Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Litter tally


April 18, 2019

The front page article in the Spokesman-Review on Thursday, July 13, 2017, entitled "Tubbs Hill Battle" opened up "Pandora’s Box" starting with Rosalia’s Pandora's Road into northern Whitman County. Pandora's Road, much like Tubbs Hill Battle, is just one example of our county roads that are faced with an ongoing battle against roadside litter.

This can problem can be verified by groups like the Rosalia Lions Club through their efforts to help WSDOT’s Adopt a Highway Program and by those who walk the road to get in their daily exercise. And, that’s exactly our story. For the last 30 years, I and my late husband, Jim Nebel (who passed away in 2016,) have jogged and walked Pandora’s Road as daily routine in training for Bloomsday.

During our walks on Pandora’s Road, the routine includes taking along some trash bags, which by the end of our walk are filled to the brim with road-trash - mostly consisting of 40 to 50 beer cans and/or bottles - and on occasion we’ve just about doubled that number.

Meanwhile, back to Pandora Road. Once you leave Rosalia’s city limits eastbound, Pandora Road begins and cuts through acres of wheat fields in the beautiful rolling hills of "The Palouse" until you reach Oakesdale or Tekoa. It’s sad to think that some uncaring, lazy fool had and still has the nerve to throw any kind of trash, let alone beer cans and bottles, onto the road, where most of it rolls off the road into the fields of "food" we humans eat! Adding to that, tossed out cigarette butts are a potential fire hazard for the dry cropland. But, those lazy fools don’t care.

Pandora Road is not alone. Near the top of the hill in Rosalia is a road that not only connects to Pandora Road, but connects to the Steptoe Battlefield State Park. Yes, you guessed it ... litter is even present at the Steptoe Battlefield which is a memorial site for the fallen soldiers and Indian warriors of the Battle of 1858.

The Battle continues 160 years later. As of today, April 11, 2019, from Pandora Road to the Steptoe Battlefield, I counted 62 cans and bottles of beer on the mile walk.

--Diane Nebel, Rosalia


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