastic bag you've tucked in your pocket to gather up the mess and throw it away.

If you find someone has left a notice of some event, or a coupon, tucked under your vehicle's windshield wipers, don't grab it and stomp it on the ground. Toss it in the garbage barrel or pack it home for recycling.

YOUR NAPKIN is only one. Your plastic lid from the soda cup is only one. The dog's mess is only a small pile. Multiply each little thing by every careless person in the outdoors and the accumulation can be overwhelming.

The city hires people to mow the lawns at the parks, and volunteers in other communities regularly try to limit the trash that magically multiplies wherever people spend time.

The answer isn't more hired help. It's remembering one of those earliest instructions you heard from an adult: Clean up after yourself.


The Oregon House of Representatives should put the brakes for now on the Senate's plan to have voters decide in 2004 whether the Legislature should convene annually instead of every other year.

THE SENATE'S measure passed 20-10 Thursday, and that should not come as a surprise. Oregon's recession and falling revenue picture required the Legislature to return to Salem five times during the off-year, 2002, to try to balance the budget. The annual session legislation is a knee-jerk reaction to last year's folly.

The Senate's proposal would have lawmakers meet for 120 days in odd-numbered years and 45 days the following year. The sessions could be extended by five-day increments if two thirds of both houses agreed.

Annual sessions may have merit, but it would not be wise to pass a proposal on to the voters until more research is done. A special commission could be set up to take a close look at the 44 states that already have annual sessions. How much more would annual sessions cost Oregon? Should we someday consider paying our legislators a professional wage so they can devote their time to their state duties and not have to hold down jobs in their communities?

Voters should be given a chance to decide on annual sessions, but not before a study is completed.


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