No Big BenefitEditor: Baltimore County paid $24,400 for a...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 27, 1991

No Big Benefit

Editor: Baltimore County paid $24,400 for a Lincoln Town Car for its county executive in 1989. The county sold it in 1991 for $10,300, minus auction expenses to replace it with a Ford costing $15,900.

I hope County Executive Roger Hayden's handling of other county fiscal matters is more cost-effective than this one.

oseph C. Rohe.

White Marsh.

Road Plan Menaces Canal

Editor: I was dismayed to read of plans to develop a portion of the C&O Canal near Cumberland by building a highway alongside of it with access to historic sites. A careful reader may ponder the wisdom of building a highway next to a historic canal.

The concept becomes all the more questionable given the existence of State Rte. 51, which now assures immediate access to the canal and towpath. Your correspondent failed to mention the existence of the incumbent roadway.

I have hiked and run on the towpath of said canal many times through the remote and fantastic wilderness between Cumberland and Paw Paw, W.Va.

There is not the slightest inconvenience in obtaining access to the canal. There is no traffic to speak of on State Rte. 51. Parking lots abound. Signs are well posted.

A state that is sinking into the red can ill afford the Sisyphean upkeep of its existing transportation infrastructure. Upgrading access to the C&O Canal via an expensive and redundant highway would only ruin this interesting and attractive locality.

This is certainly contrary to the intent of William O. Douglas and others, who wanted to conserve the canal in its unique natural state.

P. Rodney Schlitz Jr.

Baltimore.

Maryland Shield

Editor: Operation Maryland Shield, an intensive program to assist families of Maryland military personnel serving in the Persian Gulf, was announced by Gov. William Donald Schaefer at a press conference on Feb. 14.

The program resulted from the governor's concern for those families, particularly those of members of the National Guard and Reserves, who were left to maintain households and care for children in most cases with a reduction in income.

The plight of these families was described in an editorial in The Sun on Feb. 24. Unfortunately, the piece did not let these families in Maryland know that their state government has a program for them and how they can take advantage of it. Indeed, while lauding the efforts of organizations as far away as Cleveland, the editorial implied that Maryland was doing little or nothing on their behalf.

Ironically, the editorial appeared the day after a Maryland Shield Family Services Day held for these families at the Ruhl Armory in Towson went unreported in The Sun, even though one of its reporters was at the event.

We do not expect a pat on the back from The Sun for our efforts. We would hope, however, that if its concern for Maryland's military families is sincere, it would help us get the word out that help is available.

Perhaps, through this letter, we can invite any family member who needs financial, housing, job search, medical, or any other family support assistance to call Operation Maryland Shield on 1-800-564-9991.

uther Starnes.

Annapolis.

The writer is the governor's coordinator of citizens' services.

Children Need Their 'Mommie Warriors'

Editor: ''Men and women at war in Saudi Arabia'' -- those words ring sweetly in my feminist ears. Alongside the joy, however, is a sour note. Women warriors are often mothers as well. ''Mommie warriors'' is a concept that curdles my soul and screeches disharmony in my ears.

Perhaps my credibility as a feminist will be challenged, but I don't believe mothers should be in the military and definitely should not be going to war. Being a mother is a full-time commitment, not one that can take second fiddle to a military career, a demanding 24-hour per day job. Children cannot be put on hold until it is convenient to care for them. They need love

and attention all the time, not just when a military commitment allows. To send a woman to war would not only risk her life but cause her children undue heartache while she is gone. If she fails to survive the war, her children's lives could be shattered, possibly maiming them for life.

At first, I blamed the military for our present dilemma. Then, looking at the history of women in the military, I found that it was far more complicated than that. The military resisted women joining their forces and previously discharged women as soon as they became pregnant. The relaxation of restrictions against mothers came after a long, uphill battle by women aided by the feminist movement, in an effort to assure equal rights for women. As the women pushed, the military relaxed in light of its need for more volunteers in its ''all volunteer force.''

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