Healthy ForestEditor: Jim Ryland's letter, "Out of the...


October 10, 1990

Healthy Forest

Editor: Jim Ryland's letter, "Out of the Woods," Oct. 1, fails to recognize two facts:

1. The over-mature forest trees not only consume more water and take up much space but also, becoming weaker as they get older, are of high risk to attacks by beetles and diseases. They and other defective trees do not contribute to a healthy, vigorous forest.

2. A healthy forest brings up a more vigorous development of a litter humus on the forest floor. This life-giving humus is usually richer in nutriment for micro-organisms and burrowing insects which in turn keep the soil more porous and friable.

There is a difference between forest management and forest destruction, and Mr. Ryland appears not to be able to see this difference.

Wolodymyr C. Sushko.


Schaefer Millions

Editor: It seems to me that the $2.1 million that Gov. William Donald Schaefer has raised for his campaign, while it might only be a small donation in comparison to the expected deficit, would do more to enhance his campaign as a ''governor for the people'' if he gave the money back to the state to help alleviate some of the more significantly distressed services that are affected by the present financial situation.

Maybe then, some of the Democratic vote, or the state office workers' vote, wouldn't be lost as a protest vote.

State office workers' morale is slipping because they are faced with the impossible challenge of maintaining high levels of service expected by their constituencies, without enough money to properly staff their offices, purchase needed materials or attend professional development seminars needed to keep current in their fields.

While the deficit might worsen before it gets better, they might feel that Mr. Schaefer was paying attention to their needs.

Gena Glickman.


Answer, Please

Editor: All of the rhetoric of the congressional budget discussions leave some very disturbing questions unanswered.

For several years there has been little or no discussion in Congress, or the media, concerning the Grace Commission report. I believe that more than 2,000 recommendations were made to control wasteful spending. Since the report also indicated that one of every three tax dollars is wasted, let us assume a spending plan of $1 trillion. A third of that amount represents a waste of $333 billion. Reduce that waste and you will probably have no deficit, no need to raise taxes, no need to cut necessary programs, and you will probably have a surplus to reduce the national debt.

Where is the Grace Commission report? Why is it being ignored?

We must find a more efficient way to help the poor. Seventy cents, or more, of every dollar spent to help the poor goes to pay the salaries of the bureaucrats who operate the programs. less than 30 cents actually reaches the poor, according to some reports in 1986. With the government's reputation for efficiency, I doubt that there has been an appreciable improvement in recent years.

Congressional pay raises were unjustified. In the real world, raises are earned for productive, positive results. Congress has increased the debt, eroded the dollar, increased the volume of senseless regulations, increased senseless pending, failed to reduce waste and corruption in federal contracts and now plans needless tax increases to continue senseless spending. For this its members deserve a raise? Could we afford them if they ever became positive producers?

We don't need all of this useless discussion on the budget. We need some strong, common-sense leadership from those who have been elected to provide it, and who are getting paid to do it.

They have taken the pay; now, let's see them produce positive results.

Harold L. Miles Jr.


Cutting Costs

Editor: It appears that The Sun has once again taken the wrong position on the property tax referendum issues in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties. In the editorial of September 22, this reader was told in hysterical prose that if the property tax caps were to be passed, libraries would go dark, police and fire services would be hurt, that the elderly would be neglected and the poor would be forgotten -- in sum, that the ''quality of life'' would slip.

The writer, if he or she had done some digging, would have seen that there is much waste in spending in local government. I have been to the county executive's office in Towson -- very plush indeed. Does the county need a public relations department which has one employee that makes $48,000 a year? Does the county need glossy, slick, four-color promotional pamphlets? Does the county need the self-serving county council newsletters which are produced and mailed at taxpayers' expense? As for police protection, the funds ''aren't there'' for expanding police protection to areas such as Hereford and Northern Baltimore county. Meanwhile the county executive has 2 police officers, at county expense, who serve as drivers, bodyguards, and errand boys.

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