Agnew No RogueYou were not a bit funny calling the...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 10, 1993

Agnew No Rogue

You were not a bit funny calling the portraits of Maryland's former governors "rogues."

You pointedly mentioned Spiro Agnew as "another ex-governor many feel is a rogue." Perhaps you do. We, and many other Marylanders, besides his friends across the country and around the world, do not agree with you.

Spiro Agnew is a fine, honorable man who has contributed much to our country; he served with distinction in World War II, later earned his law degree, was elected county executive of Baltimore County and in 1966 was elected governor of Maryland.

After two years, he resigned to become vice president of the United States in 1968. Public figures are open to criticism, as you know, so in 1973, Vice President Agnew was accused of a crime but "never convicted of anything" as you mentioned in your editorial.

Mr. Agnew has paid off his debts and now should be forgiven. Did he hurt you in any way? He surely was hurt.

Since he resigned as vice president 20 years ago he has quietly worked to build a new life for himself and his beloved wife of 51 years.

As you stated in your editorial, "Governor Agnew's portrait deserves to be in its proper place in the Governor's Reception Room of the State House and a marble bust of him is scheduled to be placed in the United States Capitol."

This is the way it should be: We all should revere this fine man -- not roast him; he is not a rogue.

J. Emmett Queen

Lillian B. Queen

Timonium

License Beggars

Your Oct. 27 editorial, "Change for Panhandlers," outlines the problem perfectly:

". . .Many are drug or alcohol addicts who spend the money they receive to feed their addiction or [are] pure scam artists who have found panhandling to be profitable. . . . While many beggars may ask for money for legitimate needs, many others do not."

I live in Mt. Vernon and have a business in Fells Point, two hotbeds of panhandling. It is an uncommon day when I don't have a request for assistance.

Over the course of time, these myriad requests have inured me to beggary.

I now become angry when I shake my head in denial, or say no, to reject a request and the beggar says "Thank you." I have begun to respond, "You're welcome!" Sorry to say, but it appears that being beggared constantly has begun to affect my civility and compassion.

Two Thanksgiving mornings ago I happened by the Maryland Club's dumpster near my house. A kindly looking old man was going through it, and he asked me for assistance, and I said no.

A minute later I thought, "My God, it's Thanksgiving Day." I went back to look for him to give him some money, but he was gone.

The memory of that kindly looking old man sifting through the Maryland Club's dumpster on Thanksgiving morning and my rejection of his request stays with me. The alcoholics and drug addicts had hardened me against giving and made me reject what I am sure was a legitimate request for alms.

A licensing scheme could separate out the addicts and scam artists, from worthy alms seekers. A picture ID license could be issued by one of the welfare agencies, contingent upon the results of drug testing and a criminal background report.

The licenses could be color-coded and renewed quarterly or semi-annually, after updated drug testing and criminal checks. The IDs could be made big enough for motorists to scrutinize at a safe distance.

Historically, licensing has been used to keep undesirables out of areas with problem potential: casinos, medical care, and taverns come readily to mind, to name just a few areas.

We should consider adopting licensing regulations for beggars.

Edwin P. Mampe

Baltimore

Neil Solomon

Dr. Neil Solomon has been sadly victimized by a pseudo-legal process, the media and the state Board of Physician Quality Assurance.

He has been accused, slandered and hung out to dry by eight women whose claims, not made under oath, were printed by the media.

The board seized upon the "evidence" to conduct its own kangaroo court. The chairman of the board claims that its investigations consisted of interviews of the eight women only. Dr. Solomon was not interviewed. He could offer no claims of his own facts.

The chairman claims that ". . . the evidence rapidly became overwhelming and very credible" and that there was nothing to be gained by eliciting Dr. Solomon's side of the story. Thus we are led to believe that one side of a disturbing story became "fact" for the board and the media.

Whatever happened to due process? I thought that every American (even non-citizens) has a right to due process in our judicial system.

Even an accused murderer caught with a smoking gun has a right to be heard as part of due process. Why does the board have a right to "judge and hang" a physician using a process very different from the judicial one?

It seems that Dr. Solomon has been forced to admit to acts for which he had no recourse to present his own case. The media participated in presenting the accusers' and the board's positions without highlighting the unfairness of the process.

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