This is why we can’t have nice things

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By NI­COLE RODMAN nrod­[email protected]­pub.com

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.

COUR­TESY AN­GEL BALL

The lit­tle lend­ing li­brary in Her­itage Park was van­dal­ized. It has since been re­moved en­tirely.

PHO­TOS BY NI­COLE RODMAN

The Vet­er­ans Day flag project was or­ga­nized by the Dun­dalkPat­ap­sco Neck His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety.

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