City officials are right to agitate for more drug...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 02, 2001

City officials are right to agitate for more drug treatment funds

As was evident at the recent City Council hearing on money for drug and alcohol treatment, city officials are serious about fighting for more treatment dollars ("City Council hears firsthand evidence of need for more drug treatment funds," Dec. 19).

The City Council deserves thanks for highlighting the issue, as do the state delegates who testified. Mayor Martin O'Malley deserves thanks for making the need for treatment dollars a top priority for the upcoming legislative session.

He also deserves recognition, along with city health commissioner Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, for finding funds to keep the 220 "Mayor's Initiative" treatment slots open through the end of the fiscal year.

And while city officials, treatment providers and advocates are asking Gov. Parris N. Glendening to increase funding next year, we thank him for the record-level increase this past year.

Everyone agrees that the $8 million increase in treatment funding for the city this year was not enough. However, it represents a solid foundation on which the governor can build.

Ann Ciekot

Baltimore

The writer is director of advocacy for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency Inc.

Pets given as gifts often end up discarded

The Sun's editorial on pets as gifts for the holiday should be read by one and all ("Take this off your gift list," Dec. 21).

Far too many pets end up discarded or abandoned, especially after the holidays. Animal shelters find themselves overwhelmed by the deluge of unwanted pets after the holidays.

We feed 14 or more cats daily in the Village of Tall Trees in Essex. This colony of cats struggles daily to survive the hunger, cold and the fear of human beings.

As The Sun advised, do not give someone a pet animal, unless the recipient is prepared to offer a lifetime of care.

John Micklos

Carole Micklos

Baltimore

The arts can be part of the solution

Rebecca Yenawine's arts-based after-school program, "Kids on the Hill," demonstrates the strength of combining grassroots service with the arts to forge new and much needed creative outlets for out children ("Rooted in Caring," Dec. 21).

In making herself and the arts accessible to children, Ms. Yenawine is fostering lifelong connections to the gifts of self-exploration, self-expression and communication that goes beyond the more traditional structures emphasized in many learning settings.

As her young graffiti artists show, children will express themselves, with or without access to arts programs. It is up to us give them the means and the vehicles that allow them to challenge themselves in creative, but safe ways.

It is time to confront the long-held notion that the arts operate in isolation.

Ms. Yenawine is an exceptional example, but not an exception. All around the state, artists and arts administrators are partnering with local government, schools and charities to ensure that the arts are part of the solution.

Lynne Nemeth

Ellicott City

The author is interim president of Maryland Citizens for the Arts.

Charges of election fraud must be fully examined

As American University professor Jane Twomey noted, the real story of the Florida presidential election may lie less in the "inefficiency of Florida's voting system" and more in "out-and-out intimidation and fraud" ("One-sided view taints coverage," Dec. 24).

We need to hear more from the media about these charges, now being pursued by civil rights advocates and the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights, before the bizarre 2000 election turns into history.

Sidney Hollander Jr.

Baltimore

A pardon for Pollard would be unpardonable

Israel wants President Clinton to pardon its spy, Jonathan Pollard.

At first, Israel said he wasn't their spy. Then it admitted he was, but claimed he worked for a rogue group in its government and wasn't paid. But he was paid.

Israel has refused to tell us what secrets Pollard gave them, although there is concern in our government that some of these secrets may have found their way to Russia. And Pollard has never expressed remorse for his actions.

It will be a sad day if, as a payback for electoral support, President Clinton pardons Pollard.

Albert L. Cummings

Owings Mills

Work together to keep the criminals behind bars

I would like to offer a plea to all the "gun control nuts" out there. As painful as it is for you to accept, more gun control, at least on the federal level, is dead for the next four years.

Instead, I offer an olive branch. Why not with us "gun owner nuts" to put pressure on our legal system where it belongs: to stop putting repeat offenders back out on the street.

Let's put a stop to parole, pardons and plea bargains.

Working together for a common cause just may achieve the goal both sides want: making our streets safe for all.

Carl Justice

Baltimore

Helping ex-convicts make a `clean break'

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