Big SpendingIn reference to the Dec. 15 article about...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 15, 1993

Big Spending

In reference to the Dec. 15 article about state Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein's choice between pouring $320 to $350 million in bonds down the bottomless pit of schools or into "natural areas and parkland": It doesn't seem like a real choice to me. Both are unnecessary.

What has happened to the good steward we had for years who always came up with a surplus at the end of the year? Was it Gov. William Donald Schaefer who caused his change?

Instead of buying more useless land, state lands should be privatized. That way money is taken in instead of being paid out in interest.

Common sense should prevail, not the desires of dubious special interest groups.

Margaret Resh Tinkler

Reisterstown

Family Court

I applaud "Family Court" (editorial, Jan. 1), supporting a recommendation that Maryland have a separate court to handle domestic and juvenile cases.

This is an issue with a significant impact on every citizen of Maryland. As you state, the current system gives families "short shrift in court." There are a couple of reasons for this that may not be immediately obvious to the casual observer.

One, the current integrated court system is loaded with judges who are either disinterested in or openly hostile to family disputes. The least that Gov. William Donald Schaefer -- who appointed many of these anti-family judges -- should do is to support creation of a separate court for domestic matters with judges committed to justice for families.

Two, while many attorneys in Maryland have high moral standards, unfortunately family law, as it is now practiced in Maryland, tends to attract attorneys of questionable character and integrity.

A founding principle of a new family court must be that its judges will insist that attorneys practicing before them exhibit only the highest moral and ethical standards. This court should be empowered to immediately disbar from practice any attorney who raises a patently false issue involving a family.

In summary, creation of a court with judges and attorneys committed to justice for families would result in a major improvement in the welfare of every person in the state of Maryland. Hopefully The Sun will continue its support and encouragement of this important initiative.

Paul Streckfus

Pasadena

Back Yard News

Please! Not an editorial about Towson's business district made over. Is this a result of the new Baltimore County emphasis on my edition of The Sun, or could Towson Commons' development have wider implications than I would have imagined?

I read The Sun for its Baltimore perspective on the world, not for a inner-directed view of my own back yard. Perhaps I will have to adopt The Washington Post, which recently documented the nationwide trend to suburbanization of many newspapers.

My advice to you is resist the trend. Keep The Sun on a broader base with an editorial staff focused on helping us to evaluate our place in the world, not on our local county seat.

Joy G. Wheeler

Towson

Chemistry

Sara Engram's column Jan. 3, "Tree-Hugger's Dream," was right on target: the discovery and recent approval of the new anti-cancer drug taxol from the Pacific yew is a clear illustration of our need to protect ecosystems in all their diversity.

Yet the discovery reveals a dilemma. The drug's success threatens the survival of the trees, as midnight raiders fell protected trees to obtain the valuable active bark.

But there is hope. Chemists in drug companies, national laboratories and universities are developing a variety of different ways to synthesize taxol from cheap common materials, ensuring a long-term supply of taxol and saving the Pacific yew to participate in yet another discovery in the future.

Chemical research and development is essential to the future of mankind, from minimizing pollution to maximizing crop yield, from disease diagnosis to cure.

Unfortunately, the University of Maryland board of regents seems to be unaware of the importance of chemistry, for they voted to cancel four of the seven undergraduate chemistry programs in the system, all of those on campuses that emphasize teaching; this action could reduce the number of chemists that UMS produces by a third. Such an ill-considered move can only hurt Maryland's ability to participate fully in the increasingly technical world of the 21st century.

Linda M. Sweeting

Baltimore

Children's Need

Roger Simon's commentary on the "Home Alone" couple, David and Sharon Schoo, is illuminating in his lack of understanding of proper child care. He appears to believe that abandoning children isn't bad so long as they don't get hurt.

Unfortunately, his completely inadequate perception of appropriate care is shared by many, and is the reason so many children get hurt.

Children are not able to care for themselves and it's not okay to leave them alone. Proper care-taking requires constant supervision, monitoring and follow-up. Proper supervision is not possible if parents fly off to Acapulco.

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