Good government comes only through public involvementThe...

Letters to the Editor

November 02, 1998

Good government comes only through public involvement

The Sept. 15 primary election in Maryland saw approximately 30 percent of the voting population cast votes. Such faint numbers appeared all over the country. This is an unfortunately low turnout that must be reversed.

We get the kind of government we ask for. If we take an interest in politics only at election time or at no time, we allow individuals into office who care only about improving their own financial and personal situations.

Good government requires us to become familiar with our elected officials and with the duties of their offices. We cannot allow political inexperience and those who promise everything and deliver nothing to run our government. Low voter turnout guarantees politics as usual.

If we join community organizations and learn about the issues and the candidates, we will in time bring good government to the local, state and federal levels. Making politics part of our daily lives, even if just for a few minutes a day, is a sure way to increase voter turnout and make us proud of our elected officials again.

John A. Micklos


Should taxpayers bear cost of Wagner's Point buyout?

I am perplexed at the attention being given to the buyout of residential properties in Wagner's Point. After all, wouldn't such an expenditure be at the taxpayers' expense?

Perhaps the focus should be on businesses in Wagner's Point.

We spend enormous sums of money to maintain regulatory authorities that are supposed to assess businesses, to assure they meet standards for environmental and occupational safety and health. Regulations cover issues related to safety management.

These regulations were promulgated to control the release of toxic, reactive or flammable liquids and gases in processing highly hazardous chemicals. We need not be reminded of what happens when highly hazardous chemicals are not properly controlled.

Incidentally, those regulatory systems are funded by tax dollars. If we buy those houses, are we paying for something twice?

William F. Alcarese


Judge Watts was proudest of his work to help poor

The magnificence of Judge Robert B. Watts' legal career is cataloged in numerous places.

In 1961 he became the first African American to be appointed full time to the bench of the Municipal Court of Baltimore City. In 1968, he was elevated to the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City.

Though he received many awards and accolades during his lifetime, there was one in which he took significant pride: Robert B. Watts Pro Bono Award from the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau, given each year to a person who has made outstanding contributions in serving the poor. He was the first recipient.

Judge Watts was an indefatigable activist, not only in the causes of African Americans but for all those who had experienced the fangs of oppression and discrimination anywhere. Except for his years on the bench, he worked tirelessly for these causes and was well-recognized for these efforts.

He believed in the law as an ordering and modulating force in our civilization and felt that it could influence our lives by giving us guidelines. But he also believed that it had to be administered with compassion, mercy and insight into the intricacies of the human condition, and that it ultimately should be used as a tool to better our lives.

The community is poorer with the loss of Bob Watts. He touched so many lives.

George L. Russell Jr.


Biblical scriptures frown on homosexual conduct

I read with great interest the letter of the Rev. John Parker Manwell that dismissed biblical proscriptions against homosexual behavior ("Don't use perjorative term for equal protection for gays," Oct. 24). I find that his analysis of scripture was incomplete and may not have served well those who genuinely seek to know what God says about homosexuality in the Bible.

In Genesis, it was clearly written that God formed woman to be a helpmate to man -- that man and woman are made for each other. The command to be fruitful and multiply speaks of God's design for human sexuality. The proscription against homosexual behavior found in the book of Leviticus is in consonance with the Genesis-established pattern of heterosexuality.

None of us may in pride condemn another for their sins, but we should not declare acts as good that God has declared to be evil, and we should not be silent as people try to convince us that they know better than God regarding the proper pattern for human sexuality.

David P. Gilmore


Hate-crime laws promote ideology, not safety

Thank you, Gregory Kane, for providing the clearest, most profound column ("Additional hate-crime laws won't protect homosexuals," Oct. 21) on the misguided effort to create hate-crime laws.

They are useless. Why should someone who murders a homosexual be treated any differently than one who murders housewife, businessman, homeless person, college student, child or minister? What nonsense.

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