The Mail 7/30/14

Prig Watch

My goodness! I couldn't help but notice what a priggish attitude state Sen. Bill Ferguson displayed in his letter to the editor about the July 16 cover art (The Mail," July 23). Thought you handled it beautifully, though, in your answer.

Ardith Meadow 


Feel the Burn

Kudos to Van Smith and Tom Chalkley for last week's article on the proposed waste-to-energy incinerator ("Trash Talk," Feature, July 23).

Baltimore is already in a public- and environmental-health crisis! Surveys place us in the nation's top ten for air pollution, rats, and crime! The reduction to once-a-week garbage collection, combined with city-issued plastic trash cans that are easily gnawed through by rodents, without corresponding compost pick-up has created a travesty in our alleys and lots. Imagine disposing of a bushel of crabs when your pickup day was that morning—in August! We found summer in Mexico City (known for its air pollution) to have much better air quality than Baltimore!


One thing not mentioned in the article is garbage being brought in from other cities to feed a hungry incinerator. I have witnessed a line of garbage trucks from Philadelphia lined up at BRESCO!

Thanks again for opening a dialogue on our air quality. When flying into our city, a sickly yellow cloud is the first thing one sees.

Daniel Van Allen 

I currently work in Baltimore City as a sub-contractor. I work with a company who fixes and installs sewer lines. I work around Southwest Baltimore. And I cannot help but read the City Paper article that was written by Van Smith about the trash talk.

I am so upset with the way people live in the city, with piles and piles of trash higher than six feet tall and children playing in or around. It's so depressing. The mayor really needs to get it together and help more than just one area. I wish there was a way to get people together and help clean up the city. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Leesa Thomas

The article discusses the issues with waste-to-energy incineration near schools. It also discusses the idea of zero waste where no waste is generated because it is all recycled. This is a laudable goal which I fully support. The problem arises when people fail to change their behaviors so that zero waste becomes a reality. Until people stop littering, recycle properly, stop using convenience items which are all thrown away and stop consuming so much, trash will continue. Also, in my 35 years of trash management experience, it is just as hard to site a recycling facility as a disposal facility. No one wants a waste management facility by their home.

I am the person that puts the mental into environmental because it makes me mental to see how little people care about their own waste disposal practices. If you can't carry an empty bottle to a recycling bin, how can you expect an entire city to become the home of zero waste? May we please see some local responsibility for managing trash properly?


Pamela Gratton

Kid Beat

I just wanted to say THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH for releasing that article about that "non-profit," annoying, phony, yellow-shirt wearing, "rec center," panhandler kids and "parents" prowling the corners and hassling drivers on the intersection of North Avenue and West Mount Royal Avenue ("Down on the Corner," Feature, June 24)!

I am a resident and employee of the Reservoir Hill area and saw them every single day during the spring and summer sessions, and would get harassed by them for years and multiple times a day. It was between that and getting harassed by a vendor to buy teddy bears. I would eventually end up avoiding the begging corner altogether until they stopped coming around during the cold weather.

Needless to say, the next day after the article was posted the intersection was completely free of the pesky kids and I haven't seen them since. However, there is a new small group of kids (possibly from that yellow-shirt group) who are still panhandling, but not as bad as the yellow shirts did. Last week, I actually watched from my window as one of the boys from this new group of kids (very heavyweight boy) stood and paced back and forth in the middle of a lane of oncoming traffic, as cars flew by him. I'm not sure if this is a tactic to get people to give him attention for money but I could NOT believe that this kid just stayed in the flow, impeding traffic! These cars had a green light and must have been going 35 miles an hour and this kid wasn't going to move. Maybe in his head this was a video game, but in reality it just makes people more angry and most likely uninterested in shelling out any pocket change. Especially the cars who had to wait trying to switch lanes because this kid was standing in their lane and wouldn't move but, when the cars finally switched lanes to pass by him they got caught at the red light. The thing that baffled me was he still tried to ask for money from them.

Note to kid(s): Think of a new way to get your money. I had a paper-route job at age 11. YOU CAN DO IT TOO! I promise! Plus, the adults won't take a cut of your money either. I mean, you're outside all day anyways, why not make money the legit way?

Note to the "parents": Take some parenting classes and re-evaluate your priorities and values because letting YOUR kids dart across four lanes of traffic to get you money makes you look sad and pathetic! My parents would have never allowed that! Maybe you all should get a job as well.



Anyways, thanks again for posting that article!

Sara Meows


“Hey Edgar, where’s your brother? Johnny Winter, 1944-2014”

I was pleased to see Johnny a few times in my lifetime. He opened up for G. Thorogood in the 80's in Columbia, MD. George had a hard time measuring up to that. The last time was in Gretna Fest, NOLA '06. Eddie Money, then Johnny, he was sitting in a chair on stage. Edgar played with him and they were jammin' for over an hour. Sauza Tequila sponsored event so you can imagine how electric the crowd was. Great article! Thanks.

–"sunny," July 27

Ralph laid down his own blistering music in this piece.


–"O's4Life," July 23

“Conflicts of Interest: Stephanie and Me”

I'm not one to usually side with Mayor Rawlings-Blake, but man this article makes you seem like a bit of a bully and ***. Why grin in her face?

–"Dale Mcclinton," July 24

You, my friend are having quite a year. The two best quotes of 2014 in the Baltimore media will probably go down as: "I know, but I'm not interested in that. I'd be more interested in calling Tracy an ***" and "Madame Mayor, I must ask with all due respect, are you a sadist, or just a *** idiot?" Very nicely done. Please continue.

–"MugwumpsDudes," July 24