Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Sat, Jan. 25

Letters to the Editor: It's cleaner in Michigan

I have had the fortunate opportunity to live in two corners of this world where God has place his beauty - Southwest Michigan and in the depths of Golden Valley. I cannot honestly say which was best at this point. There is no way to compare four distinct seasons and the sight of a monsoon coming in at dusk. I cannot really say which is best to be awakened by 16 wild turkeys and their mother in the morning or to watch the jackrabbit and roadrunner speed across your yard when you are hula hoeing. I can say this - in both places there are persons with no respect to the creation of the beauty you can see if you only look. But there is a difference and I am wondering if the difference is in the community governments, because in the poor, broken state of Michigan you cannot have garbage piled up in your yard no matter who you are. In the poor, broken state of Michigan you would never see two articles in the Kalamazoo Gazette (equivalent of the Kingman Daily Miner) report on stories of "Dirty House" cases.

The reason is because unlike here, the state I lived in and fled from had blight ordinances. Yes, you were only allowed one junk car in your yard, meaning all other cars needed to be plated. If garbage was piling up in your yard of various types - debris such as tires, appliances, construction debris you had to have a junkyard permit (mind you not easy to get).

Once you make people clean up the yard they don't have to hide it in the home. And no, let's not stop here where the children live, let's look deeper. Let's find out why we find so much weird dumped stuff in this beautiful desert. Two years ago we had a great monsoon (back home we called it a severe thunderstorm). My husband was coming home on a major road out here in Golden Valley and, lo and behold, the house two doors down had a couch sitting out front for over one year and it blew across the road in front of him. Now mind you, if we were in that poor, broken state of Michigan, the county would have already fined the family for having it in their yard and it would have never been there. Then again the monsoons out there would not have blown a couch across the road.

My yard is not your vision of a Nelson Rockerfeller, but I hire a garbage service, I hula hoe my weeds and when one of those Dollar Store bags gets stuck to the fence I pluck it off. I even go across the street to pluck 'em off the pricker bushes that grow wild out here just to see clean nature and pick up the debris others have dropped on their way. I no longer care about the poor, broken state of Michigan because they make money off of messy people like you all have out here. I care now about Arizona and the corner I'm living in. I see you jailing people because you do not have a strict blight ordinance - in plain talk that means a garbage law. If it had been in place, I would not have read about a simple girl and her situation.

I don't know about a person's experience with leaving garbage out down here in Arizona, but back home you would be doing twice the work to clean up after the critters if you left it out. Not to mention the bigger stuff like cars, tires, appliances. The critters out here are more dangerous than rats, badgers and wolverines.

Now you all here are going to say, "what does she have against our state?" Nothing. I plated my vehicle and put on an Arizona plate (plus pay the tax twice) to state my loyalty. I root for the Diamondbacks (if they are not playing the Detroit Tigers). What I am saying is I have not been told by any native here in Kingman (no one recognizes Golden Valley) as being part of their community to have a voice.

If this county gets it together to vote on a blight ordinance, watch out. You may need to start living with respect to nature in your future out here. I love my corner of Arizona as strong as the Michigan wolverine loves his home. Just don't hand me a government that is too weak to state the law of nature.

Virginia Smith

Golden Valley

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