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Letters: Solid waste solutions not cheap or easy; Upset with Hogan, vaccine distribution | READER COMMENTARY

Solid waste solutions not cheap or easy

They say that in life there are two certainties — death and taxes. Here in Carroll County, there are at least two additional guarantees.

First, any time our Board of Commissioners addresses municipal solid waste (trash) in open session, you can count on lengthy presentations, followed by endless discussions and the eventual request for “additional study.” I assume their hope is if you examine the issue long enough, you will find that elusive quick, easy and cheap solution that no other jurisdiction has been able to discover either.

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Don’t get me wrong; there are solutions, or better, strategies, but they are not necessarily cheap or easy. For more than a decade, I volunteered on two different solid waste advisory groups for Carroll County Government — once as chairman, and once as co-chair. Despite our efforts, little changed in municipal solid waste over that time. The strategy through the last several Boards of Commissioners seems to have been to merely kick the can down the road. That lack of political will has only made any eventual resolution harder and more expensive for taxpayers.

After all the hand-wringing, the one action this current board took was to landfill more trash at Northern Landfill rather than shipping it under contract to Pennsylvania. This may have helped the bottom line a little, but it sure ended up filling valuable landfill space.

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The other certainty is that whenever trash is discussed in this newspaper, you can bet that former Commissioner Dean Minnich will take that opportunity to lament the demise of his beloved incinerator. Space here prohibits a complete review of precisely why this project was not a solution to our ongoing trash concerns. Suffice it to say there are valid reasons why there have been no new trash incinerators built in this country in over a decade, and the handful of burners in this state have either closed for good or are teetering on going dark.

It is interesting that Minnich in his recent Op-Ed mentioned Howard County’s early departure from those earlier regional discussions to burn our waste. Yes, Howard County decided to move in a different direction. With their emphasis on waste reduction, aggressive diversion and composting, including curbside pickup of organics, Howard County has shown us there are viable alternatives to the centuries old bury vs. burn mentality.

Don H. West

Westminster

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Upset with Hogan, vaccine distribution

I’m not used to being last at anything. The thought that other parts of the country will probably begin vaccinating the 55 and up any day and at 71 I haven’t a clue as to when I will be vaccinated pushes my anger beyond where it has ever been.

I am calling for the immediate impeachment of Gov. Hogan. Early on he looked like a hero when he found COVID-19 tests when none were available. Those tests have proven much less than what was expected. He then went with this stupid system that finds multiple places to try to find an appointment in lieu of a single point that takes all of your information one time and advises you when it’s your turn. This is like someone blindfolding me to swing at a piñata and then taking the piñata away, leaving hundreds of thousands of people swinging blindly at a target that isn’t there for days on end.

I have been in contact with my elected representation and that has in most cases resulted in replies pointing me to the same destinations that never have appointments. I would have preferred them to ignore my letter than insult my intelligence with such a reply. One said the new, improved one-stop site would be up within the next week. That helps the 55 and up group as my expectations are to be vaccinated yesterday.

The government is, by design, incapable of running anything. The most recent case in point is the failure of Texas’s electric grid. That is why a prior generation allowed utilities to be managed by publicly traded companies. Had they not done this, those of you who can’t exist without that phone in your pocket would be looking for the nearest hard-wired black dial phone.

Now that Democrats have piled another $1.9 trillion on the debt, it won’t be long before they switch their attention to Obamacare — short of socialized medicine, but the ever-present Bernie Sanders is hellbent on doing everything he can to socialize it all the way. Should he succeed and get us something more in line with what Canada has, it will result in the government having a hidden death squad. I know three Canadians who have come here for lifesaving operations to avoid dying while waiting in line. My friend Al, who was my age and lived right here in Carroll County, didn’t have the time or opportunity to go elsewhere, so he died of COVID-19 due to government’s inabilities.

Steven Davidson

New Windsor

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