Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 08, 2004

Progressives set right agenda for Democrats

I was saddened to read Allegany County Del. Kevin Kelly's comments regarding Maryland's Democratic Party and last weekend's Maryland Progressive Summit ("Liberals seeking sway in state," Oct. 3). Deriding the progressive movement in the party as "wacko" is more damaging to the party as a whole than whatever point he was struggling to make.

For years, the Republican Party has presented visions such as the "Contract with America" to lay out an agenda, often placing the Democrats on the defensive in their efforts to protect the accomplishments of the New Deal or the Great Society.

We have waited long enough for leaders such as Mr. Kelly to come together to devise an agenda for Maryland Democrats. So now the rank-and-file is gathering and setting the agenda.

It would be wise for Mr. Kelly to stop being a Republican surrogate and hop on the Democratic express.

Edward Terry

Cheverly

It's time that Marylanders stopped being hung up on labels (i.e. "liberal," "progressive") and paid attention to issues.

As Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski is quoted as saying in "Liberals seeking sway in state" (Oct. 3): "To talk about health care families can afford, a quality school system: I think this is Main Street."

And surely the people of Western Maryland who are represented by Del. Kevin Kelly have just as much concern as the rest of us for jobs, affordable health care and good schools.

Joan K. Parr

Baltimore

Focus of summit was mainstream

After reading reporter David Nitkin's account of the Maryland Progressive Summit, I was left wondering which summit he had actually attended ("Liberals seeking sway in state," Oct. 3).

Although I did recognize some quotes from speakers, there was no divisiveness at the summit or call for action that falls outside the desires of most mainstream Americans.

In addition, I did not notice that this was a "left-leaning crowd."

People at the summit were concerned about basic family values such as the rising cost of tuition, the deterioration of the environment, inadequate health care and lack of livable wages for many hard-working Americans.

Melissa Berger

Columbia

Osborne resignation is a sad day for state

It was disheartening to hear that problems with the Bay Bridge will cost more than $7 million to fix. But more disheartening to me was to see Thomas L. Osborne Sr. resign from his post as executive secretary of the Maryland Transportation Authority ("MTA official resigns over flawed span project," Oct. 5).

I had the privilege of working with Mr. Osborne during the mid-1990s when he was deputy transportation secretary. And his resignation does not come as a surprise to me, because he is an honorable man.

He has dedicated so many years to the state of Maryland, and in the short time that I worked with him, I realized that he is probably one of only a handful of state workers who are honorable.

Kristene Bevans

Baltimore

Asian oyster plan shows little caution

With the governor's proposed introduction of Asian oysters into the Chesapeake Bay before the scientific studies are complete, one has to wonder: Whatever happened to the principle of precaution ("Gilchrest, Sarbanes question state's push for Asian oysters," Oct. 6)?

Under the precautionary principle, the governor would have to prove introducing Asian oysters would do no harm.

Ajax Eastman

Baltimore

Vioxx reveals limits of drug screening

The Sun published a letter Saturday by the chancellor emeritus of the University System of Maryland ("Make technology prove its value," Oct. 2), in which he extolled the care that pharmaceutical companies take in guaranteeing the safety of their products.

The timing of the letter seems curious in light of the fact that just a few days before, Merck & Co. removed its drug Vioxx from the market because of its dangerous side effects ("Merck pulls Vioxx, cites side effects," Oct. 1).

Oh, boy, did someone jump the gun.

Sol Goodman

Baltimore

Maryland General restores quality care

The Sun's article "Md. General in compliance, regulators say" (Sept. 28) is an important signal to the community that Maryland General Hospital has made major improvements since laboratory problems were discovered earlier this year.

Technical "compliance" is important, and it is good to see The Sun report it. But as a physician who admits patients to Maryland General, I can attest that the changes at the hospital go well beyond what was necessary to address issues in the hospital's laboratory and satisfy regulators.

I have seen the focus on quality and accountability at this hospital markedly improve in recent months.

And after a period of exceptional challenges at Maryland General, I am confident - and community residents can be confident as well - that the institution is back on track and providing the quality of care its patients deserve.

Dr. Anwar Khokhar

Baltimore

The writer is chief of staff of Maryland General Hospital.

Judges still treat abuse too lightly

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