Drug clinics in Rosedale not neededIn his...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Drug clinics in Rosedale not needed

In his column "Drug czar makes odd turnaround on drug clinics" (March 3), Dan Rodricks is way off base on my reasons for not supporting the opening of three private, for-profit methadone clinics in Baltimore County. Mr. Rodricks has written a column without all the facts and without speaking to the parties involved.

First, I have always supported the appropriate use of methadone in treating heroin addicts, and I have always been a supporter of privatization. However, I have major concerns about a private, for-profit methadone program that makes money on keeping people on drugs.

I feel there is a great potential for abuse, and until proper state and federal regulations are in place, I will continue not to support private, for-profit methadone clinics.

In his column, Mr. Rodricks left out the fact that two of the clinics wanted to open in Rosedale two blocks from each other, and neither the county nor the community had any input as to the need for or locations of these programs. As we learned three years ago, you can't ram programs down the communities' throats.

My other reason for not supporting these programs is that, unlike three years ago, Baltimore County has increased its number of methadone treatment slots at our Timonium-based program, and it is currently meeting the needs of our county. We don't need three additional methadone treatment programs, especially ones that are two blocks apart.

I fear that in order for these private clinics to make a profit they will have to attract addicts from surrounding counties and states. Remember, these clinics are in business to make a profit. . .

I am disappointed with his inaccurate column and really feel that it was a cheap shot. I'm not sure why Mr. Rodricks did not contact me to let me explain my entire position and reasons for opposing these centers, but the article certainly wasn't accurate, which is something I thought he cared about.

Michael M. Gimbel

Towson

The writer is director of the Baltimore County Office of Substance Abuse.

Scholarship aid

We are writing because of our interest in H.B. 105, which seeks to reform the senatorial and delegate scholarship programs.

Central Scholarship Bureau, an agency entirely supported by private funds for the past 69 years, awards interest-free loans and grants to needy students in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Our aid, based on need, is given on a non-competitive basis.

Since we have limited funds, we often direct our students to other resources, and have therefore become familiar with the senatorial and delegate scholarship programs.

We are cognizant of the conscientious and helpful job many legislators have done in enabling students to achieve higher education. However, we are convinced that today this system of awarding funds is outmoded.

Senators and delegates are not in a position to evaluate the financial needs of students within their districts and to allocate available funds equitably. H.B. 105 overcomes this shortcoming by placing the administration of scholarship money with the State Scholarship Fund.

The present system, by its nature, is subject to being used for political patronage. Scholarship grants, like other state grants, should be awarded by professionals who are free from any preference or privilege. H.B. 105 would accomplish this goal and we urge its approval and support.

James A. Rothschild

Helen London

Baltimore

The writers are president and executive director of the Central Scholarship Bureau.

A helluva writer

I was saddened to hear of the death of Dave McQuay, a friend and colleague. Dave advanced his professional career at the News American and in California, but he was already prolific at Towson State University in the early 1970s.

Signs of his humorous nature came out under the persona of Max Gump, gonzo journalist in the Towerlight. His political ramblings and biting music reviews brought out his creativity. He also did fine investigative pieces, including an expose on the state education system in 1973.

I'm sure he made more than a few people angry, and made many laugh. Above all, Dave McQuay was one helluva writer. He had great fun doing it. We'll miss him.

Mike Dilworth

Jarrettsville

D.C. statehood

I understand that a bill has been introduced in Congress to make the District of Columbia a state.

Article IV, Section 3, of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the formation or erection of a new state within the jurisdiction of any other state without the consent of both the legislature of the state concerned and Congress.

The District of Columbia, formed from Maryland, would revert to Maryland if Congress released it as the seat of government as defined in Article I, Section 8.

To form a new state would require the consent of Maryland's legislature.

Thomas F. Cadwalader Jr.

Baltimore

Miniature state

I always thought I lived in the same state as Peter Jay, who in the Feb. 21 Sunday Sun wrote disparagingly about Maryland's image as America in Miniature.

Long before and long after President Eisenhower, whom Mr. Jay uses as a benchmark, America in Miniature meant the following of our state's natural endowments: the mountains and forests of Western Maryland; the picturesque valleys and farm lands of the central region; the scenic Chesapeake Bay; the flatlands of the Eastern Shore, and finally the Atlantic rolling in on our shores.

Now Mr. Jay disabuses all of this by bringing in such extraneous criteria as politics, urbanization, budgetary constraints and even pay scales.

In the process, however, he shoots himself in the foot. Even if one accepts his reasoning (which I hastily reject), one would have to acknowledge that the trends he attributes to Maryland have occurred nationwide.

In that context, therefore, Maryland continues to be America in Miniature.

Abner Kaplan

Baltimore

Recycling works

It is easier to criticize than express appreciation or praise. For some reason, we often need to be reminded of a good thing.

Having had the opportunity to be actively involved in Baltimore City's recycling efforts, I am reminded every week how grateful we should be that curbside recycling is as easy as taking out the trash.

Baltimore City government, with the continued support of Mayor Kurt Schmoke, responded at a record pace -- for bureaucrats -- to citizens' desire to have curbside recycling. Although we had to jump through some hoops and do some shouting, we were heard and our request fulfilled.

So let's recycle at the curbside and appreciate the efforts of the citizens and bureaucrats who made it happen.

Lorraine Kelly

Overlea

Judge Taney deserves his statue

I see from his commentary "Taney statues, symbols of bigotry have to go" (Feb. 18) that Wiley Hall is the same vitriolic writer he was last year when he raised this same issue.

Since when, as Hall contends, do we have black history "versus" American history? I didn't know history was an adversarial contest.

Hall's diatribe deserves to be ignored. Someone should tell him that we don't have plebiscites on how our ancestors chose to honor the great men of the past.

As a distant cousin of former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, I am frankly sick and tired of Hall's annual ranting. I really don't care what he thinks about the career of the chief justice.

Justice Taney was by every measure one of the most outstanding Americans of the 19th century.

For this reason, an earlier generation of Marylanders believed that it was entirely appropriate to honor and remember him with not one, but two monuments -- one in Baltimore and one at the State House in Annapolis.

It is not up to Hall or anyone else to question those decisions 100 years after the fact.

If we start tearing down monuments to conform to some present day value system that has taken 217 years to evolve, or to cower to some obviously biased writer's version of history and political correctness, where will it end?

Should we tear down the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial because Washington and Jefferson owned slaves?

We certainly should destroy the Lincoln Memorial because of all the Taney-like statements that Mr. Lincoln made.

Maybe Republicans, when they are in power, will remove the monuments to Democrats, and in their time Democrats will act with similar malice.

If Hall wants to erect a monument to someone he admires -- Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King or the Mills Brothers -- I could care less. But leave the monuments to the great men of other generations alone.

Elliott Cummings

Baltimore

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