No StatehoodStatehood proposals for Washington, D.C...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 08, 1993

No Statehood

Statehood proposals for Washington, D.C., should be rejected.

Statehood would not solve D.C.'s many problems and no amount of political posturing on the part of statehood supporters will change that fact. In truth, many problems would be intensified, not improved.

Washington does not meet the requirements for statehood. Making such an exception to the historical prerequisites for statehood would risk fundamentally changing our federalist republic. This is a risk that should be avoided.

There are a number of alternatives to statehood. Given the intent of the founding fathers, maintaining the status quo may be the best choice.

Denying Washington statehood does not mean denying its residents a voice in the nation's affairs. The District's residents currently have far more access and influence than the residents of any state. They maintain control over their local affairs, and receive more in federal aid than any other area of the country.

If the status quo is deemed unacceptable, ceding territory back to the state of Maryland is an alternative that should be considered. If representation is truly the issue concerning statehood proponents -- not personal political advancement -- then retrocession should receive their full support.

Retrocession would give the city's residents congressional representation on par with other U.S. cities, while minimizing the damage to the nation's federalist form of government.

Dismantling the federal city and creating the "State of New Columbia" is a serious threat to our federalist heritage and should be rejected. It would seem D.C. Statehood proponents have chosen to ignore the risks and have forgotten that Washington, D.C., is the nation's capital.

D.C. Statehood is a risk the American people do not wish to take. A post-election poll conducted Nov. 3, 1992, by Citizens United found that 62 percent of Americans disapprove of statehood initiatives for D.C.

Richard H. James

Baltimore

Over-Medicating

While the over-medicated elderly is indeed a huge problem, there is also a large portion of this population which is under-medicated or inadequately medicated.

Limited finances, lack of transportation or inability to follow instructions may also cause the elderly to mismanage their medications. Often an elderly person will choose to buy food rather than fill prescriptions, or skip doses to prolong the supply of a medicine.

These desperate actions frequently lead to serious, if not life-threatening, consequences. Suddenly withdrawing or under-dosing certain drugs can lead to heart attack, seizure or diabetic coma.

If you know a person (or patient) on a limited income, refer him or her to your local health or social services department for information on grants available to assist with prescriptions. Physicians should try to prescribe the most affordable drug that will meet the patient's needs -- or offer free samples when possible.

Everyone involved in the care of an elderly person should be aware Henry Rogers there is a fine line between a therapeutic dose and a life-threatening over- or under-dose.

These people need a trusted friend or family member who can be an advocate when facing the ever-intimidating health care system.

Ellen F. Eisenstadt

Owings Mills

Baltimore County Teachers Had No Choice

Mary Maushard's March 11 article -- ''Choices leave teachers in Baltimore Co. angry'' -- might have been more appropriately placed on the editorial page. . . .

The truth of the matter is that the board of education is looking for a way to free itself from the preposterous web which it created.

In fishing for ways to take away money promised contractually to teachers, the board manufactured a compromise which offered a ''salary reduction'' coupled with the closing of schools two days early. These were days provided by the originally published calendar to handle inclement weather closings.

The choice presented by the board was really no choice at all. It was the same as an insane tyrant telling a group of villagers that he was going to cut some fingers off of one of their hands, but he was going to let them choose whether he cut two fingers off the hand they favored or three fingers off the other hand.

When bad weather did force the closing of school, the board elected to take away two days of spring vacation. Families count on having this time to spend vacationing with their children.

When irate parents besieged the board with phone calls, it tried to wiggle out of the sticky mess by blaming the teachers. This smacks of the willful child, who breaks a window and when accused of the act points a finger at other children and says, ''It was them.''

In trying to pick the pockets of its employees once again to manage a financial situation it is appointed to manage, the board has managed to mismanage things in the worse way possible. . . .

All teachers are asking for is to be treated with the respect and dignity their profession deserves.

Is it too much to ask that teachers be given what we have contracted for?

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