Ethical HuntingI have been an avid reader of Peter Baker's...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 15, 1992

Ethical Hunting

I have been an avid reader of Peter Baker's outdoors articles in The Sun. The vast majority of his articles have been informative and interesting.

A gentleman wrote to the editor Nov. 8 with regard to his Oct. 25 article about a young novice hunter named Amy Cleaver, who bagged her first moose in Maine from the roadside.

The letter writer, John Woodfield, mentioned that Peter Baker's article was a major plus for anti-hunters. True, this article did not do anything positive for the active hunting sportsmen. I disagree, however, with some of the letter's points.

Most hunters who purchase licenses are sportsmen. There always will be that small number of people who partake in the sport without the sportsman's ethic. There are people who drive the roads and shoot their game, and even people who will go out with spotlight in hand to bag their deer.

For every one of those, there are 10 to 15 honest sportsmen who strive to keep the sport alive in the ethic it is supposed to have.

Your letter writer stated that hunting is no longer a sport. I disagree. To the non-ethical hunter or poacher, it no longer is. Much the same can be said for the person who watches out for the game wardens and snags fish out of season. That is not sport.

It is up to ethical sportsmen to report those who are ruining the sport for the rest us, with the hopes of removing those people from our sport.

What Amy Cleaver did was terribly unethical. She shot a moose from the road. In Maryland and Pennsylvania, this is not only unethical but also illegal.

The practice is also quite unsportsmanlike. By writing this article, Mr. Baker acted in a very unprofessional manner, and did strike a blow to the ethical hunters and the sport.

Ken Alley

Stewartstown, Pa.

No Drugs

I was quite shocked to see that you printed a book review in The Sun Nov. 2 by Kevin Cowherd which began with a disgusting reference to "dropping a tab of methamphetamine."

How could you allow such a thing? We're trying to move away from casual acceptance of drug misuse/abuse; we're trying to teach our kids and ourselves to say "No!" to drugs.

Mr. Cowherd's work should be more carefully scrutinized before accepted for publication. Surely The Sun doesn't wish to promote the attitude that it's OK to take drugs for kicks.

Maureen Harvey

Sykesville

Good Writing, Faulty Logic

As a Baltimore County teacher, I must compliment Barry Rascovar for his column, "Free Ride for Rich Counties."

If I did not know better, I too would be shaking my head saying, "Yeah, this is terrible. Let's cut this out right now!" However, I do know better -- and so should the people and legislators of this state.

Mr. Rascovar's analogy is faulty and his logic flawed.

Mr. Rascovar likens the state's contribution to education through the funding of Social Security and pension expenses to the paying of interest expenses on the 24 homes in one's neighborhood.

In Mr. Rascovar's case there is no return on investment. Does he seriously believe the state receives no return on its minuscule investment in the education of its children? Is not a well-educated citizenry necessary for economic growth in these troubled times?

Mr. Rascovar states, "The situation becomes more alarming for the state as teacher pay rises, as more teachers are added to the rolls and as teachers settle in for long careers."

Again, we have good writing but poor logic. Teacher pay over the last 20 years has not even kept pace with inflation. In fact, in Baltimore County we took a pay decrease last year because of furloughs.

Teachers are added to the rolls for only two reasons: to replace a retiring teacher (which reduces the county's payroll) or to accommodate an increase of students. It should be noted that in Baltimore County the number of teachers has gone down while enrollment has gone up, resulting in some classes having 40 or more students.

As for "long careers," Mr. Rascovar seems to intimate that as veteran teachers get "settled in," they become lazy or inadequate. I think most parents would disagree.

The argument that the poorer counties are less affected by the state's refusal to pay Social Security and pension benefits is equally without merit. I don't know of any county that can "boost teacher pay by 8 or 10 percent a year." That is simply a preposterous statement.

Furthermore, if "they don't have the money to match the kinds of salaries the rich counties offer teachers" now, then how are they going to find the money to offer any kind of competitive salary if they must pay what the state now contributes? I submit that the poorer counties will be even more affected than those with a greater tax base. . .

Everyone realizes that the state of Maryland has grossly mismanaged its economic resources. However, it is folly to think that cuts in education, no matter how indirect, can be enacted without impacting the children of this state directly.

Charles W. St. Clair Jr.

Cockeysville

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