Slots aren't cure for the problems of Western Maryland...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 10, 2001

Slots aren't cure for the problems of Western Maryland

I was surprised to read Cumberland Mayor Lee Fiedler's claim that people in Western Maryland would welcome slots ("Stakes high for Cambridge," Feb. 25). But while Mr. Fiedler may welcome the introduction of slot machines to Allegany County, he is not speaking for the general public.

Most people in Allegany County have no idea we are being discussed as a slots location. The only story in our local paper about the bill failed to mention that Western Maryland has been targeted for slots.

And our elected officials have not provided information.

The people of Western Maryland, the Eastern Shore and Baltimore should have the opportunity to debate slot machine gambling before a bill is developed to bring slots to those communities.

I suspect no such discussion was held in Western Maryland because most of the people here would reject the concept.

Kimi-Scott McGreevy

Cumberland

City should focus on preventing injuries

The Sun's disturbing article "City aching over abuse of paid medical leaves" (Feb. 26) discussed the city's plans to improve employee health.

It is startling, however, that no attention was paid to injury and illness prevention or to evaluating reported injuries for patterns - by work area, job title or duties or by exposure to chemicals - to identify and address the source of injuries.

The most effective way to cut injuries is to implement prevention-oriented surveillance, health and safety education and a hazard-reduction program.

If the city wants to save money and increase productivity, its focus should be on making city jobs safer.

Janie Gordon

Baltimore

Choosing private school shouldn't create hardship

The recent letter "Private school parents should pay their own bills" (Feb. 24) calls parents of children attending religious private schools "irresponsible" for seeking state aid.

As a Maryland taxpayer and a private school parent, I resent being called irresponsible because I want a fair share of state education tax dollars spent where my kids are educated.

My children have gone to parochial schools. Children of all religions, backgrounds and races attend these schools.

Respect and knowledge of all religions and cultures are emphasized. Participation in religion is completely voluntary; what is not voluntary is good behavior, a commensurate work ethic and respect for other students and the administration.

I am not wealthy. My husband and I struggle and do without material things to afford this type of education.

If the public schools were the best choice, my children would attend them. That would make life a whole lot easier.

But we believe the religious private schools are superior. And as Maryland citizens, we should not have to divest ourselves to make an educational choice.

Georgia Corso

Baltimore

South Africa doesn't need help from U.S. taxpayers

I cannot understand why the Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa must rely on U.S. dollars to advance its agenda, when that nation has the strongest economy in southern Africa ("Abortion policy in a time of AIDS," Feb. 28).

South Africa is economically able to take care of issues such as this on its own. In fact, South Africa gives all kinds of assistance to its neighbors.

It is not our job to press Planned Parenthood of South Africa's agenda with our tax dollars.

L. Lyn O'Berry

Linthicum

It's time to tell the truth: Abortion is simply murder

In the Feb. 28 Sun, readers were provided another of the benefits of abortion: in this case, how abortion can assist in the fight against AIDS ("Abortion policy in a time of AIDS," Feb. 28).

Isn't it past time for The Sun to accurately state what abortion is? Abortion is the taking of a life, and therefore, murder.

I doubt any American is anti-choice. We spend every minute of every day making choices. The fact that we don't always make the right choice explains the need for prisons, police and the judicial system.

Every pregnant woman makes a choice. If she elects to have the baby, she is pro-life. If she elects to abort it, she is not pro-choice, but the opposite of pro-life.

Pro-choice is just the warm and fuzzy term proffered by Planned Parenthood and other death organizations to make women more comfortable with the decision to abort their baby.

Robert J. Frost

Fallston

Poignant images can open doors for the disabled

The Sun's article "Disability and advertising" (Feb. 18) rightly heralds the need for the disabled to be portrayed with greater dignity in the media and to be accepted by the society that creates and consumes that media.

Images of disabled people can indeed break down barriers and change public attitudes. The poignant documentary film "King Gimp" is a masterful collection of such images.

However, the article's suggestion that the advertising industry has a conscience devoted to helping people with disabilities is spurious.

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