By Chris Dyrland-Marquis, reporter, Montana State News
BOZEMAN, MONT.—Tensions rose quickly last weekend on West Koch Street, Bozeman as apartment roommates, Cade Chvilicek and Louis Aron, discovered a communal trash receptacle in their apartment’s kitchen had tipped over: strewing trash and unpleasant debris across their kitchen floor. Emotions rose, and fingers pointed among accusations, but upon investigation, witnesses’ reports generated no potential motivations to aid in identifying suspects.
Unfortunate cases of overflowing trash cans and messy kitchen floors plague today’s society. In fact, generating garbage appears to be human nature. Michelle Mulder holds fascinating insights on the topic throughout her book, ”Trash Talk! : Moving Toward a Zero Waste World.”
“…[A]bout 12,000 years ago, people in the Near East (western Asia) started farming….Cities formed, and city dwellers did what they’d done in the countryside: they threw what they didn’t want out the window,” she explains in her book.
Historically, people have actualized bad habits when disposing of their waste. The ugly nature of our waste disposal yet again presented itself in last weekend’s spill, confirming the significance of bad trash management practices as an ongoing historical issue.
Several residents find it hard to view local trash spills with such distant, academic views. Louis Aron, present at the scene of last weekend’s debacle, asserted the trash-tipping arose as an act of malicious intent, creating yet more problems for him to manage in his day-to-day life.
Louis pointed out prime suspects of interrogative interest and explained how his resources would not be distributed to help clean up the aftermath. He argues whoever tipped the receptacle over ought to be the one to remove any spilled garbage.
“I didn’t physically see the trash can get pushed over, because I was in a different room, but it [seems that], you [the interviewer], or Cade Chvilicek is the person responsible for it,” he stated. “I don’t think I should be the one to clean up this mess. Whoever did it needs to be held responsible, and should clean up the garbage on the floor here, and take it outside to the big dumpster. There’s no chance I’m cleaning this up.”
Thankfully, the chaotic wake left behind from the residents’ kitchen garbage bin prompted action. Schedules of trash maintenance have begun to develop in efforts to prevent future spills, as well as late night watches to catch any ne’er-do-well individuals who may prowl the night.
Though no verification exists as of yet to confirm the cause of the garbage spill, the West Koch residents have implemented steps to make sure that it does not occur again. They look into future developing trash management policies with cautious optimism. The apartment’s second resident, Cade Chvilicek explained their perspective.
“I was going about my business, eating my dinner, when I saw somebody come and knock it over,” Cade explained. “We don’t know how or why it happened, but I don’t want it to happen again. It doesn’t matter what caused it. The only way to stop it [trash being spilled], is to not let it fill up like it did again.”
Both witnesses to last weekend’s incident agree that a suspect was indeed responsible for the spill, though as of yet the perpetrator remains unidentified.
By Kempenaar Pahre, reporter for Montana State News
BOZEMAN MONT—Millennials may not buy diamonds or fabric softener at the same rate as previous generations, but they still find creative ways to spend money on relatively unnecessary items like avocado toast and Bulgarian landmines, the latter of which prompted a parking lot shutdown on the Montana State University (MSU) campus on the morning of February 18, 2020, after authorities discovered the inactive landmine stored in a student’s vehicle.
The unnamed student purchased the Bulgarian landmine from an online shopping platform, Wish.com, as a collectible item. MSU officials said in an email communication they have no reason to believe the student had any ill intention, and assured students and faculty that the immediate risk to the public remained extremely low. Still, out of caution officials closed the parking lot and brought in the Lewis and Clark County bomb squad in order to remove the inactive mine safely.
The university received notification about the mine after an incident with another Bulgarian mine shipped from the same online seller. In this other case, the mine started vibrating during shipment, raising suspicion and prompting officials to track down other mines sold. Postal inspectors investigated the safety of all the deactivated mines purchased through Wish.com.
As predicted, the incident ended without trouble. Experts transported the Bulgarian land mine to the Malmstrom Air Force Base outside of Great Falls for safe disposal. Students took the whole incident in stride, making memes about it and wondering how the student who bought the landmine must have felt about accidentally causing a scene.
By Olivia Bean, Reporter, Montana State News
HONG KONG–“New York Times” Deputy Station Chief in Hong Kong, Doug Schorzman, remarked on what it was like to live under quarantine during a Google Meet interview with a Montana State News reporter. On Feb. 22, Schorzman declared that “life is remarkably unchanged” despite living on a tropical island with the epicenter of the epidemic a mere 500 miles away.
Much closer to Schorzman’s home, a mere 20 miles, the Chinese Guangdong province displays the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases, more than 1,300 as of Monday, March 3, according to National Public Radio (NPR) reports. The question remains, how has Hong Kong remained so unchanged, with just under 100 confirmed cases, while the mainland coronavirus ransacked the mainland?
According to NPR, the city paid “a steep cost… Schools are closed. Many businesses are shuttered. All transport to [the] mainland… is suspended, and the border… is essentially shut down.” According to the same resource, the sheer drop in case numbers, relative to mainland China, shows great effectiveness in reducing transmission through that social distancing.
For those in the offices of the “New York Times” international outpost, life has only gotten more exciting. As Schorzman commented, “[I work in] a room full of people who are used to running towards fires” and this blaze has taken the global stage by storm.
The staff takes “basic precautions when you’re in the subway. We…are wearing surgical masks, [and] you just get better about our hand-washing routine. We don’t go to a place where you know you can be exposed unless you have to.” Schorzman said that “We’d never send someone into a situation they’re uncomfortable with,” but that many of his journalists thought it worth the risk.
After so much attention on the world stage, it became a question of how much [coverage] was too much, and whether “The New York Times” was “over-covering” the topic. While having sensational headlines leads to more readers, Schorzman realized that fanning the fire too much could lead to panic.
The awareness came in the form of his non-local friends, who asked about his two daughters. The friends’ well-founded concern, given the intense pictures posted atop stories of outbreaks in the surrounding provinces, ultimately seemed misguided. When prompted about the conditions, Schorzman deferred to his wife, Jill, who also works for the storied publication, and her response what much the same.
“It’s been kind of wild…,” Jill said, “It’s our kids, [so] when school gets cancelled because of…coronavirus, we’re there living it; it’s not just covering it at a removed state. It’s being caught up in it which is really fascinating.”
They both remarked that COVID-19 did not disrupt the workflow of Hong Kong half as much as the past year of protests over extradition rights did. In regard to both cases, Jill stated that disruption causes stress.
“It’s messed up, and it’s intense, and it could still get worse, but the reality is that Hong Kong still works. (The city is) still going, and there’s a wide enough support for it that [Hong Kong] isn’t shutting down.”
So, for the reporters, the disease continues to fuel the fire, but for the average person, aside from reasonable precautions, the world spins on.