Light rail horns roiling Woodberry
I read with interest Frank D. Roylance's article about the baseball fans who ride the Camden commuter line to Orioles games. A July 7 ballgame went beyond midnight and 85 passengers were stranded on a siding until 4 a.m.
Dianna Rosborough, a Mass Transit Administration spokeswoman said, "We've had games that went beyond midnight before and we always provide service for our passengers."
That's true, and that's where my neighbors in Woodberry and I enter the picture. We are at our wits' end.
The light rail cars going through our neighborhood are blasting their horns from 5 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., subjecting us to hundreds of blasts daily from a tractor trailer-type horn. On game nights it's not unusual to hear this noise pollution until 2 a.m.
We were told that the light rail would be noiseless. We are physically and emotionally exhausted, we can't sleep, we can't work, our elderly people are sick over this and our children are frightened.
The MTA needs to address our problem in Woodberry by installing a stoplight. There is a limit to what we can take, and we have reached it.
Administrators of volunteer-based programs constantly adjust and refine recruitment strategies to meet the demands of a changing volunteer demographic, created by a troubled economy and demands that often necessitate two-income families.
The good news is that volunteering positively impacts on individuals in ways that may not have been considered, including learning new marketable skills, filling in blanks on resumes and creating ways to re-enter the work force. Volunteering is not just licking envelopes anymore!
A volunteer job well done demonstrates capabilities and competency -- qualities employers look for in prospective employees. Employers look closely at not only job skills but also at volunteer experiences. Volunteering, especially while unemployed, benefits the volunteer and the community.
Non-profit volunteer-based organizations are constantly struggling for their piece of the pie -- the diminishing numbers of volunteers.
Ellen Hawks' long-running column has served to encourage and support volunteerism by validating volunteers and promoting the benefits of volunteering. I have her to thank as I began as a volunteer with Parents Anonymous six years ago, in response to one of her recruitment notices.
Ellen Hawks has been among volunteerism's staunchest supporters. The volunteer community will miss her terribly. On behalf of the Maryland Volunteer Network, I am respectfully requesting that The Sun not retire the volunteer column, as it serves a much needed and appreciated role in the community.
The writer is the president of the Maryland Volunteer Network.
City leaders must strive to maintain proper priorities
Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke have worked together over the years to accomplish some worthwhile and extraordinary things that have far-reaching benefits for the citizens of Baltimore.
Among these accomplishments are the Commonwealth Agreement and the Nehemiah Housing Project.
The BUILD organization brought together Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Mayor Schmoke, Christians of all races and Jews to work on a common agenda. Together they did the right thing. The results were very positive.
Now education, housing, employment and style of governance are at critical crossroads. Baltimore must strive to keep its priorities in place.
It should not permit negativism to dominate, thereby diverting and destroying the momentum these efforts engendered.
Public education, with or without Tesseract, and public safety will not improve without the help of the public. Certainly BUILD, as a major player, was deeply disappointed when the mayor failed to consult the group on his new education initiative.
Questions arise. Is this privatization of public education for profit? How much profit? There are legitimate areas of concern here because free public education has become a major cornerstone of American democracy. It is a bold concept. Education is for all children, not just for the elite.
I have not heard that excessive profits will go to the Tesseract organization. Money remains a major concern of Baltimore teachers. They are not paid enough. All the surrounding counties pay their teachers more. Teacher dedication and perseverance are needed. These must not be seen as foolish ideas of yesteryear.
Most people agree that our education system is failing. But I am convinced that if administrators, teachers, parents and communities form a team for educational excellence, improvement in education will be guaranteed.
But we seem more willing to retreat into our separate camps of animosity, pointing fingers of blame at the other constituency.
It is obvious that what we are doing is not working. More and more parents from all walks of life are taking their children out of the public school system.