Cancer ConcernEditor: Your article reporting the discovery...


May 01, 1991

Cancer Concern

Editor: Your article reporting the discovery of potentially cancer-causing herbicides in Maryland's rainwater quoted TC water quality specialist as saying: '' . . . I don't think there is any cause for concern . . . But we don't know all the effects.''

Bunk! Of course we should be concerned.

The state and the public should take this for the warning that it clearly is and do what we can to stop contributing to the pollution.

Stop dousing our lawns and trees with chemicals, support research into alternative organic farming and gardening practices, recycle used motor oil, etc.

If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Deirdre M. Smith.


Identities Seen

Editor: I am truly astounded by the unmitigated gall of a few citizens of Maryland who attack Gov. William Donald Schaefer on a personal basis. This is a man who has dedicated his entire life to the betterment of the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland and their citizens. What have his attackers done? The answer is that they have done nothing constructive except expose their personal vendettas for what they really are.

For some reason, these demented detractors seem to have forgotten that Governor Schaefer has always been the overwhelming favorite of the people, with good reason. Where were all of these stone-throwers when the governor was the mayor of Baltimore City? Could it be that they were just storing up some of their petty gripes and jealousies like small rodent-like creatures do before a long, cold winter (of discontentment)?

Beware to all of these character assassins that have been found out. Please crawl back into your holes immediately. Remember, when you attack Governor Schaefer, you are also attacking the voters of the state of Maryland.

Martin A. Silvert.


War Profits

Editor: So now we have Operation Desert Storm trading cards. How original. How novel. How utterly crass and pathetic. In America, it seems, anything can be used to turn a profit.

Why not take it a step further and issue a series of Vietnam cards? Now there was a war!

Imagine this: Bubble gum cards with scenes of corpses rotting in a ditch at My Lai. The police chief executing the handcuffed Vietcong prisoner in the middle of the street. Or my own personal favorite: the terrified Vietnamese girl running stark naked from a napalm attack, her open mouth frozen in a silent scream.

C'mon kids, collect 'em all. Trade 'em with your friends. Be the first one of your block to have the whole set. It's fun, it's patriotic and, who knows, you might even learn something.

We all might learn something.

Michael Carlton.



Editor: A common misunderstanding of statistical margins of error occurs when a reporter interprets (for example) a candidate's 53 percent rating in the polls as not a ''real'' lead because the statistical margin is four percentage points.

Such misconception is carried to an absurd length in your editorial, ''Baltimore City: Half-Full Glass'' (April 18), which attributes a ''margin of statistical error'' to an estimate of the ''city's revenue growth.'' There ain't no such thing!

In fact, the margin of statistical error properly applies only to random samples -- of coin tosses, assembly-line output, human populations or other such aggregations. Referring to a fiscal forecast, it makes about as much sense as the square root of a crab cake.

Sidney Hollander Jr.


Reality of Trash

Editor: It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that trash is one of Baltimore's biggest problems.

The city pays BRESCO $29 a ton to burn our trash. It then subsidizes the costs of burying the toxic ash that burning generates, and it pays a huge work force a good wage to drive an enormous fleet of expensive garbage trucks to pick the stuff up.

Now, on top of twice a week collections the city has begun a third collection once every other week of recyclable materials. We, the residents of Baltimore, applaud the implementation of curbside recycling. In fact an ever larger percentage of our refuse is being recycled. But we the taxpayers question the fiscal wisdom of adding another collection when all we need to do is put out garbage once a week and recyclables once each week.

Why doesn't the city adjust our collections to represent the reality of our trash? Once each week the city should pick up recyclables. Once each week the city should pick up material that cannot be recycled. Simple, isn't it? The city continues its twice a week collections in a way that will save money (lots and lots of money), encourage even more recycling and be a more environmentally responsible citizen.

The case for recycling has never been stronger. In fact no one is ''against'' recycling. Baltimore needs to show more leadership and better fiscal management in this area and stop its incremental approach. Weekly recycling coupled with weekly garbage collection would be a step in the right direction.

T. Herbert Dimmock.


Spending Priorities

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