You're not a friend of Friends of Harford in debate over...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 09, 1998

You're not a friend of Friends of Harford in debate over 0) growth

In reference to your editorial "Straitjacket for Harford" (Sept. 29), evidently you have little desire to support folks who are opposed to a historical trend that began in the 1950s and has continued for too many years.

Americans have always been extremely wasteful of their resources -- we've cleared land by burning square miles of forests. But the modern trend, building massive new communities and commercial properties in rural America, is the most damaging of all. Forests recover from fires, but when we pave roads and parking lots and erect structures of all kinds on virgin land, we have destroyed its ability to produce food and enhance our air and water quality forever.

I applaud the Friends of Harford County for, at least, trying to prevent the explosive growth that has already happened in other counties, but I could not discern any encouragement or friendly advice in your comments. Indeed, your editorial gave me the impression that you were taking them to the woodshed.

You stated that Baltimore and Howard counties have tried to slow their influx of new inhabitants by creating moratoriums on construction, but they failed because "growth pangs persisted." They failed because none of our leaders have the foresight and gumption to halt the destructive loss of city populations to surrounding rural areas.

Walter C. Becker

Pasadena

Somebody ought to pay for hedge fund disaster

The Sun quotes Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan: "I know of no set of supervisory actions we [government] can take that will prevent them from making dumb mistakes."

Mr. Greenspan was referring to the Fed getting involved in the bailout of financial institutions in the wake of bad loans by them to cover investments in so-called hedge funds.

Dumb mistakes in Japan have resulted in the individual committing hara-kiri. In the rest of the world, dumb mistakes of the magnitude involved -- $3.6 billion -- almost always result in people getting fired.

The Fed had to do what it had to do to maintain stability in the financial world. However, somebody or some bodies should not escape some form of retribution -- termination or demotion -- for the dumb mistake.

Richard L. Lelonek

Baltimore

New Jersey gives preview of a Sauerbrey tax cut

Maryland residents wondering about the future under an Ellen Sauerbrey administration should examine Christine Todd Whitman's financial shell game in New Jersey.

In 1997, Ms. Whitman managed to get the New Jersey legislature pass a nearly $3 billion bond issue, the largest state bond issue in the history of the United States, to cover state budget shortfalls this year and next year. It will take New Jersey 30 years to pay back the issue, and it lowered the state's credit rating (which is bad for business).

New Jersey may also have to increase casino taxes and impose gas and water taxes, a mortgage levy, higher real estate taxes on new homes and even garbage disposal taxes to pay for her 30 percent tax cut of 1993.

Property taxes have escalated as counties and municipalities sought to make up for the state budget cuts.

It's no surprise that Ms. Whitman has endorsed Ms. Sauerbrey's candidacy. It should also be obvious that electing Ms. Sauerbrey as governor would lead Maryland toward the same dire circumstances. Do we want New Jersey's fate as our future?

James G. Acker

Elkridge

Washington's slaveholding also was act of immorality

Keeping Bill Clinton president would no more dishonor this nation than any of the other questionable acts committed by presidents.

While this great nation of ours has been forged by great men, this does not mean that they were honorable. While George Washington is known as the father of our country because of his leadership and the fact that he was our first president, he was also a slaveholder.

These slaves of Washington no more wanted to be slave than you or I. Slavery is immoral, dehumanizing and unethical, the very acts that President Clinton is being accused of. While I do have a problem with President Clinton doing such a stupid thing it only serves to show that we all are human.

S. D. Camper

Baltimore

Those who leaked report ought to be punished

Your Oct. 4 article on information leaks on the White House scandal ("Judge seeks probe into possible leaks by Starr's office") raises an issue that I think needs addressing. My experience is that no information is leaked to the public if the persons involved don't want it to happen.

For more than 31 years I worked as a communications specialist in the defense industry, handling classified information almost daily, as did my colleagues. I found that any secret information will remain secret as long as the personnel involved are dedicated to keeping it that way, as we were. It's not a big deal.

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