Getting ToughIn a June 9 commentary in The Sun, Jonathan...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 22, 1993

Getting Tough

In a June 9 commentary in The Sun, Jonathan R. Foley expressed his frustration with illegal dumping of trash, noting that community efforts to clean up these dump sites are commonly thwarted by new piles of trash discovered within weeks or even days of a clean-up.

He quite accurately stated that "stiffer penalties are the first step to a strong and effective deterrent to dumping."

The attorney general's office (with the support of numerous citizen groups, law enforcement and regulatory agencies and members of the legislature) was successful in obtaining these much-needed increased penalties during the last legislative session.

The new law goes into effect Oct. 1 and provides for penalties of up to $25,000 in fines and a possible five-year jail sentence. In addition, the defendant can be ordered to clean up the dump site.

Furthermore, the fines collected are returned to the jurisdiction in which the violation occurred, to be used for education and enforcement programs related to solid waste issues.

The attorney general's office has an environmental crimes unit which will be prosecuting violators under this new law. We would appreciate any help or comments from the Friends of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park.

Many of the local state's attorneys' offices have stated their support for increased enforcement activity and will be joining our efforts to stop illegal dumping in our communities.

J. Joseph Curran Jr.

Baltimore

The writer is Maryland's attorney general.

Cause and Effect

David Rusk's June 8 Opinion * Commentary piece about "inelastic" cities really got my attention. Inelastic cities are those confined to their current boundaries and left to deal with the problems of the poor. He says these problems are "high levels of crime, unemployment, dependency, broken families and illegitimacy."

He has cause and effect mixed up. The poor are not a new phenomenon, but the catastrophic levels of their problems are new -- festering over the last 30 years.

What is his solution? It is to consolidate the cities with their surrounding suburbs. In this way the city may "capture" additional revenue, as if money is the cure.

He has illness and symptom mixed up. We have only to look at the money the suburbs and others have already pumped into cities in federal and state aid to see that has not addressed the disease, only the symptoms.

Mr. Rusk thinks big government is better. He says, "Our national myth holds that smaller government is better government." Contradicting himself, he points out New York City in 1898 consolidated with the four surrounding counties, 315 square miles. It is nevertheless one of his inelastic cities. How big must government get to be better?

He recognizes the federal government is bankrupt. At the core of problems at all levels, especially at the federal and city levels, are policies which expanded the scope of government and one's reliance and dependency on it.

Making a New York City of all our cities is not the right medicine. We must somehow rein in the contaminating influences in government, in the media, in our lives.

Individually we must stop supporting a Godless culture, where wrong things bring excessive material rewards; stop the broadening intrusion of government into our lives and our pocketbooks, usurping or overriding our determination about worthwhile charities deserving of our support; begin taking responsibility for ourselves, our families and our community.

Vincent Ciletti

Parkville

President's Needs

In their June 2 commentary, columnists Jack Germond and Julius Witcover referred to the appointment of David Gergen, saying he would be President Clinton's principal adviser.

Those of us who will be adversely affected by Mr. and Mrs. Clinton's initiatives -- especially us senior citizens and the great middle class -- don't think he needs a principal adviser.

What he does need are principles. He needs to keep his campaign pledges as well.

Gil Crandall

Annapolis

Millions of Crosses

During the Memorial Day weekend, I watched with profound sadness television displays of rows upon rows of crosses on three continents, representing a significant segment of the youth of the world over the past several decades.

In the last months of World War I, "the war to end all wars," I entered with determination officers' training camp.

In World War II, "the war to stop the Nazis," I served four years as a relatively senior Army officer.

Korea and Vietnam followed "to stem the spread of tTC communism." Then on to the Cold War and the slow disintegration of communism, happily without much carnage.

Now, with the defeated nations the most prosperous, violence engulfing many parts of the world, streets unsafe, man falls back on love, family, aspiring for the higher values in life -- friends around the table like the Romans of 2,000 years ago.

Have all the wars been worth it? Probably. But I wish we could get an opinion from under those millions of crosses.

Thomas B. Turner

Baltimore

Beef Has a Place on the Plate

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