Light Candles Or Curse Darkness
On behalf of the African American-Jewish Coalition of Anne Arundel County (AAJC), we would like to thank you for covering our salute to African-American soldiers who helped to liberate Jews who were held captive in concentration camps in Nazi Germany (Nov. 11). A special thanks to your staff writer Angela Gambill.
The AAJC mission is to help enlighten our citizens about various issued that impact on our community. . . . We have spoken out against acts of bigotry. We have saluted elected officials who have condemned racism and anti-Semitism. We believe that it is important that we work together to strengthen and broaden our commitment to humankind.
Many individuals made our salute to African-American soldiers a success. Space does not permit us to thank everyone by name. However, we want each of you to know that your contribution to this effort is greatly appreciated.
It has been said that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. In our efforts to eradicate bigotry, we believe that we are lighting candles through enlightenment.
If you would like to become a member of the AAJC, you may do
so by calling (410) 541-2503. . . .
Vincent O. Leggett
The writers are co-chairmen of the African American-Jewish Coalition of Anne Arundel County.
I am sure that many of us were very saddened to see the starving Somalian children recently on TV as coverage is documenting so well the famine present in that part of the world. These children as well as many others throughout the world are unfortunately starving amidst a world which has so much. St. Mary's Elementary School decided to help in a small but significant way.
Under the direction of Sister Raymond Lorenzen with help from Helena Scher and Rev. Baumgartner, the elementary school children collected for UNICEF this Halloween (along with their announcements of "trick or treat.")
To their credit, $1,355 was collected from the generous people in the greater Annapolis area. This money will go a very long way toward helping some of the more unfortunate children by providing needed meals, medications and immunizations. Next year, when the children go door to door, people will be aware of what "collecting for UNICEF" means. Your continued support is appreciated by those who need it the most.
According to articles in The Sun, the proposed site for a new jail in Anne Arundel was canceled due to the discovery of a high concentration of radiation in the area. This jail was going to be built on New Ordnance Road.
If this area is emanating huge amounts of radiation, what about the residents who live in this area? I happen to live across the highway in a huge townhouse and apartment community where a lot of residents could unknowingly be in danger.
I want to know exactly what areas are in danger and whether there are any plans by the government to clean this mess up. Is there any way that The Sun could investigate this problem . . . ?
Robin N. Franklin
Fixing the Landfill
After 17 years of noting irregularities in the operations of the Millersville Landfill (MLF) and not enforcing the remediation of those irregularities, the state of Maryland, under the auspices of the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), has finally begun to enforce the laws and regulations governing sanitary landfills.
At the October MLF Citizens Advisory Board meeting, the county informed those present that due to budget cuts the MDE was getting out of the inspection business and was instead going to have Anne Arundel County do the inspections at the MLF. This seems very akin to having the fox watch the henhouse.
Anne Arundel County has managed to spend approximately $2.5 million on remediation at the MLF so far. Sadly, this remediation has so far been mostly cosmetic.
The ground water that was discovered contaminated in 1985 is still contaminated and no ground water remediation has taken place. The closed cells have not yet been capped, keeping alive the threat of further contamination. Based on past performance, I would like to recommend that the MDE continue to monitor lTC operations at the MLF. If the state of Maryland finds it outside its duties to insure the safety of its citizens, perhaps it could deputize a citizens watchdog group to insure that the remediation plan and landfill regulations are properly enforced in the future.
Robert H. McKay
Easy Way Out
Please reference The Sun article on Nov. 15, "17 Acres Will Buffer The Landfill, Arundel Buys Farm in Severn." There are two points in the article I would like to address.
First, Ms. Scheibe's comment (Faye Scheibe, a spokeswoman for the Department of Utilities) that, "It's hard to reconstruct what happened 17 years ago." I agree, it is hard, but it's impossible if you have no desire . . . to do it at all.
Second, Mr. Pittman's statement (James Pittman, deputy director of the state Waste Management Administration), "All the things that were broken are now fixed."
. . . The current Director of Utilities has been heralded by the county executive as having the ability to make a sewer treatment plant look like a park, and that is essentially what is being done at the Millersville Landfill (MLF). . . . Since 1985, the county has been aware that the on-site test wells have exceeded EPA thresholds for toxins by 15 times the allowable levels. Also, when the county began to take steps to assess the magnitude of the problem beneath the surface . . . and discovered no
contaminants, and more importantly no clay-liner (although they continue to state in public meetings that clay liners exist . . .), they ceased drilling. . . . They've merely taken the easiest chore (i.e., the surface problem) and claimed victory. . . .
Robert L. Klempa