Dynamometer test fight has stalled
The status of the bills presently before the House and Senate committees that would save the public from compulsory dynamometer testing this June are in critical danger of failure.
I have been following this issue closely, and feel that the public deserves to know what's going on in Annapolis.
We now have only three weeks remaining in the current session. If Senate Bill 278 and House Bill 760 have not completed their journeys through the Senate and House within the remaining weeks of the session, the bills die and compulsory dyno is the law in Maryland.
Gov. Parris N. Glendening has promised that Maryland will have compulsory dyno by June 1, when the temporary moratorium expires. The governor does not want these bills to progress, and they're not. This is no coincidence.
No excuses, Mr. Glendening. We all understand the pecking order and the buck most definitely stops at his desk.
Car collisions down; why is litigation up?
Carroll County lawyer Jay Irwin Block's March 9 letter ("Del. Leopold should investigate PIP abuses"), which seeks to deflect the issue of excessive insurance rates toward the alleged unfair handling of Personal Injury Protection claims by the insurance industry, cannot go unchallenged.
Every citizen should be outraged by the fact that Maryland has the highest litigation rate relative to automobile accident claims in the nation; 65 percent of all auto accidents result in a claimant being represented by an attorney.
It was not surprising that a Baltimore grand jury was impaneled in January to investigate the proliferation of frivolous personal injury lawsuits, despite a drop in motor vehicle collisions.
Motorists who believe that their insurers have not treated them fairly have recourse under existing law to register their complaints with the state Insurance Commissioner and, if his office is not responsive, with the Office of Administrative Hearings.
While some of these claims undoubtedly have merit, many of these cases are the result of fraudulent claims. In the last Maryland election cycle (1990-1994), the largest single contributor to the members of the legislature was the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association.
The lawyers' motivation was not primarily to ensure the reasonable payment of their clients' medical bills. It is time to end this litigation gravy train.
Del. John R. Leopold
The writer is deputy minority whip and represents District 31 in the General Assembly.
Maryland needs to try out slots first
Talk, talk, talk. That's all it seems anyone is willing to do concerning the gambling issue. We have learned about the disadvantages of gambling in Baltimore; the lack of effect on the purse size at the track; the desire of most, if not all, residents to keep it out of Ocean City, and the advantages or disadvantages in other parts of the country.
Now we learn that the Greater Baltimore Committee thinks there might be a tax and employment benefit to the introduction of gambling in Maryland. None of our legislators seem to realize there is a learning curve involved in starting something new. We need to have some actual experience with the subject under study.
Our legislators should be able to craft a bill that would enable us to establish (possibly) two areas in which to get this experience. For example, Cambridge and Western Maryland would have the advantage of low-population density, a need for new employment and an available work force in need of jobs.
There areas would seem easier to learn from than Baltimore or even race tracks. If there is an attraction to gambling, people would need to go to these areas.
Backyard composting would save millions
A March 2 letter to the editor urged Anne Arundel residents to compost their yard wastes and kitchen scraps in their backyards as an alternative to placing them at the curb for recycling.
As recycling coordinator for Anne Arundel County, I found the letter provocative and timely.
Anne Arundel County offers weekly curbside pick-up of yard wastes 10 months out of the year. We currently compost these materials at several regional sites. However, we also encourage homeowners to compost in their own yards.
Backyard composting is among the nation's fastest growing methods for reducing the amount of trash produced by the average household.
In some communities where backyard composting has taken hold, the average household diverts as much as 600 pounds of yard wastes and kitchen scraps from the trash bin to the compost heap. Instead of taking up space in a landfill, these natural materials are used a few months later in rose beds and tomato gardens.
If every household in the county took up backyard composting, we would save $1.3 million worth of landfill space, to say nothing of the value of the compost itself.
Contrary to an earlier letter, the Anne Arundel County Recycling Division has confidence that county residents will take up backyard composting and we are ready to help.
Anyone interested in composting may call our help-line at 222-7967 to ask for information and, while supplies, last, order a free composting bin. Would-be composters who act now may just have enough mature compost to bed down their mums by fall.
Trailer park cracks undercut years' work
For 20 years, the Anne Arundel County Mobile Home Owners Association has been diligently striving to improve the lives of mobile home dwellers in this county, including gaining respectability for park residents.
Through cooperation with state and local government, we have made much progress in cleaning up the mobile homeparks in our area; the term "trailer parks" is incorrect. Not all parks have come up to our expectations, but we are still working very hard.
Unfortunately, the Paula Jones lawsuit against President Clinton gained notoriety in the national news. A Newsweek article said, "In media accounts, she tends to be portrayed as a trailer park floozy digging for money and celebrity." Clinton's adviser James Carville was quoted as saying, "Drag a hundred dollars through a trailer park and there's no telling what you'll find."
Millions of hard-working mobile home residents in the United States have been insulted, humiliated and become the joke of the country because of these careless remarks. There is no reason for a whole group of uninvolved, innocent persons to receive a slap in the face by the most powerful office in the country.
The writer is president of the Anne Arundel County Mobile Home Owners Association. This letter was signed by six other officers of the group.
Bill Clinton and the 'Peanuts' gang
One of the many campaign promises Bill Clinton made when he ran for president in 1992 was to restore integrity in the White House. Remember, he promised us "the most ethical administration" in history. Like all his other promises, it was just Slick Willie pumping out lies to get votes.
What gets me is that he has done this over and over, and still got himself re-elected. The American voting public are sure gullible -- just like Charlie Brown in the "Peanuts" comic strip, trying to kick the football that Lucy pulls away time and again.
A new scandal or uncovering of another lie is an almost daily occurrence with this administration. Mr. Clinton and his cohorts have gone right to the edge or over it many times. They just haven't been caught and probably never will be with a naive public and gullible news media.
Ronald M. Parsons
Help for Ruth Eason, Marley Glen schools
want to thank the wonderful citizens of Anne Arundel for their support of the Knights of Columbus Tootsie Roll Campaign, and particularly, the work of the Father McGivney Council in Glen Burnie.
The Ruth Parker Eason and Marley Glen schools have each received tremendous financial assistance from the Tootsie Roll campaigns over the past 10 years.
Ruth Eason and Marley Glen are Anne Arundel County public schools serving children from the northern areas who are often multiply handicapped and need specialized equipment and technology for their education and therapies.
Children who could not communicate, walk or learn in traditional ways have been helped immensely through the campaigns.
Our county's school budget provides our children with wonderful facilities, dedicated and highly skilled teachers and other necessary staff. But it is not always able to fund state-of-the-art equipment and technology. We depend on the community to help.
We appreciate the generous way that it has responded and supported the campaigns.
Your donation to the Knights in their yellow vests at Marley Station, at the Ordnance Road and Ritchie Highway intersection, the Southdale Giant food store and Annapolis Boat Shows has made a tremendous difference in the programs and opportunities we can offer our very special children.
Jack R. Malloy
The writer is principal of the Ruth Parker Eason School.
Pub Date: 3/16/97