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PesticidesTCEditor: After reading your May 16 editorial,...

Pesticides

TC

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Editor: After reading your May 16 editorial, "Protecting Eagles," on the banning of carbofuran, a pesticide farmers have been using since DDT was banned in 1972, my concern about other uses of pesticides has been reinforced.

I am deeply concerned about the thousands of gallons of chemicals -- pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers -- that lawn-care companies are spraying on acres of lawns in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

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With all that we have learned recently about the effects of chemicals on our environment, I wonder why so many homeowners choose to hire these lawn-care "specialists."

We have been told that pesticides kill beneficial organisms as well as targeted pests.

We have been told that potentially cancer-causing herbicides have been found in our rainwater.

And we have been told that fertilizers cause algae blooms in the bay that kill marine life.

Each time it rains, lawn chemicals run off into streams and eventually the bay.

For the sake of our waterways, for the sake of wildlife and for the health of everyone, I suggest homeowners find alternative ways of caring for their lawns.

Shirley Carl.

Towson.

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Cut the Council

Editor: Three cheers to Councilman Wilbur Cunningham for proposing the first reasonable plan for reorganizing the City Council. It makes sense that as the population of the city has decreased over the past 20 years, the number of council members who represent that smaller number of voters should also decrease.

It is amazing that the council will sit by and let other areas of much needed government services sustain cuts without cutting its own numbers.

The plan for the council president also makes sense. The rotation system in Baltimore County has worked well.

The other area that needs to be addressed is the disparity between the salary of council president and council members. The salary system in Baltimore County also makes much more sense than the current large salary paid to the city council president.

The City Council needs to change and streamline in order to meet the demands of our changing city. Let's pray that the council has the courage to make choices which will reflect the need for wiser use of our shrinking tax dollars.

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Rosemary Connelly Rappa.

Baltimore.

Frank Opinion

Editor: It's too bad the Orioles let Frank Robinson go, when it's those million-dollar players who can't get it together.

We'll miss you, Frank!

Kimberly Ratliff.

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Aberdeen.

Family Needs

Editor: Intensive Family Services is a program which deserves support, but not for the specious reason of saving foster-care funds, which it will not.

Intensive Family Services is not geared toward serving addicted parents in the overwhelming numbers Baltimore City is experiencing.

The exploding number of female addicts is a problem rarely mentioned, let alone addressed.

Foster care cases due to drug-affected families will continue to swell beyond the ability of preventive services like Intensive Family Services to handle.

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Moreover, this is a societal problem that state social-service programs alone cannot alleviate.

Planners who continue to sidestep this sad reality will neither save funds nor preserve families.

Kathleen Valentine.

Baltimore.

Against Wetlands Development

Editor: Pressure is being placed on the Bush administration by the development industry, which believes the current EPA wetlands definition is too strict and prohibits lucrative business opportunities.

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In an effort to appease the developers, President Bush is seeking solutions which are political and non-scientific. We should not overlook the science which gives us important insights into the value of wetlands.

Wetlands are an integral part of our environment, far exceeding in value most other types of land. They are a buffer between land and water. Because of their unique biological processes, they trap and filter out many pollutants produced by people.

If we want to protect our water resources, we must protect our wetlands. In fact, the health of Chesapeake Bay hinges on the preservation of these vital lands.

Some developers are upset because required permits, which are based on the EPA's wetlands definition, reduce the number of plats they can lay down on a piece of land. According to some developers, wetlands are preventing them from making a buck.

To ignore science can cause catastrophe. Wetlands are wet for a reason -- they are a basin into which water drains. When developed, these sites are continuously plagued with problems.

Every rain storm turns into a nightmare; roads and driveways sink into the ground and basements flood, causing structural damage to buildings and destroying millions of dollars in private property. For recourse, property owners angrily contact their local governments and insurance companies, which are required to help pay some of the bills. The developers, who are no longer accountable, sit high and dry.

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A growing number of developers realize the problems associated with developing wetlands. They design their communities to protect the resource and property owners. Interestingly, fewer plats do not always equal less money. Many communities with undeveloped open space, such as wetlands, are aesthetically pleasing and with rising property values.

Raymond P. Bahr.

Annapolis.

Protocol and Behavior Patterns

Editor: The news media spoke of a breach of protocol when Alice Frazier was human enough to give Queen Elizabeth a hug.

There was no mention of a breach of courtesy when the queen refused Ms. Frazier's fried chicken and potato salad which she had probably fixed with great pride and added expense.

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Just what is royalty anyway?

Looking back in history, we don't find any super-human gene pool that defined it, but rather the law of might makes right.

Whatever lord visited the greatest amount of death and destruction upon other lords became king of the hill -- as did his progeny, until they, in turn, were removed by a greater brute force.

Since then, royalty has become refined and almost deified to the point where no one touches the queen, the queen holds her hand out first in a handshake, the queen introduces the subject of conversation, etc.

Two years ago, the free world joined with France in celebrating the bicentennial of the French Revolution which divested France of its tradition of the divine right of kings and replaced it with the Declaration of the Rights of Man.

That document, which bears a strong resemblance to our Bill of Rights, declared all citizens equal. Our own American Revolution freed us from the feudal institution of royalty.

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Or did it?

Mary Nicholas Sommerfeldt.

Baltimore.


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