Spot on. Those were the first two words that came to mind following Federal Judge Brian Miller's address at the 80th annual Phillips County Chamber banquet Tuesday evening at PCCUA. He began his keynote speech right off the cuff.

Spot on. Those were the first two words that came to mind following Federal Judge Brian Miller’s address at the 80th annual Phillips County Chamber banquet Tuesday evening at PCCUA. He began his keynote speech right off the cuff.

Miller bragged on the education system in Phillips County and recalled himself as a graduate of PCCUA, a product of public education and went on to become a federal judge after attending the University of Central Arkansas and then onto Vanderbilt University.

He then told every businessman and women in the sold out event that conducting business here is very hard and you cannot compare Helena to the bustling streets of New York City, where there are literally millions of potential customers to patronize any specific business there. Meanwhile Phillips County’s population is barely 12,000 and customers sometimes just do not exist. He said that sometimes it does not monetarily justify keeping the doors open some days here in Helena.

He is right. The businesses in the community are thriving despite the low customer base, without the bustling streets and millions of potential patrons.

To keep from repeating information in other columns or stories in this edition, just know the evening was akin to the high standards we have been seeing and expecting from the Phillips County Chamber of Commerce. With Representative Chris Richey at the helm of the Chamber, the event was very well coordinated and he kept his promise that the event would conclude by 8:30. As the British would say, “Jolly good show!”

 Another good show was the showing of citizens from all over town at the Cherry Street main stage for the great clean up last weekend. Code Enforcer Patrick Allen should be commended for his efforts to help clean the city. While some groups cleaned and picked up trash in downtown Helena, many went to Midland and West Helena area in a general sweep of the city. 

The community sparkled until trash pick up day when you could literally see a path of trash where the garbage truck spilled small piles here and there.  The next good wind sent it all back where only a few days before the community just picked up trash.

This is most certainly the trashiest city I have ever personally seen with my own eyes. I have been picking up trash before alongside tourist sites downtown and someone would be walking back from the store to home and throw candy wrappers down right in front of me, like it never crossed his mind that littering is bad. The word “animal” comes to mind, but that would just be downright wrong to say that. I agree, animals are not even this messy, so to say thusly would damage the character of animals themselves.

I dare say many dollars have been spent to bring tourists in to see our trashy streets. What sense does this even make? And why aren’t criminals working off fines and community service by policing the litter scattered generally across the city?

While the same ones keep volunteering to pick up everyone else’s trash, those same volunteers are going to get tired of it day in and day out. Have some respect and pick up your trash and maybe when visitors come, they will spend a little money in our community.

But as long as the city garbage trucks continue to spill trash, as long as people throw their trash onto our streets, and as long as we do nothing to stop it, Helena will continue being a 12,000-inhabitant landfill.