Turning the tide against povertyInspiration comes to us...

the Forum

May 17, 1991

Turning the tide against poverty

Inspiration comes to us from many sources. Inspiration shapes our character and develops our latent capacities to do more than lament the plethora of difficult problems in our communities.

Heavyweight boxer George Foreman and baseball pitcher Nolan Ryan have given many of us an unexpected surge of inspiration. Their inspiring accomplishments stand in contrast to the plight of many people in America today who do not enjoy the basic necessities of life. The recent Community Childhood Hunger Identification Project reports indicate that 11.5 million children are either hungry or at risk of hunger.

Perhaps the aging structures of our economic system can muster one great push toward turning the tide against poverty in our country. Perhaps the growing support for programs such as WIC (Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Feeding Program) indicates that we are finding the will to guarantee the nutritional rights of all of our citizens.

Complacent regret inspires no one. The shame of hunger in America should push more of us toward visible efforts to end hunger now. This would be truly inspiring. By George, let's do it!

Harvard Stephens Jr.


Employment rights

Where are our congressional representatives? Since the latter part of 1986, no citizen of Maryland or of the other contiguous states could be employed on any construction or service contract in Alaska that was funded by Department of Defense appropriations, when the unemployment rate for Alaska exceeded the national average.

The Department of Labor reported in April 1991, that the national average unemployment rate was 7.2 percent, the unemployment rate for Maryland and Alaska was 6.6 percent and 8.8 percent respectively. Maryland's unemployment is just under the national average. Seven other states had an unemployment rate in excess of 8 percent, four of which exceeded 9 percent. Does Alaska deserve this special consideration? To add insult to injury, Maryland being one of the richer states, its tax dollars make up a larger part of funding to pay for those contracts in Alaska.

What happened to Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 of the Constitution, under which the citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several states? Are our representatives so wrapped up in assuring that we will not lose our right to purchase automatic weapons that they traded off without debate our right to pursue employment in any state we choose?

This logrolling was accomplished in the Senate where our senators, who allege to be pro-labor, have condoned this restriction for five years. Maryland's under-employed should be thankful for their congressional representatives' support.

W.F. Oehrl


Get a lineup

Frank Robinson said that Leo Gomez was sent to Rochester because he needed to play every day without putting too much pressure on himself and trying to prove himself.

Whom is Frank kidding? It's the Oriole management applying the pressure, not the players. What "team" has three first basemen, three right fielders, three third basemen and four different pitching rotations after April 1? It's been like spring training here all season for the past two or three years.

How can a young player develop, and how can a team compete against the rest of the league, when each player is out there every day competing for a spot in the lineup? The Orioles have made an obsession of shuffling players, and in the process have lost the "team" spirit which is necessary for success.

Get with it, Frank. Put a "team" on the field and let it play! What have we got to lose?

Jim Ryland


Man of many hats

I am saddened and ashamed by the cruel and insulting comments inflicted on Governor Schaefer by Kelton Carl Ostrander (Forum, May 10).

Governor Schaefer has an impeccable record. He is an intelligent, respectable, sincere and caring gentleman who serves his office with integrity. I cannot imagine that anyone would flagrantly ridicule Governor Schaefer, but rather thank and praise him for the many attributes he has bestowed on our city and state.

Yes, Mr. Ostrander, our distinguished governor is a man of many hats and he wears them with dignity.

Evelyn Burns Paulero


Sludge injunction

I was very pleased to read that the Baltimore County state's attorney's office joined forces with two private citizens to seek an injunction to block the spreading of sludge from the Back River Waste Treatment Plant on a north county farm owned by the state and rented to a private farmer.

The injunction was granted against the Enviro-Gro company, despite a permit it has from the State Department of the Environment, because county zoning laws prohibit the spreading of sludge in this watershed protection area. It is also true, however, that sludge from this old treatment plant is full of heavy metals that make it dangerous to spread anywhere.

The Baltimore County government has rarely in the past taken such a progressive position and backed it with vigorous action. I say three cheers for the new leadership in the county attorney's office and in the office of the county executive!

I. H. Desser


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