I read with interest Gov. William Donald Schaefer's instructions to key people in his administration which, in effect, said his final year in office will be "full steam ahead" and not to sit back and take it easy.
Typical Governor Schaefer.
William Donald Schaefer will take his place in Maryland history as one of our greatest public servants. He has left his indelible mark of accomplishments as a Baltimore City councilman, mayor and governor. His good work and deeds can be seen in every part of Maryland and enjoyed by people in all walks of life.
When he became governor, he did not remain parochial in his thinking. He was determined to work as hard for the entire state as he did for Baltimore.
Even before he became governor, he visited Cumberland offering friendship and advice. He was instrumented in helping with the completion of the National Freeway (Interstate 68) by offering the transfer of road funds from Baltimore. He helped retain Kelly-Springfield Tire Co.'s headquarters in Cumberland. He strongly supported the Rocky Gap Hotel-Convention Center and Jack Nicholas golf course complex which is to begin construction very soon.
He is responsible for the Motor Vehicle Administration customer assistance service center being located in Allegany County. This list could go on and on. The point I am attempting to make is all of the state is a better place to work, live, and play because of Governor Schaefer.
One has only to look at the near-bankrupt states of New York, California, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania and say, "Thank God, I live in Maryland," and to thank William Donald Schaefer.
Frederick J. Hill
Supporters of Israel often complain that news reports are often biased against Israel. Our critics tell us that we are sensitive and unwilling to believe the unpleasant truths about Israeli society. Occasionally, though, there is an article which illustrates the one-sidedness of the media representation of Israel.
Doug Struck's "In West Bank, even trees fall victim" (Nov. 17) is, at best, sloppy reporting. At the beginning of his article, Mr. Struck cites a Palestinian Arab source claiming that since the intifada started, Israeli settlers have destroyed 116,600 trees. That averages to nearly 50 trees a day over six years.
The figures might be credible if Israeli settlers had no other occupation during the time. But it's ludicrous to assume that Israeli settlers have nothing better to do with their time than cut down trees. Perhaps Mr. Struck was aware of his credibility problem, for he noted, with no authentication, that his source "keeps track of such things." I thought journalists were supposed to be skeptics.
Another charge which Mr. Struck makes is that the olive trees are often owned by the same family for generations and that destroying them is a way for Israelis to deny this historical connection. (I hope someday he will visit the town center of Hebron and write a story of the houses which have holes in their door posts where mezuzas had once been. For balance, it would be nice to read an article about the Jewish historical claim to the land of Judea. I'm skeptical that balance is what Mr. Struck is trying to achieve.) If the land was purchased by the Israelis then the age of the trees is irrelevant. An Arab would never admit to selling his land to a Jew, for such an act is punishable by death by the "moderate" Jordanian government.
Mr. Struck also ignores one angle to the story which is very important. Deuteronomy (Chapter 20, verse 19) explicitly prohibits the wasteful destruction of trees. Given that most settlers are religious, he should have questioned them why they were allowed to destroy so many trees. Had he asked the question, he likely would have received answers at variance with the views of Arab story. Or is he so convinced of the righteousness of the Palestinian Arabs that he implicitly will deny that there is another side to the story?
I say good riddance to the NFL. I say let's take those millions of dollars that have suddenly appeared from nowhere and give Baltimore a first-rate school system.
We wring our hands at the violence and crime in our streets but don't seem to want to hear that it is a direct result of the failures of our schools. The fact is, dropouts tend to become the hopelessly unemployed; the hopelessly unemployed young tend to become violent in their frustration.
Listen to Wilbert Rideau, a lifer at Angola Penitentiary who has gained fame as an author and advocate of prison reform:
"Crime is a social problem, and education is the only real deterrent. Look at all of us in prison: we were all truants and dropouts . . . Look at your truancy problem and you're looking at your future prisoners."
Let Horses Live
Another young, beautiful, well-bred, thoroughbred horse goes down in the Maryland Million race resulting in the shattering of the stallion's right foreleg.
The Sun reported this Nov. 29, explaining how the shocked and unconscious animal lay sprawled on the track with an open fracture of the long cannon bone, ligament damage and and broken sesamoids in the ankles.
A tragedy to say the least. This kind of accident happens all too often resulting in the destruction of a fine young animal.
The article makes the major point that just because a horse breaks a leg doesn't mean he must lose his life.
With the best of veterinarian expertise, good animal technology, lots of care and thousands of dollars, the race horse's life can perhaps be saved provided the animal's disposition is such that it will tolerate the time and procedure necessary to heal, and provided infection can be controlled.
If all goes well, the mare or stallion can be use for breeding.
What about the poor gelding who cannot reproduce? When is usefulness is over, he will not be spared. It's a matter of money.
The article also states that because the owner and trainer and veterinarian love this stricken horse so much, they will go to this length to keep the horse alive if at all possible.
This is so much bunk. If they loved the horse that much, they wouldn't risk these young beautiful legs by over-racing them to their deaths.
These wonderful animals are raced till many of them fall from a heart that has burst, with lungs that have hemorrhaged or legs that have broken under the stress.
No, the reason these sleek and well-bred horses are over-raced is not so much a matter of love as a matter of sport, greed, fame, glory and money.
A true and compassionate horse man would agree.
Keep On Trucking
It is very refreshing to read a major article that objectively presents the facts on heavy truck accidents. I am referring to the Nov. 11 article, "Putting the brakes a stereotype," by Peter Jensen.
From my viewpoint, as an editor with Newport Communications (which publishes several national truck trade magazines) and president of the Truck Writers of North America, I feel I am well qualified to pass judgment. Mr. Jensen did an admirable job.
Keep up the good work.
David A. Kolman