Disabilities agency has made strides on management woesThe...

Letters to the Editor

September 01, 1998

Disabilities agency has made strides on management woes

The Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region (formerly known as the Epilepsy Association of Maryland) believes the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) has made tremendous strides in improving the management of the agency and its resources, contrary to the comments presented in "Disabilities agency rated unsatisfactory" (Aug. 13).

We find it interesting and a little disturbing that no comments from senior management of DDA were included in the article. The article presented a skewed perspective, which distorts the challenges DDA is encountering. The management of DDA has shaped a more progressive and efficient agency while making services available to more individuals.

State Sen. Patrick J. Hogan's statement that the developmentally disabled receive more bang for their buck is, in my opinion, accurate. Not only are more individuals involved with services, but also the groundwork has been laid for those individuals who are on the waiting list to receive services.

My 20 years of working with the state of Maryland's developmentally disabled citizens has been a positive one. While not perfect, DDA has done a lot to enhance its management, which in turn better enables us to offer support to individuals with developmental disabilities in Maryland.

Lee Ann Kingham


The writer is executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of the Chesapeake Region.

Sara Engram's language, common-sense are missed

For several weeks I have been looking for a letter to the editor lamenting the loss of Sara Engram's column. I read her final column, describing her desire to travel on, with regret and thought someone would certainly notice her leaving. Her unique combination of sparse language and common-sense, talents too infrequently found in columnists, will be sorely missed.

Douglas Scott Arey


Storm water ponds control pollutants

Tom Horton's article "Improving on storm water ponds" (Aug. 14) is quite misleading. Because Maryland citizens are paying for these ponds directly or indirectly, they deserve a more accurate explanation of storm water management ponds.

In contrast to Mr. Horton and the gentlemen quoted in his article, I have almost two decades of experience in storm water design and inspection. Mr. Horton states that "county and state governments let developers off with merely building thousands upon thousands of those 'storm water' ponds." The truth is that the ponds are almost always the only realistic way to control the discharge rates (flood control) from developments.

Pollutant removal capabilities are added to these ponds when the preferred water quality devices such as infiltration trenches are not feasible. Storm water ponds are expensive to design, construct and acquire the land for. Most developers would choose a less expensive alternative, if one existed.

Pond selection and design have evolved since the late 1980s to lessen adverse impacts to the downstream channel environment. It is probably true that ponds will never completely mitigate the adverse environmental impacts caused by land development. However, the quantity control capabilities of ponds have prevented flood damage on thousands of properties since 1983.

Brad Burns


No sign of sanitation threat seen at farmers' market

Your editorial ("A city tradition and homelessness collide," Aug. 14) is troublesome. For several decades one of the pleasant weekly events during the summer and fall months is the Sunday morning trip to the farmers' market.

Over the years, it has expanded, in both the number of farmers who bring their products and the number of satisfied city residents. It has been a vehicle to renew old acquaintances and to establish a camaraderie with the region's farmers.

Your editorial raises serious doubts about the lack of sanitation at the market. A recent visitor to the Sunday market would have observed more vendors and a growing number of customers. In the decades that I have been a regular attendee, I have never observed any of the problems outlined in the editorial.

There is no question that homelessness is a serious societal problem. If the purpose of the editorial was to raise our consciousness of this problem, it appears to me that this was a poor way to accomplish that result. If The Sun is truly serious about addressing the overall problems of the homeless, it should actively promote programs to relieve the angst. Demeaning the farmers' market was a counterproductive means to achieve this goal.

Joseph S. Kaufman


Collective bargaining flip comes three years too late

As elected representatives of the 400-member Maryland Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, we read with great amusement and anxiety the article in "Sauerbrey reverses position on unions" (Aug. 14).

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