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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, April 23, 2024


Downtown Charlotte Amalie has its problems lots of them but one thing that s gotten better in recent years is litter. There's less of it than there used to be.
Credit for this goes to the many merchants who have worked hard to clean up and beautify the town and to former Gov. Roy L. Schneider whose commitment to a cleaner, litter-free island is evident everywhere, as we have said before.
That spiffier look is being threatened by a few rogue business people who have hired barkers to hand out business cards and leaflets.
They need to cease and desist.
We use that legal phrase because what they re doing is illegal.
It was Gov. Cyril E. King who first issued an executive order in 1975 banning the distribution of advertising materials downtown. His goal was to prevent all those handouts from winding up in the streets.
King s executive order stated: The distribution of handbills and leaflets by local merchants and their agents upon the public streets and sidewalks of the Virgin Islands has directly resulted in the disgraceful accumulation of litter in such public places.
That reasoning is still valid. So, to the best of our knowledge, is his executive order.
Though, blessedly, downtown Charlotte Amalie now has more trash receptacles than it had back in the 70s, some people just won't bother to seek one out for unwanted cards and leaflets. They'll drop them surreptitiously somewhere, or leave them on a ledge, or otherwise dispose of them in a way that will create an eyesore.
We sympathize with the stores and restaurants off Main Street that are trying to get people into their places of business, and it is high time for the business community to find workable solutions to their plight. But handouts are not the answer.
We hope the people who have hired barkers to give out this litter-in-waiting and they know who they are will stop immediately. If they don't, we hope the powers-that-be will stop them.

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