December 13, 2009 in News

Litter-clearing Spokane woman is a real trash talker

By The Spokesman-Review

If you want to avoid the wrath of Linda Buob, don’t litter.

It bugs her so much that at age 69, Buob picks up litter along various stretches of area highways and streets.

The Spokane woman has adopted a stretch of U.S. Highway 195 near her home for pickup.

“The litter in our state is atrocious,” she said. “It’s so disgusting. I get so frustrated.”

Buob said she suggested that the state put up signs along the highway with this message: “Pigs litter. Are you one?”

She is among a handful of individuals who are signed up for the state’s Adopt-a-Highway program, which is credited with clearing nearly 600 tons of trash annually.

Participants get orange safety signs, safety vests, hard hats and collection bags, and are provided with accidental insurance coverage.

Most of the volunteers are from organizations, businesses, families or schools.

Buob is her own litter crew.

“She is an energized person,” said Brenda Satalick, local Adopt-a-Highway coordinator for the state Department of Transportation.

DOT staff got a taste of Buob’s intensity after she picked up a batch of the department’s road construction plans left along the road and returned them to the office with her personal recommendation.

“I said, ‘If you think I’m going to clean up after your people, you’re crazy,’” Buob said. “I blew my stack.”

Satalick said the documents probably were accidentally lost by a contractor.

Buob said she’s found all kinds of items along the road – hats, coats, underwear. Her husband, Jerry Buob, recycles the cast iron junk through a friend.

One time, she found a wallet with a $100 bill and returned it to its owner. The man, whose wallet apparently fell out of his pocket while he was on his motorcycle, tried to reward her with the cash.

“I told him, ‘Honey, I can’t take this,’” she said.

Raised in Colfax, Buob said she is motivated by wanting her community to be clean. “I have always been a neat freak,” she confessed.

“That’s the nice thing about being older and mature. I still love my country, and I love the state of Washington.”

Picking up litter is good exercise, too, she said.

“People honk and wave. People stop and thank me for what I am doing – not very many,” she said.

Now that her chemotherapy treatment for leukemia appears to be working, she said, her strength for the job has been good, and the disease is in remission.

So do her a favor. Place your litter in a litter bag. “Our state would be so much cleaner,” she said.

Scholarship fund honors teen’s memory

It was nearly a year ago that Lorissa Green, a 16-year-old Cheney student, was killed in a traffic collision at U.S. 195 and Cheney-Spokane Road as she was leaving her mother’s child care center to drive to her aunt’s.

Her death on Jan. 16 sparked community outrage over the safety of the intersection and prompted a legislative effort to fund an improved deceleration lane for southbound traffic onto Cheney-Spokane Road, thus improving visibility for drivers.

A fundraising spaghetti dinner is planned for Jan. 17 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Chaps Restaurant in the Latah Creek Shopping Center, 4237 S. Cheney-Spokane Road.

The dinner is $5 and proceeds will go to the Lorissa Green Memorial Scholarship Fund, according to an e-mail from her mother, Debi Hammel.

Tickets are available at Hammel’s Giggling Guest Childcare Too, 4120 S. Cheney-Spokane Road, or at the restaurant the night of the event.

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