Bigwig puts child first: Film at 11Let me see if I have...

Letters

March 16, 1997

Bigwig puts child first: Film at 11

Let me see if I have this right: You run a major article trumpeting the fact that Bill Galston has cut back on some of his professional obligations so he can spend more time with his 12-year-old son Ezra ("The most important domestic policy," March 2).

Were you folks aware that every year tens of thousands of professional women (and some men) put their careers entirely on hold to care for their children full-time?

What is so newsworthy about Mr. Galston's move? Your description of his current employment and undertakings suggests that he is engaged in activities away from his home and family many more hours per week than the average employed parent.

By the way, I found it interesting that nowhere in the article was there any mention of the individual(s) who have been providing the day-to-day care of Ezra for the past 12 years.

Apparently that aspect of this family's life was not newsworthy.

Nancy L. Haslinger

Columbia

Rappaport dwells on positive in sports

Usually people only write to complain, but The Sun's Howard sports coverage has been so excellent for so long that I feel kudos are in order.

Stan Rappaport does a superb job. He attends the girls games, not just the major ones. Not only does he know the girls, but he knows something about sports.

Most importantly, he dwells on the positive, spells their names correctly and reports accurately.

Lou Berman

Columbia

The writer is the father of two county high school athletes.

License cats in Howard? It's not a crazy idea

I am sure some of your readers read about the proposal to license cats and may have wondered why. Animal Advocates of Howard County initiated the idea of licensing cats for several reasons: Cat licensing will benefit the general public and cats as well.

The public benefits in several ways: First, we can better protect ourselves from the threat of rabies.

Although we have a law that requires that cats be vaccinated against rabies, this law has virtually been unenforceable. Proof of inoculation has never been required. By licensing cats, we can obtain evidence that cats have indeed been vaccinated. And because cats are more likely than dogs to roam, they are also more likely to come into contact with rabid wildlife.

Second, cats breed prolifically. All too often, when people are faced with litter after litter of kittens, they abandon them in public places.

Feral cat colonies arise from those situations. There are many such colonies in the county. These stray cats suffer horrible lives and painful deaths. By licensing cats and giving owners of neutered cats a lower licensing fee, we will be providing an additional incentive to neuter their cats.

Third, when not altered, cats cause a nuisance to neighbors and create a safety hazard for motorists. Many more cats than dogs are killed by autos. Fourth, cat overpopulation is costly to the taxpayer. An estimated $100 per animal is spent capturing, holding, feeding, providing veterinary care for, attempting to find adopters for or killing unwanted pets. A disproportionate share of these expenses is being spend on cats, since many more cats than dogs wind up at Animal Control.

In 1995, 1,288 dogs and 1,953 cat came into the facility. Currently, only dog owners pay license fees. This is unreasonable when our shelter receives 32 percent more cats, cats are euthanized 65 percent more often, and 86 percent more are tested for rabies.

Cat licensing will reduce these costs. After implementing cat licensing in Los Angeles, that community experienced a 21 percent drop in cat impoundments.

When cats wear a license, strays can be taken home rather than to the shelter. This saves the county money. Cat licensing can be implemented at no additional expense to the taxpayer.

Cats will benefit by licensing, too. More strays will be returned to their owners. The Humane Society of the United States states that most cats who wind up at a shelter never make it out alive.

Animal Advocates of Howard County fully supports cat licensing. We want to thank council members Darrel Drown and Mary Lorsung for co-sponsoring this bill. We believe that cat licensing offers a humane and responsible solution to a serious community problem.

The neighboring counties of Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Prince George's have experienced great benefits from cat licensing for several years. Let's do the right thing for Howard countians and for the cats who depend on us for protection. Let's license cats.

Martha E. Gagnon

Ellicott City

The writer is president of Animal Advocates of Howard County.

Defending Dr. Reim in case of patient's death

Now that Stuart M. Salsbury, lawyer for the plaintiffs in a medical malpractice suit filed against me, has violated the conventional code of confidentiality by talking with a reporter, I feel free myself to speak about the case. The story in question ran Feb. 18 in The Sun in Howard under the headline "$1 million settlement made in '92 death of woman, 29."

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