Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 31, 2005

Labeling Rove as a criminal was out of line

I was quite surprised at the remarks by Terry Lierman, chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party, about the Karl Rove-Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele fundraiser ("Rove's role in fundraiser for Steele sparks debate," July 27).

His comment that "I just think that's a reflection of the arrogance of Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Lieutenant Governor Steele that they, knowing what's happening with the coverup and illegal actions taken by Mr. Rove, that they would still go ahead with this" could not have been more incorrect.

If Mr. Lierman checked the facts, he would see that Mr. Rove has not been convicted or, for that matter, charged with any crime.

There is an ongoing investigation. Let's wait until it is completed before we label someone a criminal.

James Pelura III

Davidsonville

Steele's ally repels most Md. voters

Maryland Republican Party Chairman John M. Kane had it right when he said that Karl Rove's involvement in Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's senatorial campaign is "great news for Maryland Republicans" ("Rove's role in fundraiser for Steele sparks debate," July 27).

But what about for the moderate majority of Maryland voters who have repeatedly rejected the extremist views of the Bush administration?

For them, Mr. Steele's choice of allies clearly reveals either that he can't turn down a dollar or that his ideology is more consistent with that of Mr. Rove than with that of most Marylanders.

Siri Svaeren

Catonsville

Chicken companies need to stop runoff

Testing has confirmed that this year is poised to be one of the worst on record for the dead zone in the bay ("A third of bay is `dead zone,' survey shows," July 26).

This is saddening but comes as no surprise. We have not done nearly enough to reduce nitrogen pollution.

The leading source of this pollution is runoff from agriculture, especially from the Maryland chicken farms that raise nearly 300 million chickens each year.

Managing the waste from so many chickens is an enormous challenge. But we know what steps are needed to avoid runoff, and there's a lot of willingness from farmers to take those steps. What's lacking is the funds.

Chicken growers have no choice but to accept unfair terms offered by the major chicken processing companies.

These companies have driven the growth of chicken farming in Maryland but refuse to pay for the real price of raising chickens.

Tyson Foods, for example, made profits of $400 million last year, partially on the backs of Maryland farmers who are left with the liability for more waste than they can handle.

If we're going to clean up the bay, we need to get the chicken processing companies to come through for our farmers by helping to pay for solutions.

Brad Heavner

Baltimore

The writer is the director of the Maryland Public Interest Research Group.

Use state's surplus to clean up the bay

I am appalled that Maryland may be willing to accept the gloomy prospects described in "A third of bay is `dead zone,' survey says" (July 26).

Maryland has always been known for its natural resources. It angers me to see that the state and its citizens have neglected the bay for so long as to threaten its very existence as a living estuary.

With all of this talk of surpluses in the state budget, perhaps our governor, our comptroller and our Assembly officials should pour some of that surplus into protecting, preserving and cleansing our cherished natural resource.

Perhaps it is time that we citizens of this great state affirm our commitment to ensuring the well-being of our ecosystem for our children and our children's children by electing truly compassionate and intelligent individuals who are committed to aiding our farmers and watermen who will also protect God's beautiful and delicate Earth.

Dominic J. Cirincione Jr.

Towson

Sometimes hearings matter a great deal

I have a one-word counterargument to Steve Chapman's column "Confirmation hearings are just a waste of time" (Opinion Commentary, July 27): Bork.

Victor B. Marrow

Baltimore

VA has authority for buprenorphine

"Wider access to medicine for addicts" would indeed be welcome news ("Wider access to medicine for addicts appears near," July 27). The fact is, however, that the 30-patient limit on prescribing buprenorphine by group practices has never applied to the Veterans Affairs hospitals - the largest integrated health care system in America.

And yet, as The Sun notes, "only a few VA hospitals dispense it."

This is particularly ironic since it was a national VA clinical trial that provided the evidence of the effectiveness of office-based buprenorphine treatment.

Why is the VA not fulfilling its mission and providing this potentially lifesaving care to addicted veterans who need it?

It requires no act of Congress to do so.

Dr. Robert Newman

New York

The writer is a member of the New York City Health Department's task force on buprenorphine.

Would state money come with control?

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