By Jason Gastrich

Copy Editor

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If you’ve ever walked on campus and smelled gas fumes, whether they were from a police car, an unmarked vehicle, a maintenance truck, a tractor, a lawn mower or a gas generator, you know they’re annoying.

Well, they aren’t just annoying. They kill brain cells and make our clothes and hair smell disgusting.

Police officers should only ride bikes on campus. We aren’t allowed to drive cars on campus, so they won’t have to worry about a car chase. It would make the air cleaner and I’ve seen some of these cops and with all due respect, some of them could really use the exercise because I know they couldn’t catch me either way.

On March 7, Long Beach Police officer A. Stinson was driving his police car on campus with another police officer, so I asked him if he had considered riding a bicycle instead. Even though it was only about 65 degrees outside at 2 p.m., he said it was too cold. Stinson also said, “I like driving the car in case I have to run somebody down.” Stinson, a slightly stout man, could certainly run the average criminal down on foot or on a bicycle.

As for the gas generator, I saw it only one day on the walking path between the M and P Buildings, but the construction still pollutes the place with the machinery, such as lawn mowers and dump trucks. LBCC should contract a green company with a dedication to clean air and battery-powered machinery. Many families with yards have battery-powered lawn mowers, so a big construction company like Cordoba should know better.

On March 4, I toured the PCC and horticulture teacher Jorge Ochoa showed me around the peaceful garden and the large greenhouse. The air was so clean in that greenhouse. It may be the cleanest air in Long Beach and you can instantly tell how no pollution is evident. There are no car emissions and no cigarette smoke. There is just pure, clean air exhaled by healthy plants and it’s wonderful.

LBCC’s campuses should smell that way. The LAC and the PCC should smell great instead of dirty.

Ochoa said many different plants eat pollution and clean the air we breathe. Among them, the snake plant is effective at removing pollutants. We need to plant more of these and the other types on and around  our campuses. We should also plant some beds of flowers. They could only improve the scent and the atmosphere where thousands of students walk every day.

After we deal with the on campus pollution problem, like the huge Veteran’s Affairs trailer parked and running near the Quad last week, we can deal with the exhaust blowing into the LAC from the busy corner at Clark Avenue and Carson Street. For now, I’m still wondering why the maintenance truck carrying a half-full trash can and two guys gawking across campus was really necessary.