Razing forests is wrong way to control fires It's...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 30, 2002

Razing forests is wrong way to control fires

It's disappointing that the Bush administration is using this summer's forest fires for political advantage ("Bush seeks to ease logging rules, aid firefighting," Aug. 23).

Rather than waiving environmental laws so they can log more big trees in the backcountry, the administration should protect communities close to our national forests that are at unnecessary risk from fire.

More specifically, the U.S. Forest Service should ensure that 90 percent of the expenditures on fuel reduction in national forests occur within 500 meters of a community's buildings, the area known as the community protection zone.

Unfortunately, the Forest Service spends too much time and too many resources logging large, fire-resistant trees in the remote backcountry, far from homes.

The Bush administration should abandon its cynical attempt to log without laws and should start protecting communities and national forests rather than the profits of the timber industry.

John Griffith

Baltimore

The writer coordinates the Wild Forests Campaign for the Maryland Public Interest Research Group.

How fortunate for the administration that every natural and man-made disaster can be turned into a profit-making opportunity for President Bush's contributors.

And how laughable that the president thinks that Americans can be convinced that Mr. Bush's logging proposal can somehow be regarded as an environmental measure.

Kathleen A. Roso

Catonsville

President Bush's ingenious forest fire prevention program: Cut down the trees.

J. Edward Muhlbach

New Freedom, Pa.

Here we go again: President Bush is using the flimsiest of pretenses to help out his millionaire buddies who make their living by destroying or polluting the environment.

It must be wonderful to belong to the elite few who benefit from the narrow-minded policies of this president. Maybe one day, the other 260 million of us will be included.

David Kloss

White Hall

Accept the apology, and move forward

Now that Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris has issued an apology, can we please accept it, let the audit go forward and let the man do his job ("Chief sorry for spending controversy," letters, Aug. 24)? This daily dose of nitpicking over his use of the commissioner's account has worn out its welcome.

In some cases, maybe Mr. Norris didn't use the best judgment when using the account, but unless the spending is proved to be illegal, these instances are just cases of poor judgment.

I'll bet that the former police commissioners who used that account are glad they are not answering questions regarding their use of it. I'm sure every one of them made some questionable decisions.

Carl S. Bice

Bel Air

Norris' apology comes too late

Baltimore Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris' written apology is too little, too late ("Chief sorry for spending controversy," letters Aug. 24).

He is sorry for one thing and one thing only -- that he got caught.

Mark A. Kukucka

Kingsville

Police commissioner one of the good guys

It is impossible to comprehend The Sun's recent treatment of Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris. There is no taxpayer money involved in the fund in question.

Maybe the fund is newsworthy and maybe not; however, clearly the prominence and repetition the story is receiving is way over the top.

Mr. Norris is a treasure Baltimore can ill afford to lose. There are good guys and bad guys; he is clearly one of the former.

David S. Cordish

Baltimore

The writer is chairman of the Cordish Co.

Balto. Co. offers aid to caregivers

Congratulations on the outstanding article by Tricia Bishop on family caregivers ("Growing number of caregivers chasing far-flung assistance," Aug. 20).

We would like readers to be aware that the Baltimore County Department of Aging provides extensive services to family caregivers of the elderly.

These services include a bimonthly newsletter, seminars and workshops, and individual consultations with our professional staff, all for free. We also offer limited respite stipends when funds are available.

Barbara Korenblit

Towson

The writer manages the community outreach program of the Baltimore County Department of Aging.

Attacking Iraq is a crazy idea

I watched with horror the coverage of Vice President Dick Cheney's argument that we should pre-emptively strike Iraq ("Cheney argues for war on Iraq," Aug. 27).

Mr. Cheney's suggestion that the president can go ahead with such an attack without the approval of our allies or Congress smacks of dictatorial megalomania. And it is insanity to suppose Saddam Hussein won't retaliate.

If, in fact, he does have biological weapons, we can be sure that an attack by the United States will result in Iraq using such weapons on Scud warheads against Israel and sending terrorists to the United States to use them against our population.

The only sane course of action is to get U.N. weapons inspectors into Iraq immediately and to pursue diplomatic channels vigorously.

Ilene Foster

Westminster

Brooklyn's beaches are magnificent

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