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Letters to the editor

THE BALTIMORE SUN

SAVE WESTMINSTER TREES

EDITOR'S NOTE: The state is planning to widen East Main Street in Westminster. To accomplish that, most of the trees along the street will have to be removed. A number of citizens oppose the project, especially if the trees -- part of the city's historic nature -- are removed. We have been asking readers if they think the street should be widened and if so, is it acceptable to remove the trees; we also are asking if they would prefer to see parking limited to only one side of the street as an alternative to the widening. Here are some of the replies we received so far

From: Norman C. Gerhold

Westminster

A widened street of less than two additional lanes will do nothing to increase the flow of traffic through the town.

Anything less makes the loss of those fine old trees a terrible price to pay for a dubious gain!

Save the trees! They define the character of the town!

From: Lilija P. Allison

Westminster

Why is the state planing to widen East Main Street?!

Instead of trees, let's remove the ugly telephone poles and wires.

We could make Main Street one way going west and Green Street one way going east, then improve all of the sidewalks and plant more trees.

Parking on one side only would be fine.

From: Mary E. Allen

Westminster

I think Main Street, Westminster, is too beautiful to change.

No! No! No! No!

Do not cut down the trees onMain Street.

Main Street, Westminster, is quaint and beautiful. It is a lovely and comfortable street to shop on.

All the times I've been shopping on Main Street or driven through town, I've never seen a traffic situation that was a terrible problem.

However, I do think "on street" parking should be limited to just one side of the street -- there really is a nice and good-sized parking area behind thestores to accommodate the shoppers.

And widening the street really won't change things for the better. If you make the street wider, it will only encourage more traffic and make shopping more uncomfortable for the pedestrian shopper -- and think of the children using the library.

Please don't destroy this peaceful and beautiful old townby modernizing it and thus depriving future generations of the enjoyment and an appreciation of their heritage.

From: Eva Shillingburg

Westminster

Little by little, first one landmark, then another, Westminster could become just another insignificant appearing small city.

East Main Street, with its charm, beauty and home-like appearance, would be destroyed. This cannot be revived. There must be some intelligent alternative to this situation.

Limited parking on one side of the street is merely one. There are so many of us who careabout our hometown and are deeply moved when they see ruins like theold Gilman Inn on Route 97 stand as a sad monument to the caring days of Westminster or to this farm or barn moving into oblivion.

Perhaps we cannot help many of our changes, but to destroy the whole appearance of a section of our city need not be. Please, for a wise and good sense approach to save it.

SPEAK OUT ON ABORTION

EDITOR'S NOTE: Abortion once again is before the state legislature. Proposals range from Delegate Lawrence A. LaMotte's bill to affirm the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 legalization of abortion to bills co-sponsored by Sen. Larry E. Haines that would restrict abortions except under extreme circumstances and prevent abortions on minors without parental consent. We have been asking readers if they think abortions should be legal and readily available in Carroll, if parents should be notified if children plan an abortion and if minors should be required to undergocounseling first. Here are some of the replies we received so far

From: Vincent Perticone

Licensed social worker

Taneytown

Two abortion bills presently before the Maryland Legislature hopefully will draw the strong, vigorous opposition of caring Carroll County citizens.

Under the usual guise of "choice," these bills, deadly for babies and dangerous for women and girls, are designed to perpetuate the decriminalized wholesale killing of unborn humans permitted by Roe vs. Wade and to protect the $2 billion a year abortion industry.

For example, Senate Bill 146, the Abortion Omnibus Bill, requires:no parental choice or consent for pregnant minors contemplating abortion --effectively removing a parent's choice to guide and protect his or her child; no informed consent -- leaving women and girls in thedark about the nature and risks of abortion surgery and the developing baby within their wombs.

Is this freedom of choice? No accountability or liability for malpractice on the abortionist's part -- depriving women of any rights to appeal or legal redress of damages suffered whatsoever, including serious complications from induced abortion(don't bet that the National Organization For Women will be opposingthese provisions); and no reporting of abortions by "physicians."

All other procedures require reporting in the interest of public health, demographics, etc. Why not the numbers of botched abortions, or the ages of teen-agers receiving abortions, or their race, or the developmental stage of the baby in utero?

Finally, SB 146 requires aninfant's viability to be determined by the abortionist who is going to profit from his grisly act!

House Bill 18, sponsored by Delegate Lawrence LaMotte, D-Carroll, Baltimore, would repeal Maryland's 1968 abortion laws, which provided some protections to both women and their unborn children, and in doing so, would -- should Roe vs. Wade beoverturned -- render Maryland as the abortion mecca of the United States.!

And our sons and daughters are defending our national interests for these kinds of "freedoms" -- to kill innocent people at will?

It is urgent that citizens speak out immediately by calling their Annapolis Legislature, toll-free, at 1-800-492-7122, asking Chairperson Sen. Walter Baker (Ext. 3639) and his entire Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to vote against SB 146.

Then phone Chairperson Delegate Ronald Cuns (Ext. 3534) and ask him and the entire House Environmental Matters Committee to vote against HB 18.

Additionally, I implore 4th district citizens in Carroll, Frederick and Howard counties to call Sen. Charles H. Smelser, who votes "pro-choice" (Ext. 3704), and ask Delegate LaMotte (Ext. 3109), Carroll and Baltimore County, entreating them both to vote against these bills, thereby showingcare and pity for the weak and defenseless.

Ask that they join with their Carroll legislative counterparts, Sen. Haines, delegates Matthews, Dixon, 5-A, and Delegate Elliott, 4-B, in attempts to restore to the unborn children their right to life, to implement protections for the weak and vulnerable -- the rightful and only purpose of government, and to restore sanity and moral fiber into the American way oflife.

Today babies are not safe and neither are any of us! Speak up now for Life!

From: Gail Winer

Mount Airy

Yes they shouldbe legal, but not used as a birth-control method.

Yes, parents should be notified, they are still minors and are undergoing something that medically could cause problems.

Unsure about counseling first, I feel that it's after some may need counseling.

From: Connie V. Moser

Manchester

No, abortions should not be legal or readily available in Carroll.

Yes, parents should be notified if children plan an abortion.

Minors should be required to undergo counselingfor at least nine months.

I am against abortion.

The time for choices is when you decide to have sex. Should I risk pregnancy or take measures to prevent it?

If you take responsibility for your actions before sex, you won't have to decide should I kill it or let it live later. Your mistakes should not cost a baby it's life.

From:Joseph I. McMahon

Sykesville

We are a society which has it's morality in reverse.

We commit capital punishment on the innocent unborn and refuse this ultimate punishment to convicted murderers, whocontrolled their decisions at the time of their crime.

Should parents be notified if children plan an abortion?

If a parent is morally, legally and financially responsible for a child, then unless thestate or the county is planning to step in and accept the responsibilities of a parent, the parent must and should know that a child is thinking of committing an act which may affect them the rest of their lives, both as a child and as a family member.

Should a child be required to undergo counseling first?

Only a fool would think otherwise.

From: Beth L. Beck

Mount Airy

Abortion is a very personal, private issue, one that cannot be legislated.

However, as fate would have it, political policy works to ensure that this personal issue is brought out into the public light.

A woman (as should every individual) should have total control over her own body. She should be able to decide what will happen and when. It is no one else's business what she does to her body.

The bottom line becomes freedomof choice.

Abortions should be legal and readily available. If they are not, women's lives are immediately put into jeopardy.

Just because abortion is illegal does not mean that women will stop havingthem. Desperate women will go to extreme circumstances to make sure that an unwanted pregnancy is aborted.

In this process, called "back-alley abortions," chances are that the woman will develop some sort of infection from unsterilized instruments, and if not properly treated, will die.

How is one going to prosecute a woman who was found to have had an illegal abortion? Jail? Aren't there enough problemswith the overcrowding of jails already?

It seems silly to fill anentire jail up with desperate women who felt that they had no alternative.

How about imposing stringent fines? Some women would not mind paying fines -- those who are privileged enough to afford it. But,then, for them, abortions would still be accessible because they have the money to "buy" an abortion.

By making abortion illegal or tacking on a parental notification clause onto a bill is working against those who society should try and help.

Upper-middle-class women will always have access to safe abortions. Lower-middle-class and teen-age women will not. Statistically, these women will also know less about family planning and birth control. They will have the unwanted pregnancies.

Family communication cannot be legislated as evidenced by the Becky Bell story. Most teens will tell their parents, but there are cases where teens feel that they absolutely cannot tell theirparents for whatever reason (abuse or severe disappointment).

Parental notification is not the answer. Instead, schools must teach about birth control, make it available to them, parents must talk about sex openly with their children and offer to help them with birth control. Prevention can be the problem-solver.

Abortion is a fundamental right to women. It is the freedom of choice. Women desperately need this freedom protected, simply because it is a fundamental right that has been granted.

From: Martha A. McCartin

Westminster

Abortions should be legal.

Parents should be notified, however. Minors should be counseled.

No public (elected) servant should deny women citizens the right to choose what to do with their own bodies. Men are keeping us from abortion rights.

From: James Michael Dial

Eldersburg

Abortion should be legal and readily available in Carroll County.

Counseling should be encouraged.

Anyone who wants an abortion is not ready for parenthood and should be allowed to get one without notifying their parents.

Abortion laws are unenforceable. Keep them off the books.

From: Douglas J. C. Markle

Hampstead

Back in 1973, when Roe vs. Wade became law, I was uncertain and uncaring about the issue.

Now, at age 47, I see more clearly that abortion is the taking of a life and should be restricted.

Once conceived, the child deserves to live. The populace needs to be educated concerning the cause of conception and the act accordingly.

Today, abortion is used, in about 75 percent of the cases, as a convenience and birth control method to cover up for illicit or adulterous sex. Birth control must be considered before conception occurs.

THANKS FOR COVERAGE

From: J. B. White

Forget-Me-Not Chairman

Westminster

We, the Disabled American Veterans of Carroll County, want to thank you and your staff for the great coverage you gave us duringour Forget-Me-Not Drive.

We also want to take this opportunity tothank the public for their support they showed that they care for our veterans.

Listed below is a distribution of the money we received during the month of September 1990.

* Canteen books (haircuts, shaves) for the indigent and/or long-term patients in veterans' hospitals.

* Ditty bags and contents (toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, shaving cream, and one canteen book).

* Transportation of patientsfor medical treatment.

* Canteen books to be given out at bingo parties for patients at veterans' hospitals.

* Assistance money forneedy veterans to be used over a one-year span.

* Canteen books to be given out at picnics for patients at veterans' hospitals.

* Escrow account for financial assistance for needy veterans.

Let us all pray that our troops will soon get home safe.

SUPPORT AHA CAMPAIGN

From: Stacey Spalt

Field Consultant

American Heart Association

The Carroll County American Heart Association is conducting its residential campaign during the month of February.

Two hundredand twenty Carroll County volunteers will be going door-to-door asking for donations to the American Heart Association.

To kick off the event, a party was held at the Days Inn in Westminster. All 220 volunteers were invited to the party which took place on Jan. 30, 1991. Volunteers were given their kits and instructions and were invited toeat and meet other volunteers.

The American Heart Association would like to take this opportunity to thank the few volunteers who attended the event.

In addition, a special thanks to the following companies for their donations: Bank of Maryland, Baugher's Country Restaurant, Carroll County Bank and Trust Co., Carroll County Foods, Days Inn Westminster, First National Bank of Maryland, Giant Food and Co. Inc., Long's Florist, Maggie's Restaurant, Maria's of Westminster, McDaniel's Restaurant, Prestige Cable TV Inc., Print-O-Stat Inc.

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