Danger to ChildrenFor pathetic irony, it is nigh...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 24, 1993

Danger to Children

For pathetic irony, it is nigh impossible to match the front page of The Sun Sept. 18. A left-hand article reports, "Children big winners in health proposals." A right-hand article reports, "Cigarette vending ban overturned."

"All children would be guaranteed a basic program of medical care designed to prevent illness," according to the left article. "Court rejects laws prohibiting machines accessible to children," the right-hand article counters.

Get a grip, folks!

Kids who smoke cigarettes are going to get sick more often than non-smokers; stay sick longer than non-smokers; and die sooner than non-smokers. Three well established facts.

And those who smoke cigarettes are also going to become addicted to other drugs more often than non-smokers do -- after they become addicted to nicotine, a drug that is just as addictive as heroin.

Most of those kids will first get their smokes from vending machines. No one will be prosecuted or fined for selling to nine-years-olds. And thanks to decisions by the United States Supreme Court, the companies that sell them those cigarettes will not pay a penny in liability.

This year alone, over 400,000 Americans will die of cigarette-related illness, which also will account for about a third of all health care costs.

Maternal cigarette smoking will account for many thousands of under-weight babies and about a quarter of all infant deaths. Facts that are neither new nor unknown.

And our president wants a program designed to prevent illness? Lotsa luck!

If the government cannot -- or will not -- protect children from hazards as obvious as cigarettes, how can it possibly hope to protect them from pornography, handguns and cocaine?

Surely, on the stage, this would all pass for farce; as it might in real life, were the consequences not quite so tragic

Franklin T. Evans, M.D.

Baltimore

Unduly Negative

Having had the pleasure and the experience of working on one of the few mega-developments currently under way in the United States, I was disheartened to read the Sept. 10 article by Edward Gunts and James Bock. The positive impact of a HarborView development on a city such as Baltimore almost lacks quantification.

Not only does HarborView continue the renaissance of Baltimore (started in the '70s) but it moves Baltimore into the 21st century. It furthers the trend that Baltimore is a viable residential alternative and complements the many existing city amenities and activities. Notwithstanding the latter, the tax base and city infrastructure will be increased throughout construction and as each residence is occupied.

Instead of embracing the developer of HarborView and applauding its courage and perseverance in these less than ideal economic climes, the article seems to follow the theme so prevalent over the past several years. That theme has successfully placed the final nail in the coffin of previous Inner Harbor condominium buildings.

When will we wake up and recognize the benefit of our experience that allows us to progress rather than remain static?

Edward B. Vinson

Baltimore

The writer is vice president of Equity Marketing Services, Inc.

Doesn't Compute

There are times when one and one do not necessarily make two. Writer Larry Magner in his letter (Sept. 16) shows excellent mathematical logic as to how each baseball team's last 10 games won/lost totals should come out even. However, he shows little knowledge of the real baseball world.

Suppose team A played team B on day one and won the game. the subsequent 10 days, because of an off day, team A played nine more games and lost them all.

Team B, however, did not have an off day and played 10 more games against opponents other than team A in those same 10 days and won them all.

The win from day one would show up in the listing of Team A's last 10 games and its record would be 1-9, but the loss on day one would not be counted in Team B's last 10 games and its record would be 10-0.

Jerry Dean

Relay

Too Demanding

In The Sun's Maryland section Sept. 8 I was amazed to find out that city housing authority workers are picketing for a pay increase.

I must admit that a 2 percent increase is not enough.

I live and work in Baltimore City, and in order to keep my job my pay decreased 7 percent during the past year.

I do not have time to picket because I have to work longer just to pay taxes and city employees' salaries.

Housing director Daniel Henson must continue to stay the present course.

C. D. Wilmer

Baltimore

Hunting and Fishing

Few will argue against the idea that hunting and fishing have been valued as American traditions. But increasingly today, there are those who argue that these sports have outlived their relevance and should go the way of the dinosaur and the horse and buggy.

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