RecyclingEditor:''Recycling works -- when waste costs...


November 20, 1990


Editor:''Recycling works -- when waste costs money'' in Rutland, Vt. I fear it won't work in Baltimore, Md.

Our parks, alleys and roadways are already piled high with the trash people can't or won't dispose of correctly. If we start charging for trash pickup based on quantity, the problem will worsen.

Please, keep the trash pickup free and as easy as possible.

Instead of charging, pay cash or tax credits for recycled items at centers or put out for pickup. Pay street people for public receptacle and sidewalk cleanings. Pay volunteer groups for cleaning up parks and after major events.

Pay anyone willing to do it right. Recycling can work when waste makes money.

Kathryn J. Henderson.


Green Machine

Editor: The Sun of Oct. 28 ran a Perspective article stating the rebuttal of Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, to colleagues that fancy themselves environmentalists: ''Butt out of controversial decisions by Western states over how to use their land.''

We applaud his introduction of a bill targeting 1.3 million acres in the congressional district of Rep. Jim Jontz, D-Ind., to become a national forest. Rep. Jontz, who sponsored legislation to protect some of the last remaining ancient forest in the Pacific Northwest, obviously needs a lesson in fairness.

The article further quotes the co-sponsor Rep. James Hansen, R-Utah, as saying "If this passes, the people of Indiana will have an opportunity to share the joy of unemployment, abuse of their rights and environmental-harassment lawsuits Westerners presently enjoy.''

We wholeheartedly support Young's position of let's put the shoe on the other foot and see how much it pinches. Too many of our elected officials are being persuaded by full-time lobbyists, bulging budgets and plentiful PAC money of extreme environmentalists. These groups are making quantum leaps in eroding property rights.

These organizations solicit membership and contributions on the basis that they are dedicated to the noble cause of protecting soil, air, woods, water and wildlife. Most members are unaware ++ that their agenda also includes significant controls over land use, economic development, and population growth.

With these penthouse proletariats pushing for land use legislation that protects wildlife and prohibits the use of privately owned property, perhaps we need to rethink our representation. Congressional apportionment allows the intensely developed, over-populated states and cities to convert sparsely populated areas into free national parks.

It also lets those from densely populated areas -- who have filled virtually all of their non-tidal wetlands -- to prohibit development in rural areas under the guise of protecting the eco-system.

The writer is chairman of the Fairness to Land Owners Committee.

Margaret Ann Reigle.


School Solution

Editor: While The Sun tells us not to limit taxes (because education would suffer), it doesn't tell us that Baltimore City's entire property tax revenue only pays two-thirds of the costs of the public school system.

The Baltimore City school bureaucracy is unquestionably out of control. In the 1991 city budget, the school system costs a whopping $683 million. This is just about a third of the entire $2.1 billion budget. It's also about 150 percent of the amount brought in by the property tax.

Many things must be wrong with a system that can't produce employable students. Baltimore being the home of do-it-now politics, I suggest we heed recent calls to privatize the entire system. Rent the system, as is, to a consortium of the area's private schools, under the direction of the Johns Hopkins University.

Lease them the buildings; allow them to determine policy, to deal with the unions, set salaries and to educate our children. Don't cut the money. Give 'em the entire $683 million for starters; they can't possibly do worse than we've managed to do. Once the system is under control, we can appraise the situation and adjust the finances.

It's a better idea than to sit idly by, watching the quality of education fall, along with enrollment, while costs go through the roof. Your editorials advocating problem solving through government spending send messages to Baltimore taxpayers that are both dangerous and irresponsible.

Howard H. Conaway Jr.


Special Education

Editor: The Sun of Nov. 5 published a poignant and disturbing letter from Mr. and Mrs. Charles Kozlowski regarding the possibility of moving special-education children from special-education schools (Ridge, Battle Monument, for instance) to regular classrooms. Known euphemistically as ''mainstreaming'' such a step would be devastating to the educational development of the mentally retarded.

Like the Kozlowskis we, as foster parents, can identify with their anguish, since their own Jenny would be displaced. Years ago there came to our home a multi-handicapped five-year-old, damaged genetically both physically and mentally. His appearance and behavior evoked fun-poking jibes from neighborhood kids.

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