National poultry firms missing from bay planThe Jan. 30...

LETTERS

February 07, 1998

National poultry firms missing from bay plan

The Jan. 30 editorial "A plan for saving the bay," about nutrient pollution of the Chesapeake, means addressing an industrial-waste problem -- the roughly 400,000 tons of manure generated annually by the large chicken companies.

Already, Maryland farmers have demonstrated a willingness to work toward a cleaner bay. And taxpayers have proved willing as well. Now the governor is asking both to add more to the efforts to reduce pollution.

Missing is the other party involved, the national poultry companies that include some of the biggest companies of U.S. industry. This industry must step forward and spend some of their vast resources on cleaning up the wastes of their industry.

The "huge concern" of disposing of the companies' manure raised in your editorial begs the question, "Is it really so impossible to have the big companies share in the responsibility for their waste when every other major industry has been asked to do the same?"

Farmers, fishermen and the bay deserve no less special treatment than the big poultry companies. Solving the nutrient-pollution problem will require a commitment from all Marylanders.

Thomas V. Grasso

Annapolis

The writer is Maryland executive director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Questions remain over Coppin deal

After it was reported that Calvin W. Burnett, president of publicly funded Coppin State College, employed then-Sen. Larry Young as a consultant in a no-bid contract at $300 an hour, with no written agreement, Dr. Burnett was questioned about hiring Mr. Young in that way.

He said he did not see anything wrong with doing it.

How can the president of a college have no concept of unethical, if not illegal, behavior?

Dr. Burnett has brought disgrace to this school. He is a terrible example to the students, and he should be removed as president.

I also think that a course in ethics should be required for all middle and high school students, as well as all college students. With the behavior of so many people in positions of power now, young people badly need to be taught ethics.

The Sun performed a valuable service by making the actions of Mr. Young public. He should have done what Richard M. Nixon did, and resigned.

Kay Dellinger

Baltimore

I read with great interest your account of the offer from Coppin State College men's basketball coach Ronald L. "Fang" Mitchell to repay Coppin with $33,500 of his own money. This sum was paid to former Sen. Larry Young by college President Calvin W. Burnett.

Coach Mitchell is obviously a man of principle and honor. However, his money should not be accepted.

Larry Young should make restitution to the school, the students and the taxpayers. By repaying the money, he would be able to use his actions instead of his words to show what he is made of.

Let's see if he can take a hint from Coach Mitchell about how to show what kind of man he is.

Neil B. Cohen

Towson

Thank you, Dr. Kirwan, for your leadership

The citizens of Maryland owe a great debt to William E. Kirwan, the departing president of the University of Maryland, College Park.

As a 1994 graduate of College Park and the student member on the University System of Maryland board of regents, I have seen firsthand the tremendous and inspiring leadership that Dr. Kirwan provided to our state.

His efforts transformed a mediocre campus into one of the most distinguished institutions of higher education in the nation.

As we wish Dr. Kirwan well, citizens should take the time to thank him for his contributions today, and for providing our children a brighter future tomorrow. More important, we owe it to Dr. Kirwan and our future to support higher education in every way possible.

Raj K. Goel

Baltimore

Health-insurance cost hampers small business

The editorial "A new health-care entitlement" (Jan. 25) raises a number of interesting issues about how health care should be paid for. I would like to take issue with a couple of the points.

You contend that the governor's health-care proposal to expand health insurance to children "would provide a disincentive for [businesses] to offer [health] insurance."

In fact, the spiraling cost of health insurance is the biggest disincentive to businesses. In the past 10 years, and especially since the passage of small group health-insurance reform, our small business has seen health insurance premiums rise from $2,700 per year per family to more than $4,800.

The ability of businesses, especially small ones, to provide health insurance for their workers is a rubber band stretched to the breaking point.

Your editorial says you oppose extending free health insurance to people making $35,000 per year. I grant that $35,000 sounds like a lot of money, but if you subtract the cost of health insurance, 14 percent of that hypothetical budget goes out the window. For families earning less, the percentage increases rapidly.

I share your concern about the fate of child health insurance after the five-year limit on the federal funds runs out. I worry that Maryland's economy, while fairly flush now, may not be a cornucopia for public expenditures in 2003.

Right now, however, two-thirds of the governor's program meets your requirement that health care insurance be paid for by industry; two-thirds of this program is funded by a federal 15-cent tax on cigarettes.

Lastly, I urge you to reread your editorial "More and more uninsured" (Nov. 23) for a refresher on the movement of the public away from health insurance, both because of the cost and national employment trends.

This movement does not affect the poor. As you said in that piece, "Middle-income families with children and yearly incomes of $20,000 to $60,000 were more likely to lack health insurance in 1995 than in 1900." Neither you nor I see that trend reversing.

Dr. J. Crossan O'Donovan

Dundalk

Pub Date: 2/07/98

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