Cardin did right to vote against 'fast track'We are...

LETTERS

October 26, 1997

Cardin did right to vote against 'fast track'

We are writing to commend Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin's vote in the House Ways and Means Committee against "fast track" negotiating authority for the president on trade agreements. We are very pleased by the questions he is raising about this legislation and his recognition of the need to include enforceable trade, labor, environmental, health and safety protections in any core legislation related to "fast track."

Without these protections, the worst aspects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) experience in the United States and Mexico -- accelerated U.S. job loss, downward competition for lowest global wages, environmental degradation, unrestrained exploitation of natural resources -- will only intensify if the current NAFTA model is expanded to additional countries.

Additionally, since the benefits of NAFTA have not been demonstrated, the question remains: What is the hurry to extend it?

President Clinton has managed to negotiate approximately 20 trade agreements since "fast track" authority expired.

Although it is the job of the administration to negotiate trade agreements, Congress should not abdicate its power to fully debate and amend them if necessary.

For these reasons, we urge Mr. Cardin to continue his strong opposition to "fast track."

Robert Gazior

Lynn Yellott

Leslie K. Lear

Columbia

The writers are with UNITE, the Howard County Friends of Central America and the Caribbean, and Alliance for Democracy, respectively.

Article on horse center wrong, source says

The purpose of this letter is to call your attention to an article which appeared in The Sun in Howard Oct. 3. The article was entitled "Horse center site eyed," by staff writer Dana Hedgpeth.

I returned a telephone call from Ms. Hedgpeth earlier in the week and spent about 30 minutes answering her questions related to a public equestrian facility in Howard County. On at least two occasions, I informed her that I had been asked to serve as a liasion between the county government and numerous equine organizations, and that I had no personal interest in the establishment of such a facility.

When I read the article and was identified as "a University of Maryland livestock economist who is heading the horse-center effort," I was shocked. Based on my conversation with Ms. Hedgpeth, no logical person would have drawn this conclusion or used such a misleading choice of words.

I believe that the press has a right and a responsibility to report on newsworthy issues, and have given numerous interviews to other reporters from The Sun and a host of other publications. Rarely have I been misquoted or characterized in a misleading manner.

However, in this instance I believe that is exactly the case. The ability to maintain neutrality is critical in academia, particularly when attempting to further communications between government units and the public.

Malcolm Commer Jr.

Ellicott City

Pennant or no, Orioles deserved a parade

Yes, the Orioles blew it. Anyone within an earshot of a radio knows that. Four one-run losses.

The Orioles front office also blew it. When offered a parade by the city, someone said "no." The reason? "We don't deserve it. We didn't win the pennant."

The individual who made that decision is not a sportsman. How many coaches and parents have spent time with the boy or girl who made the last out? Each time they stress that winning isn't everything. Yet Orioles' management would have us believe otherwise.

Do they believe that at each game, kids line the railings to get an autograph only from "winners"? No, baseball is a mirror of life. You win some, you lose some. The real tragedy is not that the Orioles lost the pennant, but that Baltimore's fans did not get a chance to celebrate with the third American League team to go "wire to wire," the team with the best 1997 won-lost record in the American League, Baltimore's own "boys of summer."

Jim Coughlin

Ellicott City

High school golfers merit break

As an informed public official, school Superintendent Michael E. Hickey is aware of the worldwide popularity and interest in the centuries-old game of golf.

This interest is evident everywhere you turn and is shared by groups as diverse as preschoolers to grandparents.

Golf has grown tremendously in Howard County, with the addition of several courses and golf course communities, as well as a number of golf-related businesses.

Anyone who has tried to schedule a tee time at any of the local courses knows the popularity of the sport in Howard County.

Golf offers many things. Some say it closely mirrors our lives in that at times it can be deceptively simple and endlessly complicated, frustrating and rewarding.

Golf is a game of rules and etiquete that, as with life, must be followed to play fairly. Golf is a unique activity that families can share and enjoy without age barriers. Golf is also a sport that is not left behind at high school or college, but can be enjoyed throughout a lifetime.

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