Post office's service is not letter perfectPostage stamp...

the Forum LETTER

March 30, 1994

Post office's service is not letter perfect

Postage stamp prices are due to increase very soon. I'm having a problem with this.

At my residence we get at least three to four pieces of mail a week that do not belong to us; either the name or address is incorrect. At my work place, which has a different zip code, we get four to five pieces of mail a week that is delivered incorrectly.

I have checked with my neighbors, and they have the same problem. Also, the post office in my area is closed during lunch time and closes at 4 p.m., which makes it impossible to mail packages, buy stamps, etc., if a person is employed. This is not customer-oriented.

I have called the postmaster to inform him of the incorrect deliveries and was told to keep track of the pieces of mail that do not belong to me. This method has not solved anything. It has only taken up my time.

If more time and care were taken in sorting and delivering mail correctly the first time, there might not be a need for price increases. Customers already sort mail for local or out-of-town deliveries, in boxes outside post offices.

In the recent snow and ice storms, our mail was not delivered four times but our Evening Sun was delivered every day.

Recently, the post office has taken it upon itself to collect canned goods. This is not its job. The post office needs to devote time and effort to correct mail delivery. Most of us donate food through churches, schools, individuals, Boy and Girl Scout troops, etc.

The postal service needs to improve its service before increasing postage. One way to make mail delivery more profitable would be to increase postage for junk mail, not for first class mail. We could all do without the large amount of junk mail we receive and have to throw away.

M. Miller

White Hall

Education budget

The inclusion classes in many of the Baltimore County elementary schools will be severely impacted this fall with class sizes up to a mandatory 30 students and the loss of essential support services provided by certified staff.

Our school's population is 525 students and growing. Seventy-six of these students have a foreign language as their primary tongue, and 35 students are identified with disabilities or "special needs." This year we have several "crack" babies.

My school is slated to lose 3.5 staff positions for the 1994-95 school year. We are presently overcrowded, using three portable trailers. The quality of education for these youngsters is at risk.

More drastic cuts are certain unless the education budget submitted to County Executive Roger Hayden is fully funded. Parents need to realize the seriousness of this situation facing our children's education in the Baltimore County public schools and demand that the education budget receive top priority.

Paula Baziz

Pikesville

Smoker's break

Every citizen of the state of Maryland should be outraged at the way our elected officials allow themselves to be manipulated by the highly paid lobbyists in Annapolis.

The latest incident, as reported by the print and electronic media, occurred March 14 when the House Judiciary Committee granted tobacco lobbyist Bruce Bereano his own private hearing to lobby against bills that would limit youth access to tobacco products.

The regular hearings for these bills were scheduled and heard on the afternoon of March 11. At that time I and about two dozen other people appeared to testify in favor of these bills, which we considered to be pro-health and pro-youth.

Many of the people testifying in favor of the bills were medical doctors, health professionals and technical experts who, like myself, took an entire afternoon from their busy schedules and lost considerable wages to appear at the scheduled time.

Throughout the hearing, the chairman, Joseph Vallario, kept stating that we should shorten our testimony as much as possible because the committee was so busy.

On that day a few merchants who make money selling tobacco products to children testified against the bills, but everyone was surprised at the absence of Bereano, the chief tobacco lobbyist.

The media quotes Bereano as saying that he was at the Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament that day. Vallario is quoted as saying he "considered that a sufficient reason" to grant the special hearing, even though many members of the committee disagreed.

Common Cause reports that during the last two years Bereano has spent nearly $40,000 provided by his tobacco-related clients on gifts, tickets to sporting events and meals for Maryland legislators . . .

I urge the voters of Maryland to join Maryland GASP and the other health-related organizations in the state in voting Vallario and others like him out of office during the 1994 elections.

We must demand integrity from our elected officials.

John H. O'Hara

Bowie

The writer is president, Maryland Group Against Smoker's Pollution.

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