End embargo against Iraq and help rebuildHow grateful we...


March 04, 1998

End embargo against Iraq and help rebuild

How grateful we can be for people such as Ellen Barfield, who uncovered the tragedy behind words like sanctions and embargo ("She gives peace a chance," Feb. 16).

If evil always wore the same face, we probably would recognize it for what it is -- an attempt to present itself as good.

In 1996, UNICEF found that 4,500 children were dying each month as a result of malnutrition, lack of medical supplies and public health disasters.

The embargo is hardening the will of the Iraqi people against the United States, not Saddam Hussein. Have we forgotten that after World War II, our country initiated the Marshall Plan to help rebuild the devastated enemy countries, with much better results?

Susan Macfarlane


Support for changes in traffic flow

In response to the editorial "Changing downtown traffic flow" (Feb. 17):

I have been lived on West Lombard Street for eight years. Living on a "commuter thoroughfare" is a nightmare. Trucks and buses rumble and roar. Automobiles race for the suburbs. My neighbors hide inside their homes from the fumes, noise and fear.

City officials, wake up. Bring back quieter, cleaner, safer streets. Neighborhoods will become more stable. Vote yes for the proposed traffic changes.

John M. Compher


New director of fisheries

I congratulate Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Department of Natural Resources Secretary John R. Griffin for their decision to appoint Robert Bachman director of Maryland's Fisheries Service.

I have observed the accomplishments of Dr. Bachman during the 11 years he has served Maryland, first as chief of freshwater fisheries and then as director of fish and wildlife.

As a scientist and avid angler, he understands the perspectives of anglers and fisheries managers.

He has earned the respect of anglers, commercial fishermen and the scientific community.

Calman J. Zamoiski Jr.


Gambling bill raises dilemma

In Del. Howard P. Rawlings' Feb. 21 letter, "Editorial on gambling smacks of double standard," he writes, "I find it strange that Joseph De Francis has been noticeably silent on this issue, especially when he and the horse-racing industry stand to gain tremendously."

I can't speak for Joe De Francis, but as an average horseman, this bill leaves me perched precariously on the edge of a cliff: If I speak out against certain provisions, I will be made to appear greedy and callously cold toward the needs of children's education. If I remain silent and I am seen as supporting this bill, I do a terrible disservice to the horse industry in Maryland.

The last thing the horse industry needs is more competition for the gaming dollar in the form of additional gaming outlets. If people want to build a racetrack in Western Maryland and incorporate slots into their establishment, great. Slots are a means to an end -- and the end is the rejuvenation of live horse racing in Maryland, not casino gambling.

Slots at the tracks, and only at the tracks, will bring in new customers. Some will grow tired or bored with this passive activity and look to where the real action is -- on the racetrack.

Increased purses bring in better horses, the racing becomes more competitive and betting revenues increase.

Ursula Ayd


Inside track on speed-skating

I was disappointed that your Feb. 20 editorial about the Olympics, "If this is Friday, it must be Nagano," used the shopworn and inaccurate comparison between short-track speed-skating and roller derby to suggest that short track should not be in the Olympics.

Without getting into the argument over which sports deserve Olympic status, short track is as pure a sport as running, rowing, cycling or any other form of racing. You cross the line first, you win.

Short-track speed-skating, an important and growing sport in Maryland, merits support, not glib criticism. This state is holding the national championships in 2000.

We have produced four national champions. Maryland is home to three of the nation's elite -- J.P. Shilling of Phoenix, a member of the U.S. World Team and holder of the U.S. record in the 3,000 meters; Alice Choi of Ellicott City, who finished seventh in the junior world championships, the highest-ranking U.S. finisher; and Chris Callis of Sudlersville, a converted in-line skater who is a consistent top finisher in elite events and getting faster every day.

All three learned to speed-skate at Northwest Ice Rink.

But short track is not just about the elite skaters. We also have many purely recreational members.

I hope that in four years, The Sun will be carrying articles about Maryland short-track skaters competing in the Utah Olympics. Meanwhile, we invite your readers to join us and find out what our sport is really all about.

David Kennedy


The writer is vice president of the Maryland Speedskating Association.

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