The return of the NO INCINERATOR signs!
The following is an email that I sent out to a few hundred people this afternoon, with some additional comments below it.
Warm greetings on a cold day.
If you are receiving this, you’re probably among the hundreds of people who placed “NO INCINERATOR” signs in your yards or windows.
First of all: Thank you for that!
It may seem like a small thing, but there’s no question that the signs had value in a number of ways. Among them:
• In the face of too many statements by some that serious concerns about the process and/or opposition to the incinerator was only being expressed by a handful of vocal activists, the signs clearly helped make the point that concern and opposition was much more widespread than that.
• The signs definitely help increase overall awareness and discussion about the subject. More than a few people have become involved in the process who first became engaged in the issue after seeing the signs, and I assume I’m only personally aware of a fraction of those who have asked questions and discussed the issue with friends and neighbors after the signs brought it to their attention.
It been quite a while since the signs first started appearing. And some of them are still out there. But for a variety of reasons, they’ve been gradually diminishing in number. More than a few have simply been stolen. Some have been beaten to a pulp by the wind and other weather. And quite a few, I imagine, were taken in just because people didn’t intend for them to be come a permanent lawn ornament.
Unfortunately, and to my surprise, it has been suggested that many of them aren’t up any more because the folks who had them have been convinced by arguments supporting the incinerator, and have changed their minds! One county commissioner even suggested as much in a conversation about the signs.
While I would never suggest that isn’t true for some people, I am confident it isn’t true for most. In fact, as measured by a number of other things, my experience has been that overall concerns about the process and/or opposition to the incinerator has expanded consistently and considerably. (Which would be consistent with how things have played out in every community that has faced similar proposals over the last 15 years – the more people learn, about the real costs, risks and alternatives, and so on, the stronger the concerns and opposition.)
Because the process has reached a critical point, with significant meetings and hearings scheduled in the next few weeks (I will be sending a separate email, to a larger list, explaining that, with links to additional information), I’d like to encourage you to:
1) Put your “NO INCINERATOR” sign back out in your yard or window now, if you still have one (that’s in decent condition), or…
2) Let me know that you need a replacement (and, if so, whether that means just the sign part or the sign and metal frame, together).
Thank you very much for displaying the sign in the first place. And thank you in advance to those who are willing to do so again…or still.
PS: Obviously, the ground is icebound and frozen at the moment. But this is Maryland! It can’t last very long.
Since I sent that email a couple of hours ago, I’ve already received almost 30 replies. So far, four people responded that they still have a sign up and in decent condition. Many were stolen. Many were blown away or weather beaten. And all of those folks asked for a replacement sign.
Not surprisingly, the emails included a number of other comments and questions about the status of the incinerator proposal. Here’s a few excerpts of the some of the emails below (with names and email addresses removed):
“I had a sign up but it apparently was stolen. I would like a new one to express my outrage about the incinerator.”
” I had one of the MIA signs- not really sure what happened to it. I would love to have another one.”
“Mine isn’t up because it has been stolen…..THREE TIMES!!!!”
“I have been putting my back together when it falls off, but it is probably time for a new paper part.”
“I need a replacement. I get a lot of foot traffic past my house and it has (obviously) been a target of local vandals.”
“Our sign blew away. So, we would need sign and frame again.”
“Someone ran over and trashed my sign, along with the Obama sign I had put out. Please send me a replacement; two if you can.”
“I had my sign blown away by the wind two weeks ago. I would love to have another one.”
“My sign disappeared a while ago. I presume someone took it. I would appreciate a replacement.”
“My sign rusted so badly I had to get rid of it. Please send another.”
“I’m happy to tell you my sign is still doing it’s job, little the worse for wear, on Edgemont Road! I appreciate your email, thank you.”
“Ours is still in our window. Thanks for all that you are doing.”