Used auto partsWhen I happened to attend a recent meeting...

the Forum

May 11, 1994

Used auto parts

When I happened to attend a recent meeting of the Maryland Auto and Truck Recycler's Association, I was greatly surprised to learn that only an estimated 6 percent of vehicle owners turn to recycled parts when it's time for a repair.

It really made me wonder: If used parts are an average of 50 percent less than the cost of a new part -- who wouldn't want to save half of their money?

Recycled parts come mostly from wrecked car salvage -- that means that the parts can come from late model cars that have been in accidents.

The alternator, or the axle, for example, is still as good as new. Both dealers and garages will install a recycled part, and in a lot of cases, the guarantees on a re-cyled part are better than those on a new part.

Finally, buying used auto parts completes the recycling chain by re-absorbing disassembled vehicles back into the market, maximizing the use of every part, rather than adding huge car carcasses to our already huge waste problems.

It just all makes sense, and it got 189,000 miles out of my last car, which was retired as a result of a collision, not engine failure.

Jaye Dansicker


BGE nuisance

At about 8:30 a.m. we were awakened by someone with BGE knocking at our door.

Over the din of construction noise, he explained that, in case we hadn't noticed, BGE was working to install a new gas line on our street and wondered when it would be convenient to shut off our gas for about five hours and have access to our basement.

We understand that a new gas line needs to be installed. We understand that our gas will need to be cut off to complete the installation.

What we don't understand is why BGE depends on our neighborhood -- their monopolized, paying customers -- to "notice" that construction is being done less than 50 feet from our homes.

We not only noticed the construction, but for the past five months we have endured construction crews leaving trash and liquor bottles on our streets, urinating in our alleys and using blocks of precious city parking spaces as storage space for backhoes, ditch diggers, equipment trailers, pipes, sand and dirt.

We have made countless phone calls to BGE, first to find the construction division supervisor responsible for this project, and second, to express our concerns about the irresponsible manner in which it has been conducted.

At first, the supervisor was cordial and even helpful in regaining two of the four to five blocks of lost parking. In February, he explained that this project had been in the planning stages for four years and should be completed in two or three weeks.

He did say that we would be contacted to schedule the connection of the new line to our house. Since February and as more neighbors have called him, he has become very difficult to reach, understandably more defensive and ineffectual in answering our complaints.

Somehow, we did not expect to be contacted by a knock at our door in May, nor did we expect to have to grant access to our basement.

We are doubly concerned about having workers in our basement a day after acquiring an eight-week old puppy that will be crated in our basement. In anticipation of the puppy's arrival, the front section of our basement has been freshly sealed and painted.

It's appalling that a company with the resources of BGE would treat its customers in Southeast Baltimore with such disregard.

arol A. Hartke

Toni L. Basinger


Wild Bill's return

I really enjoyed Kevin Cowherd's column on Wild Bill Hagy (May 4).

I hope it helps Baltimore celebrate its real heritage. The column made me remember when baseball was affordable and fun. It was played in a ballpark and not a chardonnay patio.

It was even a time when strangers didn't mind being called "Hon," and money wasn't spent and spent again to remove "Hon" signs.

Perhaps Kevin Cowherd's column will rekindle our collective past appreciation and help us take ourselves less seriously.

Edwin N. Dear



If Hillary Clinton's health plan is so wonderful, why are she, the president and Congress exempted from participating in it?

John W. Kirwan

Glen Burnie

Metro? No thanks

Until I read "Riding with fear: Violence besets buses, Light Rail" in the April 24 Sunday Sun, I was contemplating riding the subway to work. Not now.

The city seems to be shrugging off the 1,014 crimes committed on the Metro in 1993. That's almost three crimes a day, which, to me, seems like a serious problem, especially when you consider that Baltimore's subway system is a dinky one-line operation.

Marsha Nathanson

Ellicott City

Scofflaw drivers

It's been a while since I've studied the Motor Vehicle Administration booklet on Maryland driving laws. Have the laws changed? Does everyone except a few other law-abiding citizens and me know that a posted speed limit of 30 mph means you must exceed it by at least 15 mph at all times?

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