Goodbye, ShorePlease help the state of Maryland,...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Goodbye, Shore

Please help the state of Maryland, Sen. Walter M. Baker, and quickly lead them away.Reading the article about his desire to let the Eastern Shore secede only makes me want to spill my guts about the Eastern Shore people's attitude even stronger than ever.

Many times I have followed cars with the bumper sticker "There's no life west of the Chesapeake Bay." There's nothing much over there, either. It's high time those on the western side of the bay should let that bunch know just where they stand.

Would they miss the Maryland National Guard after a hurricane? How quickly they forget about the financial aid after a big blow. Let them bear the burden of self rule. That would certainly cripple them right at the start.

When they need money to save the beach at Ocean City, tell them to dig in their own pockets. Close all those state institutions, colleges, prisons, hospitals and health facilities; destroy them; lay off those employed in them who carry home money.

Those that commute and work on this side of the bay should pay income taxes like Delaware charges now. We can employ people on this side of the creek. Let them foot the unemployment compensation, never ending costs for their many seasonal workers. Make them pay their dues to gather seafood from the bay.

Oh yes, maybe Frank Perdue can sell the chickens elsewhere, along with the other chicken pluckers. Boycott all the tomatoes and corn that are sent this way, along with the watermelons, cucumbers, string beans, squash and cantaloupes that we no-good city people gobble up.

And they must pay their fair share to clean up the bay. Hold those conventions elsewhere than Ocean City.

After all this is put in action, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge could be closed. We the people will spend our dirty money at Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey beaches. Re-route U.S. 301 so as not to cross the bay.

This has been going on long enough, hit them in their pocketbook. it's time to part company with the cry babies, ASAP.

Roy A. Filbert

Catonsville

High noon

It's deadly, make no mistake. There through the gray haze stands a man. Not with a smoking gun but a smoking cigarette. He's not firing a gun he's firing up a Marlboro. He's not blowing you away he's blowing your way.

Why use a gun? Tobacco is a much more effective killer. My parents would tell you this, but tobacco has already snuffed them.

These people are . . . not the drug addicts who hide in the shadows with a gun. No, they'll do their thing just about anywhere. In crowded malls, restaurants and bars. These are the nicotine addicts. They number one in every four of us.

The government tries to protect us from the person with a gun. We now turn to them for protection from a far more insidious and prolific killer.

I just want to give a heartfelt "thank you" to President Clinton, Gov. William Donald Schaefer, Secretary William Fogle and all the others who are taking a stand.

It looks like it's high noon at the O.K. Corral for Joe Camel and the Marlboro Man.

James E. Lorber

Baltimore

State salaries

Let's lay the cards on the table and tell the truth. We state employees know that we've been dealt a bad hand. We know that we're being victimized in a slick game of "three card molly." So, what's new?

First, let us admit that we've been duped by some master card players. Cunning politicians have gotten us tied up competing against each other over an inadequate pot of money for the serious funding of a reasonable pay increase.

We all agree that those at the lower end of the pay scale need to be bolstered to keep from falling even further behind as a result of January's increases in health insurance premiums.

If part-time lawmakers deserve a 3-percent raise in fiscal year 1995 and another 3 percent in fiscal 1996, then why are we, who must carry out their laws, less deserving?

Most of them have other jobs and careers. For those of us who also have other jobs, however,it's a matter of survival, not choice.

Since the majority of state workers work four times longer than most law-makers and at least twice as hard as some, anything short of a 3-percent cost-of-living adjustment with a $1,000 minimum is insulting.

The master players in Annapolis would like us to think otherwise. Certainly, four years of sacrifice during hard budgetary times is justification for funding an adequate pay raise, especially with the crisis over.

I want those card sharks in Annapolis to know that we, as public employees, who are voters and taxpayers, have our own deck of cards to play, in the election game.

Edward J. Bynum

Baltimore

Gun law flaw

It is foolish to enact legislation that does not have adequate enforcement mechanisms, yet that is exactly what has happened with handgun control laws passed by the state and federal governments.

Both laws require waiting periods to allow time for criminal background checks to be performed before dealers can transfer handguns to purchasers.

Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who is determined to strengthen Maryland's leadership position in handgun control, is urging state legislators to pass even more restrictive legislation.

But state and national waiting periods are useless if accurate background checks are not provided dealers because of outdated or nonexistent computer information. Current waiting periods are useless because criminal records are not accurately computerized.

If the National Rifle Association and the proponents of handgun control looked beyond their differences they would realize that it would further their common goals to encourage passage of legislation addressing the need for dealers to have access to accurate criminal background checks.

To enable the state of Maryland to maintain its leadership role, Governor Schaefer should secure funding to provide accurate information locally and use his persuasive skills to encourage availability of accurate information nationally.

Only such efforts will provide the necessary enforcement mechanism to make handgun control legislation effective.

Canby Robertson

Monkton

Nothing sacred

I was shocked and appalled at the Feb. 22 picture of the nude body of pregnant actress Demi Moore with the head of Leslie Nielsen on top.

Is nothing sacred anymore? Not even expectant motherhood?

It was bad enough for the picture to be made in the first place, but for you to print it was disgusting.

I think every woman who has had a child should protest this kind of bad taste.

Oliver Hawkins

Baltimore

Drunk drivers cause victims, too

The constitutional amendment for crime victims' rights was approved by the legislature this year. This means it will be on the ballot in November, to be voted on by the public.

If it passes then, victims will finally be given the rights they deserve in the criminal justice system. Mothers against Drunk Driving has always been a supporter of this legislation. After all, we began our fight for victims' rights 13 years ago. So why are we hesitant to join the celebration now?

This amendment guarantees victims the right to be part of the criminal proceedings -- if their cases originate in Circuit Court. But most of the drunk driving cases begin in District Court, so this amendment will not apply to many of MADD's victims. (The same holds true for most spousal and child abuse cases, which also originate in District Court.)

Why, then, has MADD supported this bill for so long? Because this change was made only recently, obviously for political reasons. Many of our legislators are not in favor of stricter laws for drunk driving, and they do not feel drunk drivers should be treated as severely as other criminals.

By excluding many of our victims from this amendment, the legislators are sending the message that drunk driving is not a serious crime, so the victims should not be treated the same as "serious" crime victims.

MADD is now in an uncomfortable position. We will of course support the amendment, in spite of its shortcomings, out of respect for the many fine, dedicated people in the various victims' rights' groups who worked so tirelessly to assure passage.

We are hoping, though, that we can convince the legislature to remedy the situation next year by adding a provision specifying that drunk driving cases will originate in Circuit Court. Then we will be able to celebrate fully the passage of the crime victims' rights amendment.

Donna Becker

Towson

The writer is treasurer, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Northern Maryland Chapter.

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