Editors, Vineyard Gazette:
Paris and the Vineyard have something in common. In a recent New York Times international edition article, the headline in large bold type read: “Paris Wants Smokers to Kick a Bad Habit: Tossing Butts in the Street.” The story went on to say “A stroll through parts of Paris on weekend mornings is a little like walking in an ashtray.” Paris now plans to install 10,000 so-called snuffers by the end of the year with more to follow.
Here, our lovely town parks are affected as well as our streets. Cigarette butts are crushed into our brick sidewalks, dropped under and all around town benches, outside bars, restaurants, stores . . . just about everywhere. Three years ago, a carelessly disposed-of cigarette butt ignited the side of an Edgartown store building very early in the morning.
It is time to put an end to this problem. Your help is needed. If in your hometown or in your travels you see an unobjectionable cigarette butt receptacle, I would welcome a picture or the name of the manufacturer (it can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org). It should be safe from theft or vandalism, if possible.
Perhaps by Memorial Day 2013, the Vineyard will have its share of snuffers!
The writer is a member of the Edgartown beautification committee.