Sometimes there just too many busy bodys out there.
HOUGHTON - How does a cigarette butt wind up on the shores of Lake Superior?
Often, it begins with the decision to toss it on the sidewalk.
Houghton is trying to raise awareness of the cigarette butt problem in downtown Houghton.
While there has always been some issue, it stepped up with the state smoking ban inside businesses, said City Manager Scott MacInnes.
"We've seen a lot more cigarette butts in the downtown than we have before," he said. "In some cases, the vendors are sweeping them in the gutter. If we get any rain, that's going right into the sewer, and right into the lake.
" Houghton businesswoman Susie Landers brought the idea to the Downtown Merchants Association. She was inspired by a similar partnership in Marquette between the Superior Watershed Partnership and Land Trust, Marquette Police Department and Marquette County Health Department.
"I'm just really focused on trying to get our community to be proud of Houghton," she said. "We put all this money into our downtown streetscape, and what good is it if we're not going to keep it clean and welcoming?
" Police Chief John Donnelly said the immediate goal is to educate people who may be unaware of the effects of their actions. But if they determine people know what they're doing and do it anyway, he said, action could follow.
Why not just put more butt cans out there? Daaaaa!