Economy was stronger in '92 than '94U.S. Department of...

the Forum

February 07, 1994

Economy was stronger in '92 than '94

U.S. Department of Commerce figures clearly indicate that real Gross Domestic Product growth was significantly better in 1992 than in 1993 and, in fact, 1992 performance is superior to projected figures for 1994.

This completely contradicts the impression created by the press, particularly by The Evening Sun. The picture drawn here clearly indicates that the recovery was well under way, but was halted by Bill Clinton's election, including the added uncertainties and tax increases.

Further, Department of Commerce predictions are for at least one more mediocre year in 1994. One may seriously speculate that 1995 will not improve because the tax increases put in place last year will start to have a larger impact.

How can the press and television news continue to imply that President Clinton is providing a positive influence on the economic health of our country?

Ralph Strong

Glen Burnie

In dire need

Recent events involving the untimely death of one horse and pony on the city's east side indicate a fundamental problem: Where was the Bureau of Animal Control, and why didn't it take charge? According to television and newspaper coverage, the bureau was notified about five starving equines on Dec. 29.

Article 27, Section 67 of the Maryland Code clearly states that an animal control officer may offer assistance to or confiscate on the spot any creature in dire need, whether or not the owner is present.

The horse and ponies were in dire need on Dec. 29. Animal Control, therefore, had authority on that date to offer assistance and/or remove five severely malnourished and neglected animals.

Now there are only three. One can only speculate how many other cruelty complaints have gone by unheeded. When humane officers do not know about or simply choose not to bother enforcing state anti-cruelty statutes, where is there hope?

Kim W. Stallwood


The writer is editor-in-chief, The Animals' Agenda.

AIDS threat

I write to applaud your recent editorial on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new public service announcements aimed at preventing the sexual spread of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases among young adults.

AIDS is a public health emergency that kills an average of 92 Americans a day. In the city of Baltimore, there were 4,661 cases of AIDS reported as of September 1993.

Between 1991 and 1992, heterosexual transmission was the fastest growing transmission category of newly reported AIDS cases nationwide.

We have the knowledge and technology to prevent new infections. It is our duty, as public health officials, to communicate life-saving information to our citizens through all means at our disposal.

Young adults need to know that the surest way to prevent AIDS is to refrain from having sex. That is a message we, as health educators, have a commitment to emphasize.

At the same time, we must be realistic. By age 20, 86 percent of young men and 77 percent of young women report having had intercourse.

The scientific literature tells us that latex condoms, used consistently and correctly, significantly reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Thank you for supporting our effort to disseminate this vital information.

Donna E. Shalala

Washington, D.C.

The writer is secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Snow job

Praise, congratulations and thanks are due George Balog and the Baltimore City Department of Public Works for the fine job they did during the snowstorm and deep freeze.

All main arteries entering and exiting the city were drivable almost immediately after the storm.

The plows, salt trucks, maintenance crews, dispatchers, support personnel and administrators were all working during the storm.

Only a well-coordinated department could have produced the results I witnessed.

Bill Pappas


Hazards of our appointed rounds

In response to R. H. Proctor's letter "Delivery problems" (Jan. 27), most people have no idea how the mail gets into their box. Many think it is magic. Yet just look what the letter carrier has to go through to get to that box:

* Customers with dogs in their yards and boxes on their porches, usually up about 10 steps.

* People with the most mail that also have the smallest box.

* People who insist on parking in front of their mailbox when they know the mailman has to drive up to it.

* People who dig their car out and risk slippery roads to go and pick up their mail but are too lazy to shovel their walks and steps. These are all the same people who complain when rates go up.

For every letter carrier who gets bitten by a dog, for every letter carrier that slips on a step due to ice or snow, for every carrier that slips and falls because he or she has to hurry up because parked vehicles have slowed him down, rates will go up.

If you make access to your box easy and safe for the carrier, you will always get mail. If not, we will not risk our health to get mail to you. If you don't care, it's tough for us to care.

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