LETTER: Rathburn working for greater good

(Photo by Fred Freeman) Elma resident Dorothy Rathburn walks the streets of her town picking up trash and properly disposing of it in receptacles.

Dear Editor:

If ever there was a word to describe this disease that is spreading worldwide and infecting millions, it is Trasheristicosis.

This is a disease that makes us think that it is okay to throw trash of all kinds just anywhere, instead of finding a trash can or recycling bin, they throw it on the street, sidewalk, park or anywhere that they find to be more convenient than using a proper receptacle.

What can we do to keep this disease from infecting the whole world?

There is a lady who is creating a cure for this infection.

She is showing us her method of treatment by riding around her town of Elma in her power scooter, because she is mildly disabled, that we all can be a part of the cure. She picks up trash that we have littered our town with, and then takes it to a trash bin.

See the photos of her being a lone volunteer who is showing us a cure for the disease.

Now, it is time for we who live in our towns to make an effort of our own to stop this disease from making us all sick.

Stop throwing trash on our streets, beaches, parks and our yards. And when we see the trash in public places, be a volunteer like Dorothy. You see, the cure is us.

Fred Freeman


(EDITOR’S NOTE: Fred Freeman is commending Dorothy Rathburn.

In a brief discussion with The Vidette, Rathburn said she picks up trash nearly every day.

“It’s there. If they picked it up, I wouldn’t have to,” she said.

She finds plastics, rubbers, things that break off of cars and things that fall out of pockets.

Initially, Rathburn said, she picked up litter throughout her own neighborhood, about a four-block radius, but after she started, her neighbors took notice and did their part to keep their areas free of trash. That allowed Rathburn to branch out.

Today, by Rathburn’s own estimates, she cleans up to “a mile and a quarter from my nucleus.”

That takes her into downtown Elma.

For her, it’s a water pollution issue.

“In Elma, we don’t have a good filtering system where it gets cleaned out good before it hits the water. With every piece of trash I pick up, I like to think I might save a minnow or something,” she said.

What if everybody would pick up the trash and litter from their area daily?

“That would be a dream come true,” Rathburn said. “I’m not going to be able to do it much longer. It would be nice to know the next generation will step up and clean up after themselves, or prevent it from happening in the first place.”)