Speaker's vision, courage make him target for potshots...


May 18, 2000

Speaker's vision, courage make him target for potshots

I read with incredulity Michael Dresser's article about how the home area of Speaker of the House of Delegates Casper R. Taylor Jr. is against him as a result of some difficult decisions Mr. Taylor made in this year's legislative session ("House Speaker Taylor is hit with unprecedented criticism," May 7).

I applaud The Sun's reporter for his diligent work in uncovering the vocal minority that disagrees with some of the speaker's decisions. I'm sure that it took a great deal of interviewing to come up with the negative context that flavored this article.

An elected official will always have those who agree with him or her and those who disagree. But to dig up some minor opposition and call it consensus public opinion is a masterful piece of character assassination.

Maybe someone with less courage could have kept everyone happy, as our area turns into a ghost town. To create the vision to turn the region around, and push for its implementation, requires a man of Mr. Taylor's stature and courage.

I hope The Sun's readers are not so gullible as to believe that this piece of shoddy journalism represents the majority view of our residents. Those who care about the future of our area know much better.

It is only Mr. Taylor's courage in implementing change that sets him up for cheap potshots such as these.

Robin Douglas


Little Orleans racetrack could ruin a way of life

I am a resident of Little Orleans in Allegany County. Our small rural community at the edge of Green Ridge State Forest is under siege by politicians and a developer wishing to build a horse track and off-track betting parlor ("Plans for racetrack stir protest in Little Orleans," April 23).

The project would drain our precious ground water supplies, further endanger a number of rare plant species and totally destroy a way of life that has existed here since the early 1800s.

Do we no longer need a place to retreat to nature?

Is money and development to consume the entire state?

Bill Valentine

Little Orleans

Changing behaviors can be effective way to better health

The news that physicians are missing the signals of alcoholism in their patients is disturbing enough ("Physicians miss alcoholism symptoms," May 11), but it isn't just the doctors who are remiss; it's the payers and the patients, too.

Our recent survey of managed health care directors found that while alcohol and other drug abuse services are the most commonly offered behavioral change benefits provided by health plans, they are the least fully covered and the most often contracted out to private vendors.

Both the managed care industry and the research community know that changing people's behavior is a workable and cost-effective way of improving health.

Studies like ours provide an opportunity for patients and doctors to address behavioral change as a health care issue before too many more signals are missed.

Jessie Gruman

Washington, D.C.

The writer is executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Health.

In Senate race, GOP takes the lead -- in hypocrisy

I find it very ironic that some of the same people who were screaming for President Clinton's head over his marital infidelities are now rallying around Rudy Giuliani in his bid to become the next U.S. Senator from New York.

If nothing else, the Republicans have shown they hold a clear majority in hypocrisy.

William Smith


Another sports millionaire hogs the media's attention

I find it hard to believe that the local media is giving so much coverage to the Ray Lewis fiasco.

Having yet another young, stupid sports millionaire grab the media's attention to this extent is unbelievable. Please spare me: I really don't care.

Instead of "Let Ray Play," it should be "Let Ray Pay."

Dean Garland


Haphazard development undermines quality of life

Baltimore County wants to build a "downtown" right next to the noisy Interstate 795 expressway ("Builders vie for project design," May 12). What a pleasant environment that will be.

Where were county planners when Owings Mills New Town was built less than a mile from this site? Why wasn't a downtown incorporated into that?

This planning (or lack thereof) is very typical of the piecemeal development in northwest Baltimore County that has decreased our quality of life.

David Plaut


Don't award workers' funds to stay-at-home mothers

I am a working mom. I have been working since college. I worked part-time and did consulting work while my daughter was in school.

I think we all know where the funding for Vice President Al Gore's Social Security increase for non-working mothers will come from: the hard work of people like me ("Gore pushes Social Security benefits boost to aid women," April 5).

I do not mind helping persons less fortunate than me. However, in these times, any woman with children who does not have to work has sufficient means. I will not pay for such women to stay home and watch soap operas.

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