Letters to the Editor – April 17, 2013

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Five Strings of Light

To the Editor:

“I came to America in 1914. And then I came to Baltimore. It was the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen in your life.”
Have you ever seen the movie “Avalon” by Baltimore’s own Barry Levinson? It’s a film about immigration in Baltimore in the beginning of the 20th century. The above quote is said by the protagonist as he tells his grandchildren his immigration story. It is a beautiful scene with fireworks behind the Washington Monument, neighbors greeting each other from their open windows, and, most fantastically, Baltimore streets brilliant with strings of light creating a glowing canopy through which to walk.
The other night, walking home to my house on Conkling Street, I couldn’t help but be reminded of that very scene. Lighting my path were five brand new strings of light hung across the street.  Now, five strings of light may not sound like they would make much of a difference—but I am writing this to tell you that they do.
Five strings of light tell me that someone cares about this community and the people in it.
Five strings of light make me hopeful about where I live and the future of this community.
Five strings of light make me feel safer as I walk home from the park at night.
Five strings of light make me prouder than ever to live in this neighborhood, and eager for others to visit so that they too can see this wonderful illuminated archway I call home.
Simply put, five strings of light put a smile on my face and a spring in my step, and for this I am truly grateful. So, I would like to formally thank my good friends at the Southeast CDC and its Highlandtown Main Street program for the five strings of light and all of the work they have done and will do for this community. Bravo. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Katie Long, Conkling St.
(Editor’s note: The five strings of light are on Conkling St. between Fleet St. and Eastern Ave.)


Homage to Baltimore City’s litterbugs

To the Editor:

As many of you may know Baltimore has the honor of being on the list of the top 10 dirtiest cities in the U.S. On behalf of the city of Baltimore I want to address this recognition of achievement, not to the city government, but to the people in the communities who collectively make this all possible. Today I want to pay homage to: The litterbugs of Baltimore City.

The Drive-by Litterbug:
I begin with you, the Drive-by Litterbug, who so gracefully throws every little ounce of trash out of your car on our city streets. I pay homage to you and your lack of patience to hold on to your trash until you get to your final destination in which a trash receptacle can usually be located—your home, a gas station or store.

The Walking Litterbug:
To the Walking Litterbug, I pay homage to the elegant way you toss your potato chip bags, fast food wrappers, bottles, etc. You, like the Drive-by Litterbug, have collectively managed to contribute greatly to our ranking. What is even more remarkable about you both is that you often don’t even live in the city. Many of you have come here from afar in order to assist us in our ranking on this most coveted list.

The Oblivious Litterbug:
I pay homage to those who are oblivious to the trash regulations that exist and insist on doing things their way. These are the lovely citizens that put their trash out three days early, without a can, or in a can without a lid. Due to these actions, they are providing the rodents with their daily nutrition and providing our alleys and streets with much needed garbage.

The Non Recycler:
Recycling is a personal choice, and we are advocates of it here in Fell’s Point. This homage, however, is not to all non-recyclers; this shout-out goes specifically to those who complain of having too much trash, yet choose to not recycle. They usually have a plethora of trash that is placed out early out of necessity or in defiance of the once-a-week trash pick-up.
These are the gems among litterbugs because, if they actually started recycling, their trash load would decrease by about half. This means that their once-a-week trash pick up would actually be more like twice a week, due to the recycling pick-up that they would get in conjunction with their regular trash pick-up.
Get it? Of course the don’t; that is why they are being honored today for their contribution!

The Bulk Trash Litterbug:
You are what I like to think of as the darlings of this ranking, for without you none of this could be possible, and the problem would be practically manageable. Your dumping of loads upon loads of trash in our alleys and on our curbs as well as your basic lack of regard for existing city services—in place to help you legally dispose of your trash—is uncanny and downright quirky.

Where would we be without you? Probably not writing this list.
So that should do it. I do apologize if I missed anyone, but there is only so much time in the day. When push comes to shove many, many people contribute to the filth on the streets. Without a collective effort of apathy, laziness, and irresponsibility we could never achieve such an honor, so if I missed anyone, you have my deepest regrets.

Victor Corbin, Fell’s Point

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