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I've got a new nickname for "the City of Good Neighbors." It's "the City Engulfed by Garbage." I don't remember seeing this much garbage in the streets just a few years ago. Recently, while driving near Court and Franklin streets, I noticed a young couple walking. As the man finished eating a hot dog purchased from a sidewalk vendor, neither he nor his companion seemed to react as he let fly with four or five dirty napkins into the wind. Smiling, they locked arms and walked on. There was a garbage can five feet away.

In the Perry Projects, schoolchildren purchase candy bars and chips at the convenience store. The wrappers invariably end up on the ground. Are there any parents out there willing to admit that they teach their kids that this is OK?

On Michigan Avenue, empty wine bottles and broken glass seem to be the rule. Apparently, many residents don't respect themselves, their neighbors or the city in which they live.

I've visited several major cities in the past year, and Buffalo has the worst litter problem I have seen. Any prospective investor or employer visiting this city cannot come away with the idea that Buffalo is a pleasant or attractive place to set up shop. In fact, it's dirty and disgusting.

Patrick McLaughlin Buffalo

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