Salary cap another form of collusionWhen is collusion not...

the Forum

September 06, 1994

Salary cap another form of collusion

When is collusion not collusion? When it gets written into a labor agreement.

Years ago, the owners of major league baseball teams were convicted of collusion for secretly agreeing to hold down the salaries of players. This resulted in fines and penalties of about $250 million.

It was an expensive and painful lesson, but what did the owners learn? They learned that collusion was terrific, except that they would have to find a better way to do it.

The proposed "salary cap" is a thinly veiled attempt to legitimize a practice for which the owners already have been convicted. If they can write it into the labor agreement between themselves and the players, however, it won't be illegal.

The word "agreement" is used advisedly -- in the sense of, "do you agree to hand over your wallet or would you rather get shot?"

You can call it collusion or you can call it an "agreement." As Shakespeare noted long ago, "a rose by any other name smells as sweet." If the poet were a sportswriter in the 1990s, he might not have used a rose as his example.

Sig Seidenman

Owings Mills

Kiss it goodbye

With voters considering crime our most outstanding problem, do Republicans have any idea of what their anti-crime bill opposition has done to them?

Is the anti-crime bill a good one?

Most people don't know. Voters want someone to try. They would like representation in government.

Republicans can kiss hope of legislative majorities goodbye, as they say "hello" to National Rifle Association money.

Charles Johnston


Nurses and 'reform'

Hospital administrators are running scared with health care ,, reform looming over their shoulders. They are "downsizing" and "restructuring," catchy buzz words for letting people go.

Unfortunately, when these layoffs occur in hospitals, not only are people out of work, but the care sick people receive is affected.

The Aug. 7 article by Patricia Meisol regarding the nursing shift in hospital care outlined this reality accurately.

She pointed out how RNs are being replaced with less skilled or unlicensed personnel or just eliminated. This seems unacceptable but inevitable in these days of "reform."

How desperate will everyone become to save a few dollars? Obviously, patient care is not the ultimate objective.

Dene Hogge


Affordable living

Lorraine Mirabella's article, "Coming of Age," (Aug. 21) portrayed many of the reasons senior citizens choose to live in continuing care retirement communities.

However, the article's focus on one-bedroom apartments that start at $149,000 might have left readers with the mistaken impression that retirement communities are afford able only to the wealthy.

The two communities in Maryland operated by Senior Campus Living, Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville and Oak Crest Village in Parkville, have one-bedroom apartments with fully refundable entrance deposits that start at $86,000. Studio apartments start at $65,000 and efficiencies start as low as $56,000.

Older people achieve an envious lifestyle, as Ms. Mirabella pointed out, if they are in an active environment where they can live independently and where they have comprehensive health care available.

The rule, of course, is that this retirement option has to be affordable to middle-income seniors. Residents of retirement communities are even better served when they are offered affordable independent living options that allow them to control their costs.

John Erickson


The writer is chairman and chief executive officer of Senior Campus Living Life Care Retirement Communities.

Shovel it

Regarding your editorial with reference to the dirty condition of the city (Aug. 22), I agree with Mayor Kurt Schmoke that a good part of the problem lies with the people who are responsible for garbage collection.

I live in the Otterbein section of the city, and our trash is collected in the parking lot behind the townhouses.

After every Tuesday's and Friday's garbage collection, I go back there and find trash strewn all over the lot. This trash was not there before the "collection."

If something falls out of a trash can while it is being deposited in the truck, it is never, or at least very rarely, picked up by the garbage man. It is just left on the ground, whether it is a piece of paper or an apple core.

Surely the equipment on the truck includes a shovel which can be used to pick up any loose trash.

If everyone helps, including the people responsible for trash collection, the city will indeed be a cleaner more pleasant place in which to live.

Christina Mitchko


Smokers' rights

What is the purpose of a car's ashtray? To collect loose change and candy wrappers?

Lately when I open the paper or listen to the news, smokers are clamoring for their rights. I have had just about enough of this.

For months, while driving to work, I have followed someone who smokes. They flick their ashes out the car window, and when they are finished, their cigarette butts fly out of the window, too.

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