Communication:  Why It Is Important

Communication: Why It Is Important

Communication may be the single-most important aspect in any relationship. With the pervasiveness of hand-held communications devices such as smart phones and smart pads, we don’t even need to actually speak to one another any more. We can scroll through Facebook to see what is happening with our loved ones and significant others, without the hassle of actually having a conversation.
On one hand, the ability to immediately access that information is convenient. On the other hand, following a computer algorhythim is not the same as actual human interaction. At this point of divergence, communication technology is one that is lost in potentiality. It has the potential to get information across to large numbers of people, but at the expense of authenticity. With regard to the relationship between the businesses in downtown and the City of Covington, here is a short list of communication goals that can be met in 2019:

1. Regarding Downtown Events and Festivals

The above picture shows a pair of porta potties that were dropped off in the parking lot of a local business without permission during the Parish’s Holiday of Arts Festival that took place in December. The toilets remained in the parking lot of the business for two days after the event was over, blocking the limited parking. The situation was an honest mistake, but it is indicative of the lack of communication that exists between businesses and the city with regard to events happening in the downtown area. Regardless of the money being spent related to events and/or festivals, negative impacts on small business are not acceptable, when the events and/or festivals are pushed as economic boosters. The tendency of “asking for forgiveness” after the fact needs to return to the standard of holding a discussion beforehand.

2. Regarding Mercury General Info Pamphlets
The EPA, the Dept. of Environmental Quality, and the State of Louisiana have instituted regulations that require parishes and municipalities, as part of their Sanitary Waste permits, to test for mercury and to establish a Mercury Minimization Plan. The City of Covington is required to provide the public with general information about mercury as part of its Plan.

Currently the City of Covington has no advisories, warnings, or reports of elevated levels of mercury in its drinkable water, air, or soil samples. A friend related a discussion that took place in a class at UNO suggesting the history of the Justice Center property was one reason for possible contamination (formerly P&W Scrapyard, formerly Mackie’s Pine Oil Factory). If that property is a source of contamination, that would make for a daunting mitigation project. Either way, the mailing of pamphlets will do nothing to improve our overall health as it relates to mercury in the environment.

3. Regarding Noise Ordinance In Town
According to the EPA, noise pollution is defined as unwanted sound that interferes with normal activities such as sleeping and conversation, disrupting or diminishing the quality of life. Problems related to noise include stress related illnesses, high blood pressure, speech interference, hearing loss, sleep disruption and lost productivity. Exposure to constant or high levels of noise can cause countless adverse health effects.
This writer was the cause of a noise disturbance call from a local business who consistently has a lawn maintenance crew running leaf blowers and other equipment at 7 a.m. A thorough read of the municipal codes and ordinances of the City of Covington will show that because of the extremely noisy nature of lawn maintenance equipment, it is exempted from the noise test (because it would fail) and they are therefore restricted from use before 8 a.m.