This is why we can’t have nice things
Despite the joyous nature of the season, I would like to take this space to gripe for a minute and to call on the Dundalk Post Office to do better.
We here at the Eagle have run numerous articles and letters bemoaning the lack of service at the Dundalk Post Office.
Not only have I heard from many residents about their own mail woes — undelivered mail, mail sent to the wrong house, even mail dumped into the gutter — I have experienced it firsthand.
My parents live in Dundalk, and I often stop by to re-deliver mail that has gone to their house instead of a neighbor’s. My parents subscribe to the Informed Delivery app, which shows them images of the mail they are to expect each day. Rarely do they get the mail that the app promises. What mail are they missing? What letters/checks/bills have shown up late or not shown up at all?
Here at the Eagle office we have our share of mail woes as well. Some are understandable. The difference between our address — 4 North Center Place — and the Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society — 4 Center Place — is slight, and many times the mail is misaddressed as well. So we do get a lot of the historical society mail. I can understand that.
But just as often we get mail meant for businesses elsewhere in the shopping center. We have even received mail meant for addresses in Rosedale, Baltimore City and points beyond.
The situation reached a new low last week when I went to check the Eagle’s P.O. Box at the Dundalk branch.
When I opened our box to retrieve the mail, I pulled out a handful of soaking wet envelopes.
I asked what had happened, only to be told the roof leaked onto the mail.
This is unacceptable. Not just for us here at the Eagle, but for residents across the area.
We have a high concentration of older residents here in this area. How many have missed prescription drug deliveries or Social Security checks?
How many job offers, bills, college acceptance letters, Christmas presents or letters from sweethearts have arrived late or not at all?
Receiving the correct mail in a timely manner — and in good condition — should be a basic goal of any post office.
We have yet to receive a satisfactory response to any of our inquiries. The lack of transparency is frustrating but not surprising.
We will stay on this issue.
On another note, this is why we can’t have nice things.
Take, for example, the incomparable Joe Stadler and his tireless fellow Historical Society members. These volunteers dedicated hours upon hours of their own time to organizing the breath-taking display of more than 2,000 flags that graced Veterans Park and the Dundalk Avenue median the week of Veterans Day.
Yet, as we published in a letter from Mr. Stadler shortly after, approximately 650 flags were stolen during the week the display was up.
These flags represent the donations of many residents, some in memory of lost loved ones, desiring to better their community and show their unwavering patriotism.
Yet some person/people felt they could dismantle and vandalize the display that represented so much to so many.
What motivation do the tireless, dedicated community activists have to plan such wonderful activities if they are to be destroyed?
Another example is the vandalism of the little lending library in Heritage Park. Created by students at Eastern Technical High School, the little library offered a chance for local residents to borrow and lend books.
The residents at Dunmanway Apartments took a special interest in the little wooden library, repairing it repeatedly after minor incidents of vandalism.
Recently, however, the vandalism took a more serious turn. The door was ripped off and the box bore burn marks as if someone had tried to set it ablaze.
As of this writing, the library has been removed entirely and is unlikely to be replaced.
Everyone wants Dundalk to be better. But a community is only as strong as its weakest link.
We all deserve better. We all have to do better.
I know most of the people reading this are a part of the solution, not the problem. I am likely preaching to the choir.
But it is frustrating to see the near-super-human efforts of a select few dedicated volunteers and community leaders thwarted in such a senseless fashion.
We need to do better.
On a lighter note — my weekly plug for our upcoming Holiday Houses photo feature in the Dundalk Eagle. We will have photographers patrolling the community for impressive holiday light displays, but we need your help. Know of a particularly impressive display around town? Let us know or, better yet, snap a photo and send it to me at nrod[email protected]pub.com. We want to see Dundalk all decked out in seasonal splendor. Select photos will run in an upcoming issue and all photos will be published online at dundalkeagle.com. Opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not represent the opinion of The Dundalk Eagle or Adams Publishing Group.
The little lending library in Heritage Park was vandalized. It has since been removed entirely.
The Veterans Day flag project was organized by the DundalkPatapsco Neck Historical Society.