Too many people, too little help
This session of Congress will bring President Bush another opportunity to reverse his administration's opposition to multilateral international family planning programs. The 1992 Foreign Assistance Bill contains a compromise restoring the U.S. contribution to the United Nations Population Fund, the major multilateral supporter of family planning programs throughout the poorest parts of the world.
Developed by Republican leaders, the compromise stipulates that the U.S. contribution to the fund could be used only for the purchase of contraceptives. Furthermore, approval of the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations would be required on a case-by-case basis before any U.S. funds could be used. This compromise provides the president with personal hands-on assurance that no abortion assistance is provided.
While the Bush administration maintains that population growth is a "neutral phenomenon," the world increased by 95 million people last year, the largest annual increase ever, with 96 percent of this growth occurring in the world's poorest countries. The current world population is 5.4 billion, with more than 3 billion young people entering their reproductive years in the next generation.
Meanwhile, while short-term demands for natural resources increase in the poorest countries, human suffering is escalating and environmental protection policies are jeopardized throughout the world as clean air, arable land and potable water become increasingly scarce.
The writer is president of the the Population Institute in Washington.
SOS for 911
Concerning Roger Twigg's Feb. 3 story, "No emergency," it is obvious that the reporter did not follow through on his investigation.
I am a city resident living across the street from a public elementary school. In the past 20 years I have had to call the police on several occasions, mostly for minor reasons like 3 a.m. basketball games and beer drinking. In the past, neighborhood residents called the Northeastern police station with their complaints. Recently, however, when I called Northeastern to complain about a car parked in front of my driveway which prevented my leaving for work, I was told I had to use the 911 emergency number.
I told the desk sergeant I did not want to tie up a 911 line with a
neighborhood nuisance call. He refused to take my complaint, stating that all calls must go through 911 in order to broadcast the complaint to the radio cars. When I asked to speak to his supervisor, he hung up on me!
This is another terrible waste of taxpayer money. Why should people be forced to use 911 to report disturbances of the peace or abandoned cars? Has anyone noticed that 911 now emits a busy signal or you are put on hold for a few life-or-death seconds? Could this be the result of all the calls going through 911?
Mr. Twigg should report all the facts instead of twisting his story to make it look like the public is abusing the 911 emergency system.
As an avid outdoorsman, I have enjoyed reading the column on outdoors by Bill Burton. I was dismayed to learn of his recent retirement. I have also been dismayed at the current void created by his departure.
Bill Burton's work was more than just reporting "outdoor calendars" or "catch totals." His columns also contained the human interest story. I often found his writing both informative and thought-provoking. On one day he would heap praise on the Department of Natural Resources, then blast it the next day if he deemed it necessary. He gave us insight into the "rebirth" of the Potomac, problems in the Susquehanna and the struggle of the striped bass. He also touched on the personal background of many of his hunting or fishing partners, as well as history surrounding various Maryland communities.
Yes, Bill Burton will be missed. I hope he can be coached out of retirement on occasion and share his experiences with us in the future.
cott A. Sewell
As I observe the Maryland General Assembly, I am also searching for someone with moral and ethical principles, and I am disappointed. As I pan these perfidious harbingers of misery, the panoramic view is one of total disregard for constituents.
One of the potential sales taxes targeted for consideration is funeral services! The vulturous lot of legislators has now reached a new low in human degradation.
Kelton Carl Ostrander