Nancy Nowak was fired for Arnick case
How revealing two articles published in the Sept. 4 Sun were: "Parole chief forced out" and "State insurance watchdog blasted."
The first article says that parole director Nancy Nowak was forced out, allegedly because she spoke truthfully in an internal memorandum and said her agency was understaffed and was a "time bomb."
The article about the Maryland Insurance Administration details the serious deficiencies of the state agency which led the National Association of Insurance Commissioners not to accredit the agency. That article heaps praise on the officials at the agency who admit the problems.
Both agencies are plagued by under-staffing and lack of resources. The second article explains that the new insurance administrator, Dwight Bartlett, "inherited the problems." He is therefore commended for recognizing the severity of the situation. Yet Ms. Nowak -- who also inherited the problems of her agency, to which she was appointed this spring -- is condemned for being "overly frank."
The conclusion is inescapable that Ms. Nowak's real transgression is that she spoke out in corroboration of the statement of Judy Wolfer, who recounted the vulgar and demeaning language used by John Arnick during a meeting with Ms. Wolfer and Ms. Nowak, which led to Mr. Arnick's withdrawal from consideration for a district court judgeship.
Ms. Nowak is being punished not for being forthright that the Division of Parole and Probation is not adequately supervising its clients, but because she was forthright and honest in revealing the reprehensible behavior of John Arnick.
Elloyd E. Lotridge
This letter is about city residents, especially those of the Charles Village neighborhood and those near the Union Memorial Hospital.
When my father became ill, it was only a natural assumption that he would go to Union Memorial. That is where all his doctors and care have been. Its hospice has shown such genuine care and concern that it has made a difficult road easier to follow. All its staff and "the family of care" on its extended care unit have exhibited a sense of community. Baltimore City has so many special attributes that I just wanted to mention this particular one and say "thank you" for being a part of our lives.
Sandra Brandt Waters
Give Bill a chance
Where were Rush Limbaugh and his reactionary ilk when Ronald Reagan and George Bush granted obscene tax breaks to wealthy constituents while ignoring the bitter cries of millions of our anguished citizens, causing the enormous tax burden to fall inequitably on those who could ill afford to pay?
Where were they when the federal deficit increased from $58 billion under the Carter administration to approximately $300 billion under Republican administrations, as our national debt soared to dizzying heights and we became the world's largest debtor nation?
Where were they when millions of decent, hard-working citizens were losing their jobs, their homes and their families as George Bush strove to convince them that they were hitting a "birdie"?
Where were they when tens of millions of citizens could not afford health insurance?
Where were they when tens of millions of citizens demanded change as they strangled on the suffocating status quo?
President Bill Clinton inherited a fiscal minefield, a nation socially and economically in shambles. He has confronted a gargantuan task with incredible fortitude and a determination to provide bold leadership to a nation whose average citizens have endured 12 years of neglect and insensitivity.
Clinton has held office for less than eight months. He has made tough, unpopular decisions. Let us be patient and not judge him by the ragings and distortions of his enemies.
eon Peace Ried
Up in smoke
As reported in The Evening Sun on Sept. 3, Gov. William Donald Schaefer said, "We put on a full-court press. We fought Joe Camel," the cartoon symbol for Camel cigarettes.
A survey showed that in the six months after the 20-cent tax increase went into effect in May 1992, about 185,000 Marylanders quit smoking. Governor Schaefer attributed the drop to the tax increase as well as an anti-smoking media campaign.
Like most other smokers, I am becoming increasingly upset with the dirty looks I get from non-smokers whenever I light up. The thought occurred to me, however, that their frowns will change to broad smiles when they either collect or benefit from the taxes we smokers pay that they don't. It seems to me that cities and states that place stringent bans on smoking should not be entitled to the taxes they impose on tobacco products.
After all, it's only constitutionally fair. To begin with, they use our tax dollars to create weapons of mass destruction, then dump the toxic waste by-products into our water, air and ground. Then they have the audacity to collect some rather questionable taxes from smokers and tell us that, although we've contributed yet again to their treasuries, we don't have the right to smoke the products we were unfairly and unconstitutionally taxed for.
Any state or municipality that imposes smoking bans shouldn't be allowed to levy taxes on smokers' products.
People, pets and wildlife, including beneficial insects, frequently are caught in the cross-fire when potent organophosphates are the pesticides of choice.
Organophosphates are some of the most toxic pesticides. They are responsible for more reports of acute poisoning in agricultural workers and animals than any other class of pesticide. They can also induce long term neurologic and other problems.
A small amount of an organophosphate spilling from a truck at the Dundalk Marine Terminal was sufficient to send 13 workers to the hospital recently.
Even the medics caring for the poisoned people had to be checked for contamination from this potentially lethal product.
What adverse effects and possible fatalities would the Chesapeake Bay suffer were this pesticide to reach its waters either accidentally or as a consequence of a field application?
Water birds, fish and crustaceans are very sensitive to this type of poison and, unlike the workers in Dundalk, cannot be warned of contamination nor monitored and treated.
Organophosphates, when released into the environment as an insecticide or herbicide, could become a residue in some baby's food or contribute to "sick building" syndrome. Farm workers, gardeners, infants or office workers could be poisoned.
More than 30 years after Rachel Carson warned us of organophosphates' problems in her book, "Silent Spring," we are still deliberately releasing these poisons into our ecosystem.
De we really want to stay this toxic course?
The writer is executive Director of the Rachel Carson Council, Inc.