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Right thing: Keep plastic bag ban

Posted: September 26, 2013 - 10:41am

Last week, your editorial writer advocated voting to repeal the city’s plastic bag ban. The writer suggests that the question “isn’t about plastic bags” and hopes that “citizens doing what they should be doing without government prodding” will result with or without the ordinance in place.

While it would perhaps have been preferable for the question to have been put to a general vote in the first place, it was amply discussed by the population and voted on by the community’s duly elected representatives. If the issue really were “about government’s reach,” I would expect to see recall petitions. The question is, in fact, about plastic bags and whether their use is or is not a good thing. If, in fact, we as citizens were likely to do what we should be doing without government prodding, there would be no need for seatbelt or helmet laws, to name a few, nor would we have needed to enact the 13th, 15th or 19th amendments to the U.S. Constitution. 

As we do not live in a perfect world, not even here in the Cosmic Hamlet by the Sea, rules, regulations and laws are required to guide us, “prod” us if you will, in the right direction. Winston Churchill is often quoted as having said “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they’ve exhausted all other possibilities.” The right thing to do, as has been done with no perceptible negative repercussions in scores of cities across California and 11 other states as well as a half dozen other countries from Australia to Rwanda, is to retain the ban on plastic bags in Homer. Please vote no on Referendum 1.

Ken Landfield 

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