Jewel’s flaws need real solution

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Welcome to Natchez, one of the most beautiful places on earth, at least most of the time.

Natchez is indeed a jewel of the South. The city is routinely at the top of those “must visit in your lifetime” lists and is regularly featured in regional and national media for its beauty and history.

But in the city, known mostly as being a place where antebellum structures dot the landscape like pine trees in the southern Mississippi woodlands, the beauty can fade quickly.

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The wake left by a small group of early-morning revelers leaves an unpleasant veneer over downtown streets and sidewalks.

Bottles, cans and other trash are the good, tolerable remains left after the partying has stopped. Human waste and other unsavory tidbits are among the bad, untouchable ones.

City leaders have discussed putting a curfew of sorts in place, shutting down bars at 2 a.m. as a way of curbing the excess trash and noise.

But thus far, it’s been all talk and no action.

We’d like to think that business owners whose patrons are causing these problems would clean up their own problems before forcing the city to legislate a fix. In an ideal world, that might happen, or in an even more idealistic world, no one would trash a public street in the first place.

But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in the real world.

And in the real world, the city needs to act real soon.

Natchez is too precious to allow a small group to trash its streets.