Schaefer's RightEditor: Isn't it about time we stopped...


November 14, 1991

Schaefer's Right

Editor: Isn't it about time we stopped blaming everything on Gov. William Donald Schaefer? For many months now, he has been warning us about the state's dire financial situation and even proposed a tax package in 1990 to offset what he thought would be substantial shortfall. As with many of his recent ideas, this proposal was doomed to defeat by petty politicians preening for their own diverse constituencies.

Now, of course, the tide has come in and we are faced with a stagnant economy and a need to find more than $450 million in budget cuts. And who gets the blame? Why, Governor Schaefer, of course, because he had the guts to stand up and tell the citizens of Maryland the straight facts.

Now he wants to prime the pump by advancing public-works programs and get people back to work. At least it's a start.

Governor Schaefer apparently hasn't forgotten the words of Winston Churchill in 1941, when it seemed to everyone that England was lost. "Never Give In," he said. "Never, never, never give in!"

Let's stop the constant bickering, get behind the governor, and get people back to work.

Alan P. Kurland.


Don't 'Hon' Him

Editor: Much has been said and written recently about the insensitivity of men in their speech to and around women. I agree that it exists and is uncalled for. I think I can understand how women feel in these situations; probably similarly to the way I feel when strange women call me "Honey" or "Hon."

Murray Combs.

Glen Burnie.

Pro-Question L

Editor: Hats off to The Sun for supporting Question L and single-member districts for the city. It took real courage for your paper to support a proposal opposed by the entire entrenched political establishment, which decidedly has an interest in maintaining the status quo.

Given that less than 10 percent of the city's registered voters are Republican and Question L received 43 percent of the vote, it is obvious that the measure was supported by many of the Democratic rank and file. Regrettably, money and machine politics won out once again and the voters may have lost the only certain opportunity they will have to revitalize the city's moribund political process this decade.

As one of those who helped collect the thousands of signatures needed to get Question L on the ballot, I can assure readers that its supporters -- Democrats, independents and Republicans alike -- are not discouraged and that we will be out on the streets again if the Charter Review Commission and the mayor don't come through with a credible reform proposal in the near future.

Dick Fairbanks.


Don't Fight Nature

Editor: The Nov. 1 article, "Dunes Shield Coast From Storm's Fury," by John Rivera, leaves the reader with a false sense of security in the wake of the recent extra-tropical storm. Specifically, the statement that "Ocean City officials credited newly installed beach dunes and a sea wall with preventing high tides and gusting winds on the ocean side of town," through poor grammar or sloppy science gives the impression that high tides and gusting winds can be prevented.

Beach nourishment and dune building buy time against long-term erosion, but they don't solve the problem. Lest we be lulled into thinking we have taken on the sea and won, let us be reminded that nothing smaller than the moon can "prevent" high tides.

Fenwick Island, like most of the coastline from New York to Texas, is a barrier island; narrow, dynamic landforms composed of sand and loose sediment transported by wind, waves and currents. A "barrier" island protects the mainland from ocean-wave energy and storm surge.

The Upton-Jones Amendment of 1988 legislated the Federal Energy Management Agency to pay the property owner to relocate or demolish structures that are "imminently threatened."

There is no flood of homeowners taking up this offer, yet yearly, the zone of imminent threat creeps landward with the natural process of barrier-island migration.

The beach-nourishment project at Ocean City did buy time and lessen the impact of this recent storm. However, it is not "the fury of an Atlantic storm" residents need be concerned about. It is the fury of development that pretends to battle the storm and win.

Ruth Chalfont.


Feeling Haunted after a Child's Trauma

Editor: We are the parents of the little girl who was shown the movie "Poltergeist" in a City of Rockville after-school program, about whom Michael Olesker wrote Oct. 31. We were very upset by his attempt to trivialize what has been a very traumatic event for our daughter and our entire family. We agree that too many frivolous lawsuits are filed in this country. However, Mr. Olesker has omitted and distorted facts in his attempt use a case which contains many issues of concern to parents as an example of this problem. For instance:

* He failed to mention our daughter's age -- she was seven years old at the time she was shown the movie, a crucial fact.

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