Living television-free easier said than doneThank you for...

LETTERS

March 16, 1998

Living television-free easier said than done

Thank you for giving front-page attention March 1 to choosing to live without television ("What's on TV? Who cares?").

The article covered most of the reasons people choose to live TV-free: its constant stream of sex, violence, obfuscation of morals and authority, commotion, materialistic manipulation, dominating presence in home life, coarse language, gimmickry, etc.

The small number of good programs are crowded out by simple-minded programming and commercials.

Additional reasons to get rid of the box:

Recent reports have determined that TV negatively affects children's cognitive thinking. Children who watch a lot of TV develop passive habits instead of habits that facilitate learning and problem solving.

TV's unrelenting negative portrayal of religion. Despite the fact that 70-plus percent of Americans attend church or synagogue, numerous reports have cataloged TV's bent for undermining and ridiculing religion -- Catholicism being the most frequent target. Families of exceptionally strong faith are also among those who have banished TV from their homes.

But, ridding your home of TV does not guarantee that it will not invade your life. Have you noticed the growing number of businesses that have TVs blaring for customers?

When my bank refused to turn off its commercial TV (playing soap operas) near the teller line, I switched banks.

I have also turned off loud TVs at airport gates and in fabric stores, cafes, clothing stores and restaurants.

Don't be afraid to step forward and do the same.

Laura Graham

Severna Park

Give gift of life by donating organs

I read with great interest the March 10 article about Bobbie di Sabatino's heart transplant ("Hospital friendship and the gift of life").

The article is particularly relevant because of passage by the General Assembly last month of the William H. Amoss Organ and Tissue Donation Act of 1998.

Recently, I had the opportunity, along with one of our Save-A-Heart Foundation board members who is waiting for a heart donation, to visit the Transplant Resource Center of

Maryland Inc.

This is the service organization that provides organ and tissue bank services to Marylanders with the exception of Charles, Montgomery and Prince George's counties. Until this visit, I was unaware that 1,996 patients are waiting for transplants. Sixty need heart donations.

We were both so impressed with the professional way in which transplants are handled that I feel compelled to recommend that Maryland residents consider organ donation as an option and make their decision known to family members.

What a wonderful way to give the gift of life.

Lois Bedell

Reisterstown

The writer is executive director of Save-A-Heart Foundation Inc.

Tort reform column misled readers

The only response necessary to refute Howard A. Janet's March 6 screed, "Consumers are true victims of tort reform," is to point out that the supporters of civil justice reform in Maryland include state Treasurer Richard M. Dixon, many legislative leaders, the city of Baltimore, every county and municipal corporation and every employer in Maryland.

The only opponents are several thousand personal injury lawyers, banded together as the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association, who derive their income from filing more lawsuits.

Maintaining a balanced civil justice system, such as we enjoy in Maryland, would surely hurt the personal injury bar, but it would benefit all other Marylanders.

Paul A. Tiburzi

Baltimore

L The writer is counsel to the Maryland Tort Reform Coalition.

Mountain bikers should pay fair share

It may be "Happy trails for bikers," as your March 6 article put it, but it certainly isn't for anyone else.

I find it laughable when mountain bikers claim to be environmentalists -- it's so demonstrably untrue. Some of them may be, but riding a vehicle in the woods does not make one an environmentalist any more than playing golf outdoors makes one an environmentalist.

Mountain bikers as a whole are the cause of a great deal of damage to our parks and trails.

Just ask state park maintenance workers about unauthorized trail blazing and resurfacing of trails by bikers.

Ask park rangers about the number of hours devoted to rescuing injured or incapacitated bikers.

Ask hikers who have to scramble on narrow trails to get out of the way of hordes of bikes whizzing past.

And ask residents living near state park entrances whose streets are clogged with parked cars on weekends because bikers, after having spent hundreds and even thousands of dollars on mountain bikes, find themselves unable to fork over the very modest admission fee asked by the parks at the gates.

It is time for the state to make bikers pay for their activity, just as recreational boaters, hunters and fishermen pay for theirs.

A yearly license should be required for all bikers who wish to ride on state, county or municipal trails.

Kathleen A. Roso

Arbutus

Pub Date: 3/16/98

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