Letters To The Editor


August 03, 2004

High standards attend agencies aiding disabled

As parents of a young adult with a developmental disability who receives support from a service provider licensed by the state, we applaud the state's recent decision to revoke the license of a provider whose services were determined to be substandard and its efforts to shut down another provider accused of neglecting, abusing and mismanaging the funds of the people it serves ("Group homes operator shut down by the state," July 28).

However, the actions of a few negligent providers should not be allowed to defame all community providers.

Our son has received services from a community provider in Howard County for nearly 30 years. For the past five years, these have been daily services that make it possible for him to live, work and thrive in his community.

The unfailing dedication, sensitivity and professionalism of the staff that has supported him over all of these years has given us the confidence to entrust our son's health and well-being to their care. We know that he is supported with the same care and responsibility with which we would support him were he still living in our home.

We have served on boards of community providers, worked with community providers and had broad exposure to the community of more than 150 licensed providers that serve more than 20,000 individuals throughout Maryland.

We have observed firsthand that this is a community with the highest standards of ethical and professional behavior, and that exceptions are rare.

Arthur Gold

Margaret Gold


The writers are, respectively, director of regulatory affairs for the Maryland Association of Community Services for People with Developmental Disabilities and a former board president of the Arc of Maryland Inc.

Good for Wall Street but not Main Street

The Sun's article "Kerry, Bush, who's better for the market?" (July 25) discussed Wall Street's bias in favor of President Bush's re-election. It discussed positive aspects of a possible second term for Mr. Bush, such as lower business taxes, less regulation of business and a continuation of the status quo.

However, I fail to see how these things are good for America. Mr. Bush's tax cuts have exploded the national debt and enriched the wealthy while doing little for the middle class and other working Americans.

Corporate scandals undercut the rationale for limiting government oversight, especially since many of these scandals have led to hard-working Americans losing their pensions, being over-charged to heat and cool their homes and being burdened with future tax increases to pay for wasteful cost overruns by businesses contracting in Iraq and elsewhere.

Finally, what's to love about the status quo? About 1.8 million jobs have disappeared from the American economy in the last four years.

The new jobs that are finally being created pay less, have fewer benefits and are more likely to be part-time.

If Mr. Bush is so good for Wall Street, maybe we would all be better off if he went to work there.

Lynda Motiram

Glen Burnie

Ridge loses touch with fellow citizens

I was saddened to read that Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge is considering resigning because his $175,700 annual salary would not allow him to comfortably put his two children through college ("Homeland secretary may resign, officials say," July 31).

How out of touch with the financial situations of the majority of his fellow citizens Mr. Ridge is - as are his fellow "compassionate conservatives."

Reuben Dagold


Fostering gratitude in pampered teens

Columnist Susan Reimer reported that her daughter is enrolling in college with ennui rather than with enthusiasm. Readers could recognize the familiar description of a jaded teenager unappreciative of "massive infusions of clothes" and academic opportunity ("Oh, to trade places with college-bound," July 27).

Defensively, Ms. Reimer absolves herself by casting blame on the school system's "conveyor belt."

A more introspective parent might look at home to discover how a child becomes spoiled and how parents can foster attitudes of gratitude and intellectual curiosity.

Hannah Strauss


Free city schools from the experts

Baltimore's public school system doesn't need any more experts. We've been experted half to death.

The latest gang of experts, the state's three-person study commission, didn't discover anything new. Teachers, parents and students have been shouting it all from the rooftops for years: No accountability. No responsibility. No communication. Nobody knew what anybody else wasn't doing. No kidding ("A partnership on the rocks," July 25).

No more experts, please. No more panels, studies, takeovers, commissions or reports. We need the money to provide superior schools. We need an expert-free school board composed of parents, teachers and students.

We can do it for ourselves. Exile the experts.

Alan Rebar


The writer is a teacher at Highlandtown Elementary School.

Al-Qaida is cause of U.S. terror threat

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