Organ DonorsOur family lost my 26-year-old son in...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 15, 1994

Organ Donors

Our family lost my 26-year-old son in September 1986 and my year-old niece in October 1992 to drunk and drugged drivers. Both times, we donated the victim's organs.

Each time we were treated with dignity and with much care. There were no problems, financially or otherwise.

On Nov. 11, 1991, my 25-year-old son received a pancreas/kidney transplant from an unknown organ donor.

He had been ill for many years due to diabetes. This organ donation means no more kidney dialysis, less chance of a heart attack, limb loss, blindness and the chance of coma or worse. The donor gave a fine, good and loving young man a chance at a better future.

Jacqueline Lepley

Glen Burnie

Dollars and Sense

Glenn McNatt takes the common view that all the problems of education stem from the lack of dollars ("A Thorough and Efficient Education," Jan. 8).

His argument has been around for years and, together with the concept of busing and "feel good" learning, still has had no meaningful effect on improving primary education.

Mr. McNatt takes the easy way out. There is no condemnation of people, only the need to increase spending.

It is a shame that The Sun continues to view schooling as a lack of dollars when it is obvious that it is a lack of "sense" by parents.

The dropout and absenteeism rates are not the result of inferior resources. They are the fault of defective parenting.

Mr. McNatt's claim that better education will be needed for all the "high-tech" jobs is absurd. The so-called high-tech jobs are no more than hamburger flippers and people who can slide a credit card through a scanner. The few real jobs will be taken by kids already in the education pipeline who are dedicated to learning.

Some of the quotes he uses are ridiculous. "The growing disparity in education threatens to undermine and destroy not only the democratic concepts of fairness and equal opportunity, but may also create a permanent and isolated caste of undereducated, under-skilled and underemployed citizens."

How prescient. We've been in that situation for more than 20 years. Look at the illiteracy rate for Baltimore.

For taxpayers the solution is simple -- either pay more taxes to continue the chicanery advocated by the likes of Mr. McNatt or, as the thousands who left Baltimore in the last three decades, leave Maryland for a state that has a responsible citizenry and an honest educational system.

I'll take the latter. Enough of my tax money has been wasted in this state.

R. D. Bush

Columbia

Training Pets

I was appalled when I read Gina Spadafori's Jan. 8 pet column suggestion that dog owners utilize armed mousetraps to keep pets off of couches and to prevent puppies from gnawing on socks.

If dog owners want to keep their dogs off the couch, they can simply bar the dog from the living room or purchase comfortable pet bedding. I have successfully used bean bags and cheap, second-hand chairs which I place outside of my living room in areas out of view to which pets quickly grow attached.

Sociable as they are, dogs are very satisfied with their own resting places which they do not have to share.

I have found, by way of trial and error, that "couch crawlers" only get up on furniture for lack of their own comfortable spaces.

As for chewing, I have raised several puppies which rarely, if ever, chose my personal items to eat. I provided my teething pups with several of their own chew toys -- never an old shoe or something "off-limits."

Again, dogs quickly pick up on what is theirs and seem to bask in that glorious light of real ownership.

In order to further protect door frames and furniture (even hampers), I have used Bitter Apple, an awful tasting yet harmless goo which is applied to the tempting objects in order to make the first nibble a quite distasteful experience which appears to linger in the pup's mind.

I have successfully used these methods even on older dogs which had grown accustomed to lounging on human furniture and chewing whatever they wanted. I'm sure that there are other methods which are also successful, but to use any which could potentially harm pets is not only irresponsible but possibly abusive.

Patty Young

Baltimore

Gumshoe Gimbel

I want to know who appointed Michael M. Gimbel, the director of the Baltimore County Office of Substance Abuse, as the new undercover spy to observe and report back to the county executive about the activities at local New Year's Eve parties (The Sun, Jan. 2).

My 35-year-old daughter attended the dance at the Timonium Fairgrounds. When she got home, I asked her if she enjoyed it. She said that she did, but the building was a little cold.

If Gimbel is looking for empty beer containers, he can stand on the corner in front of my house and pick up all of the discarded ones that he wants.

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