Convert MVA into private company
The Motor Vehicle Administration is an example of state government at its worst. Its inexcusable mistakes in documents, incorrect notices, ever higher fees for rudeness and terrible service to the public are well known.
It is obvious that the MVA is hopelessly out of control, incapable of performing the necessary level of public service and beyond repair as a state agency.
I recommend that the MVA be eliminated as a state agency and its function be taken over by private industry. This can be done by putting the entire operation out for bid to major private insurance companies such as Allstate, State Farm, Nationwide Insurance, etc.
An alternative is to break up the agency by functions such as tag renewals, new titles, driver's licenses, etc., and let a different private insurance company administer each function.
Transfer of the MVA functions to a private insurance agency is the only way to eliminate the gross inefficiency that now exists. Within a few years of operation by private industry, the MVA should evolve from the horrible monster it now is to an efficient operation that would no longer disgrace the state of Maryland.
Richard R. Byard
Cut politicians' pay
Cut the budget! Raise the taxes! That's all we hear about. Those who really work for their money are being laid off, losing jobs, being cut back, giving up more and more, their lifestyles are drastically changed, etc., etc.
None of these things are happening to the politicians, who come from the segments of society that are the least productive, and who do not earn the money they receive.
Bear in mind that a majority of those in our legislature are attorneys, real estate agents, insurance agents, business owners, etc. I would like to see the wages of all the politicians in Maryland cut in half and the money put back in the general fund. Also, the politicians should not be allowed to donate their cut to charity for a personal tax break.
Next, eliminate many of the jobs that were created by those in the political office for their buddies.
Those who should be paid unlimited wages are paramedics, ambulance drivers, police, firemen and trash collectors. These are the people who are really working for the welfare and well-being of society. Let's start taking back the unearned money given to politicians.
Alfreda H. Kiessling
Pick it up
Go outside and look at a major road or highway. It is almost impossible not to see trash. Too many people think, "It's not my fault. Why should I care? Oh well, what's the harm if I just drop an aluminum can or two?"
If everyone in Maryland dropped just one aluminum can, there would be more than 6 million cans on the ground. I suggest that we realize how much trash we are creating, and start picking up after ourselves.
The writer is a fifth-grader at Pot Spring Elementary School, whose class submitted several letters addressing environmental problems.
Business as usual?
When queried about Ross Perot's qualifications for the presidency a number of political analysts have responded that they felt he would not have the diplomacy and tact required -- that he is in fact not a politician but a businessman.
Since it would appear that our socalled qualified "politicians" have managed to sink the richest nation into a quagmire of dept, why not try a businessman? Who knows, the county might show a profit for a change.
Here's to twang
Recently, I called a WPOC deejay and requested a song by Loretta Lynn, only to learn that the deejays aren't permitted to play this country music superstar's songs.
I then wrote a letter to Robert Moody, program director, and my last line read, "Is there anything I can say to persuade you to allow your deejays to play Loretta's music?" I received a shocking reply -- an emphatic NO!
It seems this man feels Loretta Lynn is not in style these days. The twangy sound of her day doesn't measure up to today's standards. He goes on to say that her earlier hits "have not stood the test of time very well" and "her music is no longer in great demand."
I disagree. This Country Music Hall of Famer, along with other greats such as Buck Owens, George Jones, Ray Price, Tammy Wynette and Merle Haggard, helped make country music's popularity grow from the 1960s to what it is today.
If "twangy" is out, why does WPOC play songs by John Anderson, Hank Williams, Jr., Patty Loveless and Lacy J. Dalton, all of whom have a similar sound? There is a large segment of listeners who would appreciate hearing Jim Reeves, Lynn Anderson, Kitty Wells, Sonny James, Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn once in a while.
What was good about having two country music stations in this town, when we used to have WCAO, was the ability to have a choice. Unlike WPOC, WCAO used to play the golden oldies along with the music of the young, contemporary artists.
Many listeners hope this area will get a second country music station again very soon. Meanwhile, Mr. Moody has clearly shown his lack of knowledge about country music, and his narrow-mindedness is getting in the way of sound judgment, thus preventing total enjoyment for WPOC listeners.
Baltimore Thank you for addressing the issue of low wages for child care workers (April 10). However, without any analysis of the reasons why our society pays so poorly for the care-taking and educating of young children, and without any mention of potential solutions, your story isn't going to motivate any change in the circumstances it describes. Certainly, it could have appeared in virtually any year since the 1950s, and unfortunately will probably appear in your paper again and again in the future.
Researchers have identified 12 major reasons for low child care wages. I'll just mention some here. Child care costs are in most households paid for by the mother's earnings -- and women in most marriages and most professions earn less than men. (I believe newspaperwomen have a particular awareness of this.) Family income in general is lower when parents have children under six, as compared to when their children are ready for college. Child care teachers are not unionized.
Solutions are difficult and involve some cost, but they are out there. Our non-profit organization operates two child care centers which start from the premise that we will hire trained and experienced teachers, pay them living wages, put them in classrooms that are not overcrowded, and provide them with decent working conditions and benefits. The tuition levels resulting from these values are higher than many low- and middle-income parents can afford. To address this gap, we have been fortunate to receive dedicated scholarship funds from employers which enable some of their employees to have good quality child care for their children: First Maryland Bancorp, the University of Maryland at Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins University. Local foundations have also helped.
Please keep reporting on these issues which affect so many of our daily lives and our children's futures.
Anita R. Prentice
The writer is president of the board of Downtown Baltimore Child Care Inc.