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October 14, 1992

County's plan is a wasted opportunity

Your newspaper is absolutely correct to call for a regional approach to solid waste issues in the Baltimore area.

Yet in its editorial assessment of the Baltimore County 10-year solid waste plan as being a step in that direction, The Evening Sun is way off the mark. Compared to Baltimore City, Baltimore County's approach to waste management for the next 10 years is, in fact, a regional embarrassment.

While Baltimore City is already working with city-wide curbside pick-up of mixed paper and all types of containers, the county plans to provide pick-up to less than half of the county's households and, even then, it plans on picking up only paper and yard waste.

Although the Baltimore County Council passed a toothless resolution to eventually recycle 50 percent of county waste, the 10-year plan offers no milestones, no strategies and no timetables to actually reach the goal. Indeed, in context, the resolution smacks as nothing more than lip service.

The county says it has no plans for a new solid waste incinerator. Yet it refuses to write such a statement into the waste plan. Meanwhile, Baltimore City has made a concrete commitment to reducing its reliance on incineration with its legislated five-year moratorium on new incinerators.

Finally, the Baltimore County plan provides scant detail about public education programs, waste reduction efforts, economic development opportunities and strategies to market recycled materials -- areas where regional efforts would be most effective.

Actually, if anything, the Baltimore County 10-year waste plan works against regional cooperation, leaving Baltimore City to go it alone.

Residents within the city limits can be proud of the city's vision and commitment to environmentally sound waste disposal. The county, to be sure, isn't helping.

Terry J. Harris


The writer is a Baltimore official of the Sierra Club.

Capital punishment

In his column printed in The Evening Sun of Sept. 22, Wiley Hall attacks Mayor Schmoke's call for enforcing capital punishment in Maryland and states that capital punishment wouldn't reduce violent crime "even a little bit."

Mr. Hall ignores the fact that many acts of murder are the work of repeat offenders, and that the only way to guarantee that a murderer will not repeat is life-without-parole or death. The former is not economically feasible nor is it often enforced, as evidenced by the approximate six-year average term served for murder.

Mr. Hall claims capital punishment is not a deterrent. Capital punishment has never been evoked in a manner as to be an effective deterrent.

Execution must expediently follow conviction and sentencing. The complicated appeals process prevents timely executions, while adding to the expense. Example: James Demouchette was executed in Texas last month for murdering two men in 1976.

Mr. Hall states that "you empower the police by better schools, greater job opportunities, treatment on demand for substance abuse, universal health care, and effective intervention for young, non-violent offenders."

All those things, while vitally needed, have nothing to do whatever with empowering law enforcement, nor are they reason not to have a working death penalty.

Those who would drag someone to their death over an automobile, murder a police officer, kill for a thrill, are not human, nor even animal: They are a disease that must be purged from society as surely as cancer and AIDS, and with no exhilaration or sorrow. Justice needs no such emotions. To treat murderers as anything more, as anything approaching human, debases us all.

R. Sims

Hunt Valley

Why strike?

Thousands of people are out of work, and many more will lose their jobs. Plants shutting down, companies going out of business, airlines closing -- all are making for a bad economy.

Why then do workers go on strike?

The bottom line is that they should be glad they have a job in these troubled times. Why take a chance the company may close the plant or business? If we had a sound and healthy economy it would be understandable.

Bob Crooks


Marxist Clinton

At an Oct. 5 news conference, Bill Clinton said that his administration "will end trickle-down economics" in the U.S.

This was not a throw-away line of Clinton's. He means to preside over the re-regulation and eventual nationalization of the largest corporations in this country.

He'll use the excuse of a unresponsive economy to first regulate prices "in the public's interest," then buy up undervalued corporate assets for the government.

Where will he get the money to do this? He and the leftist Congress we are about to elect will impose confiscatory taxes on estate assets, with the exception of real estate.

Clinton is deceptive at the least and a Marxist at worst. Anyone with a nickel to their name should begin to think about a safe place in the world to relocate that nickel.

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