Letters To The Editor


April 04, 2004

Rendering plant isn't an asset to Curtis Bay

The Sun's recent article on Valley Proteins depicts the controversy as one between the rendering plant and a developer of new homes ("Rendering plant says it is on right scent," March 26).

That may be one component of the issue, but it is far from the entire picture. We in the Brooklyn and Curtis Bay Coalition are working hard to revitalize the homes and businesses in our neighborhoods. We have been working for more than a year on our Strategic Neighborhood Action Plan to restore our communities to their status as "small towns in the city."

The article implies that Valley Proteins has been a good neighbor, but the strong odors that the facility has generated in the past belie that myth.

In fact, Valley Proteins has not been a good manager of its facilities. If Valley Proteins is allowed to reopen as an animal rendering plant without stringent regulations and safeguards for the communities to prevent the emission of intolerable stench, our efforts will be seriously jeopardized.

We would prefer the facility remain a grease recycler.

If the Maryland Department of Environment does issue an operating permit for a rendering plant, we want MDE to set strict, enforceable limits on Valley Proteins for the amount of waste to be processed, the processing turnaround time, the length of storage time and the transport of carcasses and other waste.

Brooklyn and Curtis Bay deserve a quality of life equal to that of other neighborhoods.

Richard G. Anderson Baltimore

The writer is board president of the Brooklyn and Curtis Bay Coalition Inc.

City's unemployed need opportunities

The Sun's article "Baltimore isn't working because its people don't" (March 28) points up a fact that many Baltimore residents have known for quite some time - that many city residents are unemployed and unable to obtain work.

I have had two jobs for several years, but I can tell you from personal experience that being unemployed and unable to find a job when you really want to work can be very depressing.

You can go out every day and actively try to find a job, yet constantly get beat down and lose hope when, despite your best efforts, you seem always to come up short.

This type of hopelessness can lead some people down the wrong path.

Before they know it, they are out there selling poison in the form of drugs to people in their own community or using drugs themselves or doing whatever else they think will dull the pain of not having the ability to take care of themselves.

Baltimore has a lot of good people who want to do what is right and be productive citizens. But they need hope and that hope comes from having opportunity.

Murphy Edward Smith


Taxing nonprofits would cost city jobs

Thank you for the article on the plight of the unemployed in Baltimore ("Baltimore isn't working because its people don't," March 28).

We at Good Samaritan have partnered with the mayor's Office of Employment Development to attract and hire people into the health care field where they are so desperately needed. However, at the same time, the mayor is again thinking about imposing an energy tax on nonprofit organizations ("Baltimore nonprofits may face energy tax," March 27).

We have also faced decreased funding from the state as reimbursement for the care of our most frail and elderly citizens has been cut. Now, the bottom line is that if the mayor taxes nonprofit groups like ours, we will be forced to lay off the very individuals that we have spent so much time working with his office to hire.

There remains far too much waste in city government. I urge the mayor to look inward for further cost savings.

Elliott Cahan


The writer is executive director of the Good Samaritan Nursing Center.

Penny tax increase is sensible solution

As a business owner, I can say that one cent does not make that much of a difference any longer - except when it comes to the financial condition of Maryland ("State tax package gets mixed reviews," April l). And since I can add my two cents, here it is: Maryland should increase the sales tax by a penny. But in doing so, it should eliminate the sales tax on clothes and other necessities.

Adding a penny in sales tax to the cost of necessities is regressive, but adding that fee to just about everything else makes common sense.

Jonathan Kollin


Lousy leadership in the war on terror

Mark Matthews' article "With her credibility at risk, Rice striking back at critics" (March 28) needs further elaboration.

Despite all the chaff thrown out by the Bush administration and its apologists to confuse the public, several things are certain: For eight months, the Bush administration did nothing to fight terrorism except hold low-level meetings to come up with a plan. Seven days before Sept. 11, 2001, it came up with a plan to fight terrorism - one similar to the one the Clinton administration had followed.

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