Emissions test crucial to environmentAs people who have...


March 26, 1997

Emissions test crucial to environment

As people who have had cars tested on the new dynomometer and who would like Maryland's children to be able to breathe clean air, we were dismayed by recent legislative actions to delay the important Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program.

We have pushed utilities, industries and auto manufacturers to clean up the air pollution that their companies create; we will continue to do so. But we must also make sure car owners are doing their part to maintain their cars properly. Not only does proper maintenance help clean the air, it helps cars last longer and get better gas mileage.

The new emissions inspection program is the only way we can make sure cars are still operating as cleanly as possible. The Maryland General Assembly must stop putting cars ahead of kids' health. The 89,000 Maryland children with asthma are depending on it.

Daniel Pontious

Dru Schmidt-Perkins


Mr. Pontious is executive director of the Maryland Public Interest Research Group. Ms. Schmidt-Perkins is Maryland director of Clean Water Action.

U.S. marshal Udoff won many friends

Frank Udoff, a former United States marshal for Maryland and long active in federal law enforcement activities, died on March 17.

Mr. Udoff's long career as a grand jury foreman during a major police investigation, his service as a State Department courier in the Middle East, his colorful years of service in the federal courts and his duty as a court administrator on the Eastern Shore won him many friends for his loyality and integrity.

Theodore W. Hendricks


HMO puts medical concerns uppermost

Your March 20 editorial, ''Curbing the power of of the HMOs," said that medical decisions are made by ''bean-counters'' more concerned with the insurer's bottom line.

I have been a member of the largest HMO in the area (MDIPA) since it started. I have never had anyone ever call and ask me to do something that could be harmful to one of my patients.

On the contrary, I have had traditional plans call when I have had a critically ill patient in the hospital, after only one day, wanting to know when I was going to discharge the patient. This has never been the case with the HMO patients.

In fact, once the HMO called and asked if I wanted to transfer one critically ill patient to a different hospital where the care might be more comprehensive. This never happened to me in over 25 years of practice from the so-called traditional plans.

I am not writing to defend everything about HMOs as there are certainly problems with any type of insurance plan from a doctor's perspective. I am just trying to clarify a common misconception about HMOs.

Benjamin Avrunin, M.D.


Chain gangs make sense for criminals

In response to the March 19 article, ''County's chain-gang law assailed,'' I would like to commend Queen Anne's County Commissioner Mike Zimmer for taking a step to prevent crime by bringing back the ''chain gangs.''

I believe this to be a great punishment for criminals who otherwise would be sitting in jail doing nothing. This is a great way for them to give back something to the community that they violated.

William H. Woodring


Spring brings more than weather change

Soon the chills of winter will be a memory to all of us.

No matter what life holds in store for us humans, spring finally arrives, flowers lift their beautiful heads, grass grows green, trees burst forth with lovely leaves, children laugh and play outdoors and, suddenly, living seems more worthwhile and hearts have more hope and joy.

Winter, spring, summer or fall -- there's a change of mood and feelings, and a spirit to cling to that life will take on a new meaning as the days pass.

God and Mother Nature (is there a Father Nature?) give us a kind of a beauty no matter what season. There is always a reason for hope and faith.

Rae Miller Heneson


Pub Date: 3/26/97

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