Judge Thieme sent terribly wrong messageOn Feb....

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Judge Thieme sent terribly wrong message

On Feb. 12, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Raymond Thieme Jr. delivered a sentence that defies comprehension.

Judge Thieme would have us believe that Jason Wyville agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter in order to "help the victim's family avoid the ordeal of a trial." The judge was of the opinion that Mr. Wyville "deserves some consideration" and thus reduced his sentence.

This is the same Jason Wyville with a recorded history of trouble-making; the same Jason Wyville who endangered a host of unwary travelers the night he killed Kevin Gallagher; the same Jason Wyville who deliberately, and "just for the fun of it," hurled a rock the size of a baseball through Kevin Gallagher's windshield. What of Kevin's widow? Or his three young sons who must now grow up without their father? Or Kevin's eight brothers and sisters? Or his parents? Jason Wyville will be eligible for parole in 1999. Kevin Gallagher will still be dead. And his family and friends will live with the consequences of Mr. Wyville's behavior for the rest of their lives.

It doesn't take a Navajo code-talker to decipher Judge Thieme's message to all the Wyville wannabees of the world: The cost of deliberately killing another human being is three years room, board, color TV, phone privileges, education, limitless appeals

and the tennis shoes of your choice included.

Mary Cinnamon

Laurel

The cost of being 'business-friendly'

In his Feb. 9 column, "The logic of cutting state taxes," Robert O. C. Worcester gives us another installment of what Maryland must do to become "business friendly." Mr. Worcester cites a number of statistics from a book entitled, "America's Protected Class," to arrive at the conclusion that we in Maryland have too much government. Let's see if I have a partial list of what Maryland must do in order to be "business friendly"?

* Relax environmental regulations and not make polluters responsible for their actions.

* Indemnify corporations from punitive damages and change our tort system to make it more difficult for people to gain access to courts to obtain relief.

* Deny municipal employees the right to collectively bargain. * Accept the notion that laws and rules which protect consumers damage economic development.

* Become a right-to-exploit-workers state. If we do all of these things, we will be privileged to have corporate America consider us for economic development. That is when some corporate CEO, who is making millions in stock options and golden parachutes, will provide us with jobs in which hourly wages won't buy a pound of coffee. It certainly leaves one to wonder just who really is the "protected class"?

Gordon C. Hatt

Glen Burnie

Delegation wants right it denies public

I find it interesting that the members of the Anne Arundel County delegation are quite comfortable airing their views and voicing their vote on the selection of school board members.

The majority have staunchly denied that privilege to the registered voters that they represent. I can't understand why they seem to think that "referendum" is a dirty word?

Terry Berg

Arnold

Gun law wasn't 'rammed down'

Sanford Abrams, vice president of the Maryland Licensed Firearms Dealers Association, accuses Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse (Jan. 30) of "ramming the Saturday Night

Special law down our throats in 1988."

That law, which the National Rifle Association opposed in a $6 million campaign, was a referendum approved by 58 percent of Maryland voters. The characterization by Mr. Abrams is an insult to Maryland voters.

Fred David

Pasadena

Education, not stadiums; don't call team 'Bombers'

We have two carpetbaggers named Cooke and Modell. They have only self-interests. Maryland certainly does not need two football stadiums.

The state school bus transportation money support to local jurisdictions has been decreasing. Social Security for school system employees is now funded by the local jurisdiction. The "maintenance of effort" faces reduced funding or being done away with altogether.

Entertainment has become more important than education. We all know what entertainment did for the Roman Empire!

Thomas R. Twombly

Pasadena

The writer is a member of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

It is hoped that Baltimore will not accept the name "Bombers" Such an appellation certainly would not fly in Oklahoma City, New York City, London, Jerusalem, Belfast. Also, we don't want our new team to "bomb."

Marjorie L. Sutton

Severna Park Fifteen years ago, my daughter, Amber, died from cancer. To save others from the same anguish, I photographed her experience, kept an intimate diary and wrote a book, "The Secret Legacy."

Thus began my journey and my (so far) futile attempt to break through the overwhelming fear that surrounds cancer, to educate people and to unite the cancer community to work together to eradicate this terrifying disease.

Instead of open eyes, minds and hearts, I encountered a stone wall. I spent years banging by head against it until I saw what lay beyond: the politics of cancer; the world behind the headlines and promotional brochures; the companies whose success depends on the proliferation of the disease; a medical community beset with infighting and competition; politicians who promote "the war on cancer," but are unwilling to support legislation to win it, and hundreds of organizations, filled with thousands of people, all working separately to save millions of cancer victims.

Despite this bumpy road, my work with the people at Hospice of the Chesapeake reminds me: Never give up and never accept cancer as an inevitable part of life. To this end, I have three goals: Take the focus off of the statistics and put it back on the people; ask the medical community to look at all cancer therapies around the world with an open mind, and publish my book myself so that Amber will become the face of cancer, not just another number. Imagine a monument, similar to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, that would honor the more than 12 million people who have died from cancer in the quarter-century since President Richard M. Nixon launched the "war on cancer." It would be more than 16 miles long.

Patti Stiewing

Riva

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