From: Marc A. Calderone
A state recycling bill should be implemented to require the recycling of freon from automobile air conditioners and antifreeze from autoradiators.
The freon creates holes in the ozone layer, while antifreeze is a pollutant of our waters.
If such a bill were enacted, we would, over an extended period of time, save money, but more importantly we would immediately begin saving the environment. Currently, both of these recycling processes are being performed voluntarily, but should be done by everyone.
A salvage yard could take all of thecars that it buys and recycle both the freon and the antifreeze and save greatly on waste. Although both recycling processes are very expensive, they would in fact eventually turn a profit for merchants whoparticipate. This is just one example of how to prevent waste of this kind.
After speaking with several merchants in the auto parts business, I learned that recycling antifreeze is a simple but expensiveprocess. The old antifreeze is stored in 55-gallon drums, then filtered several times.
A tune-up center or "lube" chain would also be great candidates for this new recycling process. The average person getting a tune-up would not even go out of his way to have his auto freon and antifreeze recycled; it would be part of the tune-up or lube.
A recycling bill for freon and antifreeze of automobiles would relieve a great environmental burden as well as save some money. It would not be a controversial issue by any means, and it would help the merchants in the auto business.
BWI FAILS TO IMPROVE TAKE-OFF NOISE LEVEL
From: John Kovarik
You have reported many important Baltimore-Washington International Airport developments fully in your paper in the past. Perhaps you are unaware that in early January, BWI went out of its way to coordinate new proposed changes to its take-off patterns and their resultant noise levels in neighboring communities.
My concerns stem from June 1990 changes in BWI take-off procedures from Runway 15R. I recap my concerns for your information.
When my family and I returned from visiting aging relatives in the Midwest this last August, we were surprised and dismayed to find commercial jet aircraft doing steeply banked turns over our Parke West home. We had moved from our first house ten years ago to escape aircraft flight patterns over Route 3 (now I-97) but wished to stay within the same general community, the same schools, and the same church.
In our first home we were introduced to BWI jet noise. When we spoke out at public hearings in 1976-1977 for BWI to alter its flight patterns, BWI representatives said it would be unsafe to require jets to make steep turns immediately upon takeoff. BWI then assured us thatthey could not and would not change their relatively straight low-power gradual ascent take-off pattern.
Now when I call BWI Noise Control and complain about the new take-off pattern change which endangers my home, I find calls achieve no purpose other than to be recordedand allow me to vent frustration. I have received countless soothing, but meaningless assurances.
When I wrote all my state and federal legislators to complain, they all told me what BWI tells them: these changes have been publicly aired and coordinated with the communities concerned. Yet the public notices of this new June 1990 right-handturn stated that it affected Elmhurst -- no mention was made of my community or of the other more than 20 residential communities that this affects.
At one public complaint session held at the request ofour 500-home Parke West community at the end of August 1990, all of these communities sent representatives to loudly proclaim to BWI representatives that none of us wanted this right-hand change. None of usapproved of it, and certainly none of us -- save perhaps Elmhurst --had been aware that it would affect us!
As to the matter of BWI coordinating with communities, I have now seen a recent example of howthis process works. On Thursday night, January 10, 1991, I had just finished listening to the weather forecast which promised snow and sleet Friday afternoon, when the phone rang. A neighbor in a nearby community called to pass on the word that BWI had just contacted its community to announce a significant meeting scheduled for Friday afternoon at 3 p.m., to which all community representatives were invited. BWI gave slightly less than 24 hours notice to our community representatives that an important meeting would be held at the time of an impending snow storm to announce changes in the right-turn take-off procedure! BWI can certainly be counted upon to not go out of its way to coordinate with us!
I for one have a job that I cannot desert on a moment's notice, and so too do many others. Needless to say, I hear the turnout was minimal. But of course, if BWI really wanted communityinvolvement, it would have scheduled and announced that meeting differently.
DON'T LET POLITICS HURT THE ENVIRONMENT
From: Chris Wassif
In a time that Americans are becoming more interested inthe well being of the environment, it wouldn't be that hard to pass a simple tree bill.
Last year a reforestation bill failed in an ugly political game that was played out on the last night of the 1990 session of the General Assembly. On the floor of the Assembly, a war was waged between the pro-developers vs. the pro-environmentalists. This now-dead bill would have required developers to replace every treethat was removed during the process of building with young saplings.
During the 1991 session of the General Assembly, a similar bill is to be introduced. This time the legislators will look to pass a bill that will please everyone. Some fear that this new bill will only get the vote needed to pass if some development is allowed of forest regions, but with the replanting of trees, no net loss of forests would be noted on paper.
Last week, an advisory group that will be asked to draft the bill met for the first time to discuss the measure. The group is composed of all the major players in this messy game: thestate officials, environmentalists, developers, lawyers and builders. It has become very apparent that this committee is going nowhere fast. After only minutes, the first of many fights broke out. The members of the committee can't even decide on a name for the bill.
In atime that Americans are becoming more interested in the environment,you'd think we could do much better than this. After all, how hard could it be to get a simple tree bill passed?
PUBLIC'S IN THE DARK WITH CAR INSURANCE
From: Louis N. Phipps IV
I am a concerned car driver who pays high insurance rates. In fact, I have been paying these high rates for a long time and am tired of it.
I believe that I and a lot of other car owners or drivers in the state are sick of paying these high rates. I would like to know if there is any way of significantly reducing accidental insurance rates, without being in any risk of losing our right to protect ourselves against careless negligence.
Some say that the people should determine for themselves between the current auto insurance and "no-fault" insurance, which was proposed by the state Chamber of Commerce. They have said that "it would bring insurance rates down an average of 20 percent" for those who chose "no-fault."
I believe certain people would go for bringing these high insurance rates down, but is there a price to pay?
A group of organized lawyers (who oppose "no-fault") say it's a bad idea, because it would take away people's rights to sue for damages due to negligence. They believe that the people who choose "no-fault" would be in great risk. I wonder if it would be worth it to pay less, and be at constant risk when driving of being in an accident due to someone else, because when I chose "no-fault," I gave up my right to sue for pain and suffering in an auto accident?
Like a lot ofthings in this country, it comes down to individual rights and choices. If a person choses "no-fault," and is told and is well aware of the risk, then he has the right to make that choice.
This proposal to put the consumers' needs up front is a good idea, but it has a major flaw. The majority of lawyers would be upset, because they would probably have fewer auto (accident) cases, which means a decline in court cases dealing with automobiles. I, however, believe most of us would like to see a better proposal.
A BITTER ENDING TO THIS FAIRY TALE
From: Edward H. Lind
The Kingdom of Merryland had a dairy farm that was equally divided into two halves. Half was used by thecows and half was used for unwanted byproducts.
King Sayfur of Merryland told his jester, MAA (Maryland Aviation Administration), to clear the unused half of the farm so that more cows could use it. Thiswould provide him with more money to spend, in addition to helping the moneylenders and merchants to prosper.
The jester, with the aid and guidance of the emperor of FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), loaded large carts and proceeded to dump cow dung into the homes of the local serfs with the excuse that to do otherwise would deprive both the people who want the money and the cows.
When the serfs became angry, jester MAA returned to the emperor, who was well preparedwith a response. After all, the emperor always allowed the little kings all over his empire to do the same thing for years and years. If it worked so well before, why change?
Jester MAA happily returned to the serfs and told them he would make things better. At this, he removed a cup full of dung from the homes and the emperor, the king, the jester, the moneylenders, the merchants and the cows lived happilyever after.