Privatizing Pets On Wheels
Those of us who have been active with the Pets on Wheels program during the past decade were proud to read the editorial, "Privatized Pets," (Oct. 4). Due to the dedication of Coordinator Karen Martin and her board, the Anne Arundel County program has grown in spite of financial difficulties.
Two years ago, the Baltimore City Commission on Aging also privatized its Pets on Wheels program and helps support the program with a grant. Howard County government followed suit in July. When the state cut off support for these programs three years ago, half of the programs, which had volunteers in 15 counties, collapsed. The efforts of the statewide Pets on Wheels corporation has helped seven programs remain viable. There are now more than 1,000 pet "teams" visiting more than 200 nursing homes statewide. Our volunteers also visit rehab hospitals, homes and institutions for developmentally disabled children and adults, and some homebound people.
We are excited that The Baltimore Sun endorses community support for Pets on Wheels. . . . We urge those interested in contributing their time or supporting Pets on Wheels with a donation to call 366-PETS(7387).
N The writer is statewide coordinator for Pets on Wheels Inc.
I just finished Wiley Hall's commentary on Rush Limbaugh (The Evening Sun, Oct. 5). He says, "He does not reflect the community in which I live. He does not reflect the kind of community in which I would like to live." Gee, I'll bet Mr. Limbaugh would not like to live where decent people have to live behind locked doors and barred windows and cannot walk in front of their house for fear of being mugged or shot. . . . Our country would be back on track if we would put a lot of his ideas into practice and law. . . .
I agree with the statement in the article, "Quality of Water Faulted" on Sept. 28 that "there is little state or federal enforcement of safety standards for drinking water." Having lived next to the Millersville dump, I saw first-hand how the state and federal governments enforce laws that are on the books.
For more than 17 years, the state filed site complaint upon site complaint but never enforced the law until the citizens demanded that it protect Anne Arundel County's drinking water supplies. Even today, the 567 acres operates without remediation and has only been surface-cleaned. . . . The thing I find most offensive is that the former secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment, Robert Perciasepe, has now been appointed to the federal EPA. Does anyone expect he will do a better job on a federal level?
As president of The Junior League of Annapolis, Inc., I am often asked questions about The Junior League's membership. Frequently my answer is to quote a statement adopted by The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., which states that the Junior League reaches out to include "all woman regardless of race, religion, color or national origin who demonstrate an interest in and commitment to voluntarism."
In the 1990s, this striving for diversification and eliminating discrimination based on race, ethnicity or religion has been incorporated into the buzzword of "multi-culturalism." But this idea of reaching out to a broader and more divergent population is not new to the Junior Leagues. Promoting multi-culturalism is one of the four goals of the international organization, which is made up of 283 Junior Leagues in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Great Britain and comprises more than 190,000 women.
When Mary Harriman founded the first Junior League in 1901, she stated that "we have the responsibility . . . and the opportunity to conscientiously act to affect the environment about us." As far back as the Junior League's annual conference in 1943, member leagues have been seeking to incorporate all women who share a commitment to voluntarism and community impact. In 1978, the leagues adopted a formal "reaching-out" statement specifying this cultural diversity policy. Subsequently, the association established a committee to offer assistance to local leagues as they began the process of examining policies and programs and tackling attitudes and issues surrounding multi-culturalism.
In 1992, the international arm of The Junior Leagues adopted operational guidelines on multi-culturalism clearly promoting diversification.
Such is the subject for a series of group meetings to be held by the members of The Junior League of Annapolis, Inc. On Oct. 19 and 20, Deborah Gardner Walker, AJLI service provider from The Junior League of Brooklyn, Mass., will conduct four workshops on multi-culturalism. Members will receive training on such subjects as building and enhancing cross-cultural awareness; the effects of stereotyping and prejudice, and developing collaborations that support diversification. For more information or to register for these seminars, call the league office at 263-5358.
The Junior League of Annapolis, Inc. is an organization of women committed to . . . improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.
Sherrie Burton Smith
The writer is president of The Junior League of Annapolis, Inc.