Disappointing response on recycling
I am one of many Baltimore County residents disappointed by County Executive Roger Hayden's decision to delay countywide curbside recycling. I am equally disappointed in your Nov. 15 editorial in which you "sympathize" with Hayden's decision. Far from being "prudent" and "courageous," it betrays a lack of imagination and thought, qualities that are crucially needed in these tough times.
No one denies the cost of recycling. The challenge is to find ways to fund it that don't add to our budget woes. Mr. Hayden didn't have to look far to find solutions: Just last year a joint committee of county and city officials recommended several ways to finance a recycling program without drawing from general revenues. Among them was a proposal to create a separate solid waste enterprise fund that would pay for collecting and disposing of all solid waste. Residents would subscribe to the service and receive special containers in which to leave their trash. Because residents would be charged for the number of containers they used for non-recycled materials but not for materials put out to be recycled, this system would provide an economic incentive to recycle.
This same system already has been adopted and is working in Seattle, Wash. It is the type of innovative, efficient solution to solid waste problems that Baltimore County needs. Why hasn't our county executive even considered it?
Thomas P. Carbo
I strongly disagree with the implication in Lynn Scarlett's Nov. 15 column that recycling is unnecessary and actually may be harmful. This sends a damaging message to the citizens of Baltimore, and I was surprised to see that your editorial staff fell for this collection of half-truths and distortions.
Ms. Scarlett should try telling this to the folks in Islip, N.Y., home of the infamous globe-trotting garbage barge. The truth is that where there is a large population (the Atlantic Seaboard, for example) there will be a large amount of garbage and a correspondingly low amount of land for landfills. The Quarantine Landfill in Baltimore City takes in 2,000 tons of material each day, including 1,000 tons of incinerator ash; the Eastern Sanitary Landfill takes in another 750 tons. The Quarantine Landfill will be full in 10 years. Anybody have any good ideas about what we should do then?
The writer is vice chair of the Greater Baltimore Sierra Club. ?
Bush wears thin
Does George Bush appear to be a man who hasn't a clue as to what is happening in this country, or are we citizens out here missing something? The president continues to insist that there is no recession in progress and that "leading economic indicators" prove him to be right. I'm sure things are looking up in his household, but not everyone lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
There's something else George Bush continues to do which has worn rather thin, and that is to blame Congress for all of our nation's ills. This isn't to say that Congress shouldn't shoulder its share of the blame, but of course it never does. However, Mr. President, you have no one to blame for your inability to lead this country in the proper direction but yourself, and until you realize this fact you will surely become a one-term president.
The president was in Dallas recently where he was again engaged in his favorite pastime of blaming everyone else for his dismal tenure to date. He also made a statement which sums up what politics is all about. Mr. Bush said, "I can't wait to roll up my sleeves and become a candidate." May I suggest to Mr. Bush that it would be a good idea to roll up his sleeves and just try being a competent president; otherwise becoming a candidate for a second term may be all for naught.
Kenneth W. DeVaughn
Having just gone through the home-selling process, I feel it is time to strengthen the regulations Realtors must adhere to. No longer should they be allowed to make claims and promises under the guise of sales "puffery." Let's hold them accountable. If they can't do the job, they should get out of the business.
The public library is a genuine service which few of us library users are willing to give up easily. Money problems necessitate a change in policy which should be as fair and equal to all of our citizens as possible. Rather than close a few libraries in certain areas, why not close every library for one or two days a week until our financial picture becomes brighter? Or close every library on Monday, and if that will not save the desired revenue, then start opening at noon the rest of the week? Whatever we finally decide to do, we should be fair and keep our library system open at all of the library branches.
Thomas C. Rothenhoefer