Dumping dredge on islands is no victory for the bay The...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 03, 2001

Dumping dredge on islands is no victory for the bay

The title of The Sun's article "Environmentalists win big on dredging" (Feb. 18) was misleading.

The article discussed legislation to ban dumping of mud dredged from bay shipping channels into the bay, but goes on to discuss dumping dredge spoil onto Parsons and Eastern Neck islands. I do not consider the idea of dumping spoils on these islands an environmental victory.

Some of the spoils will inevitably spill into the water and leach from the islands after depositing.

Dumping the spoils on Parsons Island, which is so close to residential communities, and on Eastern Neck Island, a wildlife refuge, will contaminate the water, disturb and endanger wildlife and curtail the replenishment of sea life.

Parsons Island is located at the juncture of Eastern, Prospect and Crab Alley bays. Each bay supports wildlife, commercial fishing, oyster harvesting, crabbing and recreational boating. Their waters lap the shores of surrounding communities, including Prospect Bay in Grasonville and Marling Farms in Chester.

Using the spoils to rebuild these islands would be another setback for efforts to clean up the bay.

Regina M. Dearden, Chester

Global warming crisis demands change in values

More than 1,000 scientists who studied global warming for more than 10 years have concluded that warming is a fact, and its consequences are likely to be of biblical proportions: including submersion of coastal cities in Africa, widespread flooding in Asia, tropical diseases invading the northern hemisphere, crop losses throughout Latin and Central America, and the extinction of hundreds of plant and animal species ("Living on an ever-hotter planet," Feb. 20).

Man-made industrial pollution is the chief culprit. This calls into question the value system that underlies our present methods and goals of production.

This puts an obligation on representatives of capitalism and the global economy it has spawned - for the value system in question is their value system, and its application to an increasingly fragile planet is unsustainable.

The hour is late. If the scientists are right, even stabilizing industrial pollution at present levels will not curb the warming process now in motion. And the future of mankind hangs in the balance.

Howard Bluth, Baltimore

Voiding labor pact starts rollback of progressive policy

President Bush intends to rescind an agreement made by Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening to use union workers on the $2.2 billion Woodrow Wilson Bridge project ("Bush to void labor deals," Feb. 17).

This sounds ominously like the opening salvo of the Bush administration's campaign to overturn much of the progressive legislation enacted since the President Franklin D. Roosevelt era.

What next? An attack on Roe vs. Wade?

The effects of the U.S. Supreme Court catapulting Mr. Bush into the White House will be felt for at least the next four years - and possibly far beyond.

Albert E. Denny, Baltimore

Bush plan would make tax bite more reasonable

The income tax cut President Bush has proposed has little to do with trickle-down economics ("Why haven't we learned trickle-down doesn't work," letters, Feb. 21). It restores a fair tax burden across society.

If you are in the top tax bracket (which I am not) and work from Monday to Friday, you don't start making money until Wednesday, because you pay almost 40 percent of your income in taxes. This is legal plunder, not fair taxation.

Proponents of progressive taxation argue that the very rich can well afford to shoulder most of the taxes.

But can society afford to remove the incentive to work?

Jesse McLain, Baltimore

Cartoon missed mark on submarine tragedy

I am angered by KAL's Feb. 22 editorial cartoon depicting a torpedo labeled "Incompetence" heading back toward the sub that fired it.

KAL implies that it was the incompetence of our submariners that caused the recent disaster in Hawaii. The highly trained, underpaid and overworked servicemen who follow orders shouldn't be blamed for their superiors' mistakes.

Blame the admirals and politicians who allow civilian joyriders to interfere with military men and women trying to do their jobs under tough circumstances.

Get with it, KAL, aim those torpedoes in the right direction: Sink the real offenders - the military commanders looking for handouts and publicity and the politicians who allow such things to happen.

Ron Parsons, Glen Burnie

Caregivers' poverty wages hurt state's mentally ill

Because of state budget restrictions, the support staff who takes care of handicapped people in state group homes is paid on average $6.89 per hour - less than they could make at McDonald's.

As a result of the low wages, the homes have a 60 percent employee turnover rate, it is difficult to attract or hold good employees, and residential facilities are in constant turmoil, as employees leave for more pay almost anywhere else.

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