Well-traveled volunteer honored by Port Angeles City Council
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Bill Angehrn of Port Angeles, center, receives a city-issued safety vest from Peninsula Daily News Publisher and Editor John Brewer, left, and Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd during Tuesday night's meeting of the Port Angeles City Council.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Bill Angehrn, a 29-year Port Angeles resident who spends his days beating the pavement around the city dutifully picking up trash, has been honored for his efforts in ceremonies during Tuesday's City Council meeting.

“We have an opportunity to say thank you, and 'thank you' are two of the most important words in the English vocabulary,” Port Angeles Mayor Cherie Kidd said.

“We're here to say thank you to Bill.”

Angehrn was awarded a community service medal from the city and a new city-issued safety vest to keep him safe on his self-appointed rounds.

Angehrn moved to Port Angeles in 1983 and started walking the city picking up errant trash in 1991, said John Brewer, Peninsula Daily News publisher and editor. Brewer is a longtime admirer of Angehrn's unsolicited devotion to the community and participated with Kidd in the ceremonies.

Angehrn, who is developmentally disabled, now walks 20 miles per day on average, Brewer said, and is well-known around the community for his efforts to keep Port Angeles clean and litter-free.

Brewer read a letter that had been sent to the PDN "on behalf of grateful citizens of Port Angeles" that lauded Angehm "as a one-man show dedicated to keeping out city streets clean of the litter we tend to leave in our wake."

'In the open and free'

In an interview after the council meeting, Bill Bellows, Angehrn's caretaker, said he has worked with Angehrn for about three years and has never known him to shy away from his daily ritual.

“I think he just likes being out in the open and free,” Bellows said.

Bellows described Angehrn as a “man of few words” who is fully capable of making himself clear when he wants to.

City Public Works Director Glenn Cutler, whose department has provided Angehrn with safety vests over the years, applauded his efforts, saying Angehrn is “an excellent example for other folks.”

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 06. 2012 7:16PM
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