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Volunteers should be encouraged, not criticized, for picking up Baltimore’s trash

Volunteers should be encouraged, not criticized, for picking up Baltimore’s trash
Activist Scott Presler (left) talks with Roussan Etienne Jr., of Baden, Md, during a cleanup along Westwood Ave Monday. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)

Scott Presler took some of his time to organize and help in a cleanup of a neighborhood in Baltimore. Evidently, it was a success. Seems to me a simple thank-you would have been sufficient in place of a motive-searching and sarcastic editorial dragging the event into the political mess (“We assume it was pure motives that led a Trump supporter to launch a cleanup in Cummings’ district, right?” Aug. 6). Who really cares why he did it? Did the folks in the neighborhood go out and ask for his motive or did they just appreciate the results?

A few facts missing from the editorial are: Why has the neighborhood become a dumping grounds and how many residents came out to assist in the cleanup? A statement like, “it’s just not that simple,” is a weak excuse. Drug dealers threatening the residents can be stopped by anonymous calls to the police or Crime Stoppers.

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I am told Baltimore has trash pickup once a week, so why throw trash out the back door? I know there are people who will dump an old washing machine or car battery and other hard-to-get-rid-of items. That’s a problem all over the country, but trash bags and household garbage? No excuse.

The editorial was nothing but negative political junk that seems to be The Sun’s choice of topics. The people who participated evidently did a good job and when the TV cameras were stuck in their face, they said whatever was on their minds. Who cares if it’s political, religious or totally self-serving? They were doing something that more people need to do occasionally — getting out and helping the neighborhood.

Is Mr. Presler coming back? Who knows. With articles like this, I would have to think twice about returning to Baltimore. Maybe I would go where I was a bit more appreciated and folks would not question how much trash was removed since there are no pictures of it. Also, if these events “happen all the time,” why is there so much trash on the streets? I also wonder why Mr. Presler needs more credibility with anyone.

Patrick M. Lynch, Glen Burnie

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