Letters: Column an unfair critique of Hogan, who had impossible choices; Weight loss success is ‘one step after another’

Column an unfair critique of Hogan, who had impossible choices

When the White House dropped the ball at the advent of the coronavirus crisis, it fell to state governors to pick it up. Each governor attacked the health problem in a different way. With the feds withdrawing, the governors often found themselves battling each other to find protective materials for their people.

Gov. Larry Hogan, who was elected with Democratic votes (I had to say this since Del. Haven Shoemaker doesn’t think Larry is a “real” Republican, whatever that is) had a decision to make between a rock and a hard place.


He knew from the beginning that he had a problem in caring both for the heath of all of his citizens while at the same time saving Maryland’s economic system. He took (and continues to take) seriously the best medical advice he had to shut down part of the state to save lives. At the same time he has tried to open as much of the state that he feels is healthy.

In national polls there is not general agreement on how these two should come together. Some feel health should be the priority while others feel that the economy should come first.


In his opinion column in the Saturday, June 12 Times, Del. Shoemaker made it clear that if I like what you are saying, Governor, I am with you but if I don’t — watch your back! “Open Maryland” realizes that some lives might be lost when we open everything but feels that is the risk we must take to save our economy.

What he is not telling you in his slanted column is that both the Republican Governors Association and the Washington Times both are in the camp that the economy comes before health. More important, he did not tell you that some of the states that have opened too soon are now experiencing surging cases in the coronavirus causing sickness and possibly more deaths.

In the opinion of some detractors. like Shoemaker, the governor has made some/many mistakes. At the same time we need to admit he is facing an almost impossible task dealing with the virus and the economy and to please all of the people all the time.

Haven is a friend, but it concerns me that too often he checks to see which way the wind is blowing before making a decision.

Wm. Louis Piel


Weight loss success is ‘one step after another’

Going through last spring’s shirts, I am very proud and excited that all my extra larges and larges and some looser mediums as well as my upper waistline size pants, Bermuda shorts are going to Goodwill. No more beer belly, jiggly jelly, fatty chest blubber or big rear-end or love handles to fill them out.

Lost 50 pounds over the past 10 months (lost 25 pounds before that and lost more before that) by eating carefully just what my wife Marian cooks for me, walking with her 5 miles almost daily and exercising and (a biggy) avoiding long unproductive periods of sitting while telling myself that I really did not have something more interesting to do with my life than to snack on high-calorie foods and drinks and to be entertained by what I see on the screen in front of me.

While I still have not reached my optimum BMI and I have fat to lose and muscles to build, my 77-year old body seems already to have the feel of the energy and youth of the high school varsity wrestling guy I once was, more than 60 years ago, wrestling then at 150 pounds. Not, by all means, a champion but a guy who did earn his high school letter and letter sweater in his junior year. In case you might want to know my next steps:

1. Continue to treat adding back even the first pound as going down a rabbit hole and never again having another chance for the obit writer to say, “He kept it all off.”

2. Not that I plan on dying anytime soon but instead I am embarking on another round of losing 50 more pounds of fat while adding more muscle.

3. When I do lose the second 50 pounds, I plan to keep off all 100 pounds and feel like that 150 pound varsity wrestler I once was who went out onto that mat and told himself, uh, go ahead, take on that 200-pound senior ... give this heavyweight match your best and you will be better for it. Splat! (Me, not him! Oh, well.)


And, you know, after carrying more than double that weight for some years, I am still here and I can hardly wait to that special morning when once again I weigh-in at 150 pounds. After all, with a loving wife who says, “John, it’s just one more step after another,” how can I not achieve this goal as well?

John D. Witiak

Union Bridge

Recommended on Baltimore Sun