Let's replace every tree that's cut
I am greatly troubled by the loss of trees in Maryland. Everywhere I go I see forests turning into parking lots and housing developments. Hence, I have been watching with keen interest the progress of the Forest Conservation Act presently under consideration in the Maryland General Assembly. This bill would require developers to leave as many original trees on a site as possible and would ensure that they replant most of what they cut down.
Trees are essential to our survival. Trees replenish our air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen; trees protect the water from excess soil and nutrient run-off, which is killing aquatic life; trees provide habitat for our vanishing wildlife; trees beautify our homes and add to the value of our communities. Within the last five years Maryland has sacrificed more than 70,000 acres of this finite and critical resource, predominantly to development. This last issue is especially of consequence to taxpayers who provide more and more funds to finance the Chesapeake Bay clean-up. This rescue effort cannot possibly succeed if we continue to cut down the "lungs" of the bay.
Next month we will celebrate the anniversary of Earth Day. By voting for the strongest tree preservation bill possible, the General Assembly will provide the citizens with a real reason for celebration.
After a slight heart attack, I was advised by my doctor to quit smoking cigarettes and cigars, which I did and am thankful for doing. This brings me to a little poem I heard by an old-time school teacher 80 years ago:
Tobacco is an Indian weed.
It was the devil who planted the seed.
* It robs the pocket, burns your clothes.
+ And makes a chimney of your nose.
% Enoch Mason
Your "Running on empty" editorial (March 21) completely misses the point. Maryland motorists pay plenty in taxes already. Our traffic engineers and road construction inspectors are not doing the job we pay them for. Many of our roads are dangerous by design.
Every time a problem arises, gas tax money is spent elsewhere, and this is why so many are against raising taxes.
When I read that former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark was to address the student conference at Western High School on April 13, I was appalled. At the very least they should invite another guest to balance his remarks someone who knows what he's talking about! Does no one remember his vitriolic anti-American tirades, which occurred as recently as the Persian Gulf war? Does no one remember Ramsey Clark and Jane Fonda in Vietnam?
Why, in heaven's name, this apologist for all things American is being welcomed into our educational mix is beyond my ken. Mr. Clark's ill-conceived invitation will confuse and/or anger our young people, fresh from a new pride and appreciation of what America is all about.
My only hope is that they will reject his comments out of hand, and that the American Friends Service Committee will investigate its next "guest speaker" much more thoroughly before inflicting a similar embarrassment on other students.
It was a typical Schaefer comment when the governor accused the National Rifle Association of applying extreme pressure to the senators to block Senate Bill 267. In reality, Mr. Schaefer saw taxpaying, law abidding citizens of Maryland rally together to protect their given rights.
Many of these "preservers of American rights" jeopardized their jobs for this important issue. Mr. Schaefer's salaried officals were in Annapolis that day pacifying the governor by showing their support in full dress uniforms.
S.B. 267 will not combat crime in Maryland. Citizens are against crime, more enforcement of the law and stiffer penalties. Introduce bills that would punish lawbreakers -- with hard labor, full sentences, less parole. Then you may see the crime rate drop, and I will continue to enjoy my rights.
Governor Schaefer's reaction to this issue leads me to believe he is an example of the "Peter Principle," in that as governor, he has reached his level of incompetency.
Philip H. Klein Sr.
Let's show respect
I am getting sick and tired of hearing from the detractors of the highest elected official in Maryland and of these so-called high class citizens referring to the governor of this state by his last name only. He just happens to be Governor Schaefer and he was elected to his office by the people. If the people cannot stand their own heat maybe they should get out of the kitchen.
The man is welcome in this house at any time and is going to be addressed by his title.
Likewise, President Bush is continually referred to by his last name only. Give the man the honor he has earned. Whether right or wrong, fair or foul, this is the way it should be.
As far as I am concerned both of these men are good leaders and should be respected as such. They get my vote!
William Edward Pilcher