Local schools aren't producing needed applicants I can...

LETTERS

April 09, 2000

Local schools aren't producing needed applicants

I can certainly appreciate citizen concern that the land Arundel Mills Mall will occupy would benefit the regional economy more if it were zoned for high-tech use. True, most jobs created by the mall will not pay enough for one person to live on, let alone a family. The problem is our regional school systems don't have the community support and resources necessary to produce pool of qualified applicants for regional high-tech jobs. Maybe if we pay more attention to our education system and less to things that really have no tangible impact on our economy or quality of life, like flag burning and tax cuts, our schools could produce large pools of qualified applicants. Our schools are doing a mediocre job of preparing students to fill service jobs. For now, a mall with near minimum wage jobs, seems to be the best option to provide jobs for the labor pool in our region.

We can't blame the school systems, principals or teachers for this problem. We need to look in the mirror and point straight ahead and blame it on that person.

Sean T. McClanahan

Baltimore

Recognizing the work of hospice volunteers

Sunday, April 9 marks the beginning of National Volunteer Week, a week set aside every year since 1974 to recognize and celebrate the efforts of the thousands of men and women in this country who volunteer their time and energies to help others. Hospice of the Chesapeake would like to take this opportunity to salute its volunteers who provided 17,378 hours of service in 1999 to outpatients and their families in Anne Arundel County.

Hospice is considered to be the model for quality, compassionate care at the end of life. Hospice volunteers make this special way of caring possible. Simply put, they are there to take care of whatever needs to be done. They are there to hold a hand and listen, or to walk a dog, run an errand and to step in when a family member needs a break from caring for a loved one. And they are there for the family and friends after the loved one has passed away.

I have worked side-by-side with members of this community who devote their time and hearts to the work of the hospice team. I have been witness to the work of angels, and they deserve our heartfelt appreciation.

Kathy Bourgard

Millersville

The writer is director of volunteer services at the Hospice of the Chesapeake.

Recycling more to reduce county's costs

Each year, the average Anne Arundel County household generates almost one and a half tons of garbage: empty cereal boxes, milk jugs, candy wrappers, apple cores, sandwich bags and so forth. Helping residents cope with that mountain of trash in an environmentally safe, cost-effective manner is one of the principal jobs assigned to the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works.

DPW recently identified several problems that we believe must be addressed. First, we could be recycling more at the curb and burying less in the landfill. A recent study found that half of what residents throw into their trash cans could actually be recycled through our curbside recycling program.

We have another problem, our curbside collection system is inefficient and not cost effective. The average household generates the same amount of trash today as it did in 1990. Then, we collected all of that trash twice weekly. Today, we send four trucks -- two for trash, one for recycling and one for yard waste -- to do the same job.

In addition, our two trash collections are underused. We have observed that most residents set out less on their second trash pickup, and many do not use the second day at all.

Finally, we have a limited amount of space at the Millersville landfill, and we want it to last as long as possible. Replacing Millersville will be expensive -- we estimate it will cost $500 million -- and finding another 563-acre site in Anne Arundel County would be difficult. Recycling more can help.

We have learned from customers that they need help recycling. We have planned a major recycling education campaign that will begin this spring. In addition, we will provide residents who call 410-222-6108 or visit our convenience centers in Glen Burnie, Millersville and Sudley with additional yellow bins atl no charge.

We believe we also can make the system more efficient by moving from four collections per week to three.

We would provide trash pickup once a week on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. We would collect yard waste year round on either Monday or Friday. You would receive yellow-bin recycling collection on either your trash day or yard waste day.

We would eliminate routine Saturday collections. Saturdays would be used, instead, to make up for collections missed on holidays or because of bad weather. Under our current schedule, we do not have that flexibility.

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