Smokers In Hospitals

Readers write

December 01, 1991

From: Gil Crandall

Annapolis

Regarding your article (Nov. 22) on the American Cancer Society's15th Great American Smokeout ("Puffing away on Smokeout Day"), I found it nothing less than dismaying that an unspecified number of health workers at the Anne Arundel Medical Center and North Arundel Hospital continue to defy the common-sense rule against smoking.

It is nearly incredible that the chief of radiology at North Arundel is one of the rule violators, despite his vast experience in detecting lung cancer and other tobacco-related diseases in patients who smoke. Is he some sort of nut?

Both hospitals have an obligation to the public to provide a smoke-free environment and not permit their employees to smoke. Would those hospitals allow any of their workers to be addicted to cocaine or heroin? The drug nicotine present in tobacco smokeis said to be even more addictive than heroin and probably as damaging to the human body. Possibly more so.

As someone whose family has been devastated by lung cancer and emphysema, I am deeply concernedthat our two hospitals failed to participate in the Great American Smokeout and that neither has a firm policy of not employing persons who smoke. I have to wonder just why the two institutions did not feelcompelled to be a leader in the smokeout program.

TEND DONATED TREES

From: Conrad Bladey

North Linthicum

Can trees be loved ones? When you plant a tree for a loved one, it costs much more than the $12 for which they are sold by the state.

Young trees are dependent on the planters for food, water and clothing, just like a child or family member. Trees need to be fertilized and provided with a good supply of water and clothed with a protective layer of mulch.

Last year in Overlook Park, ambitious residents planted a number of trees.They neglected them and the county also did not water them. They died unloved and uncared for. As with adopted children, should not the state check to see if the trees they sell will be cared for? It is a pity that residents with good intentions fail to take up their responsibilities or expect a financially strapped county to do so for them.

A tree staked out to dry to death is not a pleasant sight. It is in fact a cruelty. I hope that the residents who planted trees in Overlook Park recently will not cast out these loved ones. There is no mystery in a tree's cruel death from drought and lack of care. However,when you donate some of your water bill, some fertilizer and some mulch, they will mysteriously grow into great beauties.

If you can not provide such care, and it is understandable that some seniors can not, then perhaps it would be more humane and just as effective to donate a plaque or bench. However, they may be a bit more costly.

Perhaps also one might adopt an existing tree or county garden to care for. We all know that our beautiful parks need help in maintenance. But whatever you donate, help see that it is cared for. Then we will all benefit.

BLAME FALLS ON CARDIN

From: Janie Ballard

Glen Burnie

With the state's redrawing of the congressional lines now completed, as a Democrat residing in Anne Arundel County, I am dismayed byone member of the state's congressional delegation who played an active role in the plan that now divides Anne Arundel County in four congressional districts.

The resulting redistricting plan that was advocated by Rep. Ben Cardin (D-3) certainly does not put the best interests of Anne Arundel County or the state of Maryland, for that matter, in mind. Anne Arundel is now in four districts and lacking a unified voice in Washington. As well, the new districts are not good for the long-range interests of the Democratic Party in Maryland.

The question that immediately comes to my mind is how Mr. Cardin could sponsor a plan at the expense of a fellow Democratic colleague, Rep. TomMcMillen. This plan effectively protects the seats of Republican representatives Helen Bentley and Wayne Gilchrest. Mr. McMillen is now in a district where a majority of the voters are on the Eastern Shore and tend to vote Republican. Mr. Cardin's plan, in effect, boosted his own re-election at the expense of Mr. McMillen.

What has transpired here is a clear indication of what is wrong with the redistricting process. This is: incumbents unfairly protecting themselves at the expense of the long-term interests of the state. Judging from the waythis process has unfolded, Mr. Cardin shoulders a lot of the blame for this occurring.

REDO REDISTRICTING

From: Marge Huggins

Glen Burnie

At long last, the tumultuous redistricting has come to a completion. However, by the way the new congressional districts look, Ibelieve the General Assembly needs to once again go back to the drawing board. The way Anne Arundel has come out of this process leaves the county without a unified voice in Washington to express its issuesand concerns.

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