Honor PlaqueIn James Bock's wonderful story about Doris...


April 26, 1992

Honor Plaque

In James Bock's wonderful story about Doris Kahn's efforts to memorialize Thomas Kennedy in the State House, he mentions a memorial to this noble man at his gravesite in Hagerstown.

However, very few people are aware that Kennedy, who took on the legislature in the early 19th century to give Jews a political voice in Maryland, has yet another memorial. It's at Sinai Hospital, right here in Baltimore.

On a flawless slab of pink marble, with etched letters and brass rosettes in each corner, it begins: "In Memory of Thomas Kennedy of Hagerstown, Maryland, 1776-1832, a Christian Gentleman and an earnest advocate of Civil and Religious Liberty."

The plaque notes that Jews were not only forbidden to hold office during that period but could not "seek appointments in the army, navy or practice law."

The inscription ends: "This memorial is erected to his memory by a relative and admirer. B.H.G., Jr."

The large plaque can now be seen on a wall in the waiting room of the admitting department.

So far, I can't determine when the memorial was actually presented to the hospital, or who the proud ancestor was.

I recall seeing a glossy photograph of the plaque in the hospital's files, and would guess it was taken in the 1940s or 1950s, while Sinai Hospital was still located at Monument and Ann streets. The plaque could be much older.

Paul Umansky


4 The writer is public relations manager at Sinai.

From Shad to Sediment Runs

The Pocomoke River was once famous for its herring and shad runs.

A few decades ago one could stand on the banks of the Pocomoke and its tributaries and see schools of herring making their way upstream.

Agricultural ditching and the draining of wetlands have helped destroy what once was a thriving fishery. This continues to be a problem.

Today, during the spawning season, one can see areas such as that along U.S. 50, a short distance east of the river. It is zoned "Business" in preparation for development.

There is no vegetation to hold the loose, sandy soil in place. The Wicomico County Soil Conservation District's heavy equipment deepened ditches to drain the property and expedite runoff into the Pocomoke. Because of agricultural exemptions no storm water management, sediment control or best management practices are needed.

Worcester County recently rezoned to "Business" most of the area along U.S. 50 from Berlin to Ocean City. Fields that previously grew corn and soybeans are being transformed to stores, shops and parking.

Growth pressures in Worcester County continue. Agricultural exemptions give developers of previously farmed land carte blanche to excavate, fill and drain at the expense of downstream flooding, water quality and living resources.

It's no wonder that our rivers and estuaries, once productive, are now silted in and that living resources such as submerged aquatic vegetation, fish and shellfish are literally being buried alive.

Ilia J. Fehrer

Snow Hill

When It Tries

After 10 years of recycling efforts, from a Walbrook glass factory, Cold Spring Lane depot and two local pilot attempts, it was with hope and enthusiasm that we finally drove to the Towson/Parkville drop off center on Lasalle Road between Joppa and Putty Hill roads for the first time.

Each succeeding occasion has been more encouraging. The volunteers are enthusiastic, agreeable, well informed and exceedingly helpful, as they seem to be awaiting our arrival!

The entire process is extremely efficiently managed and one is parked, unloaded and out, carefully directed, in a very few minutes. Every age as well as dogs attend -- it gives one a happy and much needed outlook on what America can do when it tries.

Nancy G. C. Trimble


Angry Taxpayers Respond to Rascovar

When I first read Barry Rascovar's April 19 column on budgets and taxes, I was taken back by its rage and intellectual dishonesty. No one disputes The Sun's right to say what it wants on its editorial pages. But if I were Mr. Rascovar, I would be a bit embarrassed about the mean-spiritedness of this piece.

Why do The Sun's editorials seem to go over the edge any time the issue of new taxes is discussed? Those who oppose tax increases are always portrayed as being less human and as individuals who have crossed the line into insanity. On the other hand, those who think new taxes are a good idea are always pictured as heroes and as citizens to whom we owe our support.

I find it quite disturbing that two basic issues are never discussed:

If more money is the answer, why do we keep paying more and more and more -- yet see nothing get better in our daily lives?

At what point does it simply become impossible for us to pay more?

I do not know in which world Mr. Rascovar lives but I live in a real one. I work 70-80 hours a week to support my family and to keep my five children moving forward in life. It is not an easy go.

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