Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 06, 2005

Help farmers pay for ways to curb runoff

The swelling size of the bay's dead zone should be a warning that we are not doing enough to address nutrient runoff into the bay ("Oxygen-deprived `dead zone' spreads over 41% of the bay," Aug. 25).

The bay is not getting healthier; it's getting worse.

Farmers are working hard to do their part, and runoff from farms has been reduced in the last few years. But with more than one-third of the bay unable to sustain life, we must redouble our efforts to reduce runoff from every source.

Farmers have a great opportunity to make further runoff reductions because the science and technology are available. We know which conservation practices work to reduce runoff from fields.

The problem is that farmers can't afford to take the steps necessary to make further reductions. Conservation practices are expensive, and profits from a farm business are slim.

Last month, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. held a series of listening sessions on agricultural sustainability in Maryland.

If the governor wishes to promote sustainable farming, he should fully fund state cost-sharing programs that help offset the expense of conservation measures.

This would help farmers and the bay.

Jennifer Bevan-Dangel

Baltimore

The writer is a staff member for the Maryland Public Interest Research Group.

Effort to save money has horrible results

To quote from the column "The awful price of coastal ruin" (Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 1): "About l8 months ago, the Bush administration rejected a comprehensive restoration plan [for coastal wetlands] developed by the state of Louisiana and the Army Corps of Engineers as too ambitious and too costly."

So now we have the heart-breaking, horrifying news from Louisiana.

But apparently it was not too costly for the Bush administration to launch a pre-emptive war on false premises at a cost of billions of dollars and the lives of more than 1,800 American soldiers.

How horrifying and heartbreaking that is as well.

Vivienne Shub

Baltimore

Pulling out of Iraq wouldn't end conflict

It amazes me that people such as Cindy Sheehan and other anti-war protesters think that if we pull our troops out of Iraq or Afghanistan, everything will be all right.

I know Mrs. Sheehan lost her son in the war, but does she really see the whole picture? Does she really think America will be safe from terrorism if we just quit?

This war was declared on us by Muslim extremists long before Sept. 11, 2001.

Muslim extremist clerics have been preaching in mosques right here in the United States and around the world since the early 1990s that we (the West and the Jews) are infidels.

They incite their followers to declare war on us and to kill as many of the infidels as possible, especially through martyrdom.

The Muslim clerics want Islam to become a worldwide religion. To them, you are either a Muslim or an infidel.

The bottom line is that the Muslim extremists are out to kill us.

Whether we are in Iraq, Afghanistan or not, it doesn't matter to them.

Kevin L. Roberson

Union Bridge

Taking equivalence to an absurd degree

The vicious descriptors G. Jefferson Price III uses to attack two Christian ministers in his latest diatribe are outrageous enough ("Fundamentalist radicals at home are just as scary as those abroad," Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 30).

But to justify a foreign mullah's call for the "murder of people who represent a different political and cultural view"(actually, it was specifically Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims) because an American minister has called for the same thing takes "moral equivalence" to a new extreme of despicable absurdity.

Nelson L. Hyman

Randallstown

CEO's big contract bad deal for schools

The new three-year contract for Baltimore schools CEO Bonnie S. Copeland is obscene.

The city schools chief has been the leader of a school system that has many serious problems that have not been solved under her leadership. Many of these problems were not created under her watch, but she was expected to find solutions.

The state has been authorized to take control of several schools. Our school system is still in violation of court orders for failure to adequately serve children with disabilities.

And how can a school system with a very limited amount of money pay the schools CEO as much as $300,000?

Genevieve W. Mason

Catonsville

Why not sue Detroit for inefficient cars?

In the absence of the reasoned discussion once provided by Thomas Friedman and Jules Witcover, can we expect The Sun to fill the void with junk from representatives of the Heritage Foundation such as "End immunity for OPEC" (Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 24)?

The researchers' brilliant suggestion is to sue OPEC to force down gasoline prices. After all, they remind us, the "extracted" wealth derived from "Western consumers" is used to fund terrorism.

But how would cheaper gas prices, which spur consumption, change that formula?

As long as we consume oil, the wealth will still be "extracted" and be used to fund those with nefarious agendas.

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