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The Talk: Best of the week's letters

For the Friday edition of The Talk, our daily commentary roundup, here are some of the best letters to the editor we got this week.

Scott Calvert's series of articles on Baltimore Behavioral Health sparked a strong reaction from those involved in the drug addiction treatment and mental health communities. Two stood out.

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Rebecca Ruggles, who used to work in the field, offered a good explanation for how the structure of public funding for addiction and mental health treatment have stymied attempts to provide good services -- and, perversely -- enabled the abuses chronicled at BBH.

And a former addict, Kevin Templeton, offered an eloquent story of his own experience at BBH, showing both the good it did and the flaws of its practices.

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The surprise announcement by track owner Frank Stronach that he would keep Laurel Park open, followed by his partner, Penn National's response that he doesn't have the power to do that, prompted a lot of commentary, including a letter from Pat Pineau of Glyndon, who says that the Jockey Club screwed up so badly in failing to get slots that its time it sold the tracks to someone who knows how to run them.

The news that Maryland's budget shortfall next year is worse than expected and that a federal deficit panel has offered suggestions for restoring the nation's long-term balance sheet elicited several letters as well. Two good ones on the deficit commission came from Harry Woelfer of Ellicott City, who can't figure out why Republicans want to take money out of people's pockets by cutting Social Security but can't abide doing so through tax increases, and Sam Davis of Towson who dares House Republicans to "man up" and propose legislation to implement the commission's ideas.

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