Failing to meet needs of state's mentally ill won't save...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 05, 2002

Failing to meet needs of state's mentally ill won't save any money

Congratulations to The Sun for its accurate and timely reporting on the financial crisis facing the state's mental health clinics ("Governor must save mental health clinics," editorial, Jan. 27).

Without outpatient psychiatric treatment, people with severe mental illness are at increased risk for emergency room visits, hospitalization, homelessness and incarceration. These outcomes of mental illness are far worse and more costly than the outcomes obtained by providing basic outpatient care.

Mental illness remains highly stigmatized. If it weren't, one of the wealthiest states in America would not be in the process of abandoning its responsibility to some of its most ill citizens.

Faith Dickerson

Baltimore

The writer is the head of psychology for the Sheppard Pratt Health System.

As a retired psychiatric nurse, I was bowled over by The Sun's editorial "Governor must save mental health clinics." I thought the whole system would have to collapse - not just 11 clinics - for anyone to pay attention.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening needs to realize the state can't get out of paying. It can either pay to treat patients and help them function or pay the cost for more emergency room visits, hospitalizations, medical problems, police and jail time.

And what price for a corpse?

Myra B. Welsh

Cockeysville

Bush, Congress are working to save our steel industry

Beginning in 1995, a bipartisan group of my colleagues and me lobbied President Clinton to take action to curb unfair steel import practices - to no avail ("Bush administration sits idle as our steel industry erodes," letters, Jan. 17). As a result, thousands of steelworkers lost their jobs.

Therefore, we were heartened by President Bush's initiation of a Section 201 trade case shortly after assuming office.

The International Trade Commission, after concluding that illegal steel dumping has occurred in the United States, recommended penalties for countries that dump steel. And Mr. Bush is pushing legislative remedies and executive measures aimed at strengthening our steel industry.

Many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are working with the administration to find a solution to the legacy costs (retiree health care) issue so important to the long-term viability of Bethlehem Steel and other producers.

As congressional representative for thousands of Beth Steel employees, I will continue working with the president, my colleagues in Congress and union representatives to protect the long-term interests of Maryland's steelworkers.

Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Washington

The writer represents the 2nd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Pier for local Liberty ship won't block city's harbor

Contrary to The Sun's claim, Project Liberty Ship's plan to build a pier at a site on Key Highway as the permanent home of the USS John W. Brown would in no way "cramp" the channel ("Competing for love boats," Jan. 27).

The pier will be located in a cove to the south of the general flow of boat traffic, well clear of the channel. More than 1,500 feet of open water will be left between the end of our pier and the Allied Chemical site. This is more than twice the width of the main shipping channel leading into Baltimore Harbor, where oceangoing ships of all sizes meet and pass routinely.

Construction of any large pier is bound to have some impact on the harbor. But our property is the best possible location for the John W. Brown, and the pier will be a real asset to the city and its harbor.

Brian Hope

Baltimore

The writer is chairman of Project Liberty Ship.

Governor's wedding photo is another embarrassment

Once again, Maryland has to suffer embarrassment from having Parris N. Glendening as our governor. This time it comes in the form of the front-page picture that would appear to be a wedding picture - with Mr. Glendening as the proud father of the bride ("Governor weds longtime aide," Jan. 29).

But, wait, that isn't his daughter, but his new wife.

There are two bright spots: In less than a year we get a new governor, and Frances Glendening (a charming lady) is free of the stigma of being Mrs. Glendening.

Katherine Miller

Dundalk

Thanks so much for running that nice picture of the governor with the new Mrs. Glendening. I assume it was a recent photograph, taken at her senior prom.

Douglas B. Hermann

Baltimore

Catholic Church betrays hypocrisy on marriage

The Catholic Church has made the sacrament of marriage nothing more than a hypocrisy ("Pope calls divorce society's festering wound," Jan. 29).

It is not OK for two people who cannot live together as husband and wife to divorce, but it is OK to pay the Catholic Church to close its eyes and pretend the marriage never took place, even if there are children born of the marriage? What kind of joke is that supposed to be?

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