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From our archives: Litterbugs filled Sterling streets with trash

What we thought: 75 years ago

Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following editorials appeared in the Gazette on Jan. 18, 1938.

Our untidy streets

Cartons, bags, cellophane wrappings – whenever you buy anything these days, it has some kind of a protective or sanitary covering. If it is only a cigar, a package of cigarettes or a candy bar, it comes in a cellophane overcoat.

Careless people throw these wrappings, these bags and papers, in the street. That is why downtown Sterling is so littered up, why so many of our streets are unsightly because of the trash that is discarded thoughtlessly.

No wonder the street cleaning department can’t keep up with its job when the people whom it serves behave so badly.

Sterling is not a spotless town, and compared with any European city, it is untidy and dirty. But no use blaming the city authorities for conditions which are our own fault.

Some of us have chimneys that smoke, and apparently all of us regard the streets and sidewalks as places to throw all kids of odds and ends. Really, it is a case where each and every one of us should reform.

Commendable stand

The position taken by Homer Martin, UAW president, with regard to the wage reduction announced by the Gar Wood Industries in Detroit, was commendable from every point of view.

The company pointed out that it could not go on paying wages at current rates and meet competition by other firms in smaller communities where lower wage levels prevail. And recognizing that if the company went out of business or moved out of Detroit, both its employees and the community would suffer, Mr. Martin endorsed the wage cut.

While it is true that low prices and high wages mean more business, there are circumstances under which it is impossible for a manufacturer to pay as high wages as he would like.

The intelligent attitude taken by Mr. Martin in the case of the Gar Wood Industries may have the effect of keeping in Detroit a number of other firms, which could perhaps make more money if they moved into smaller communities, where lower living costs enable employees to work for less money.

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