THE PHILADELPHIA More Beautiful Committee works to rid city streets of litter and beautify areas in need of a little - or a lot of - attention.

That's why the Marquis was surprised, and disheartened, to hear that the PMBC distributed fliers looking for block captains in South Philadelphia and left them tucked in doorways and railings.

Of course, there are good intentions behind this grass-roots recruiting method.

But it causes litter in the same way as politicians' leaving campaign literature on your doorstep or as restaurants' looking for new customers by distributing their ubiquitous takeout menus.

The Marquis understands that the PMBC wants to reach out to people who are interested in helping out.

But why not slip fliers through mailslots or put them behind storm doors?

As stewards of a cleaner Philadelphia, surely PMBC knows that leaving fliers lying around means they'll end up blowing out of the nooks and crannies that they've been stuffed into - essentially magnifying the very problem so many, including the PMBC, are working to eliminate.

"Sometimes you have to a break few eggs to make an omelet," said Andrew Stober, chief of staff for the mayor's office of transportation and utilities.

"Distributing fliers is a tried-and-true community-organizing tactic, and recruiting more block captains is critical to fighting litter in Philadelphia."

To sign up to be a block captain - or to let PMBC know that sticking fliers in stoop railings is the wrong way to spread the word - call 215-685-3981.

MARQUIS GETS RESULTS: Last week I visited a parking lot on Oakland Street near Cottman Avenue in Northeast Philly and found a pile of trash festering in an overgrown corner of the site near an alley.

The trash pile and accompanying overgrown shrubbery were gone this week, although a few wrappers and bags still muck up the lot.

Calling this an improvement would be an understatement.

If you want results, send me an email at or find me on Facebook at

MEMORIAL DAY CLEANUP: Kudos to Ain and Emaleigh Doley of Germantown, who organized "Grow This Block," a Memorial Day beautification block party between Greene Street and Germantown Avenue.

Instead of lounging at the Shore, neighbors, and even Mayor Nutter, helped remove litter and planted shrubs in the area.

Way to go!