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Suburban deer hunt seeks to protect kids,...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Suburban deer hunt seeks to protect kids, not flowers

The recent publicity regarding the deer cull on my property calls for a response ("Neighbors concerned by deer hunt permit," Oct. 11).

I am not holding this hunt because of plant and shrub damage, though we and our neighbors have experienced substantial losses through the years.

I am taking this step because my grandson contracted Lyme disease this summer while living with us.

He was hospitalized for six days and endured terrible pain. He was unable to use his arm and was on intravenous medication day and night.

Lyme disease is a debilitating illness which, if not quickly diagnosed and treated, can be extremely harmful for years. It is primarily carried by the deer tick.

The deer herd in the area has greatly increased over the past years. It is more than just a nuisance. It is a public health hazard.

It is regrettably necessary to manage the herd to safeguard the health of our children and other area residents. I cannot understand why anyone would value the life of a deer over the life of a child.

It is unfortunate that Baltimore County is not doing a better job managing the herd. Official inaction is forcing individuals like me to take the necessary steps to protect our health and property.

Paula Farbman Baltimore

Homeowners must act to control herds of deer

The Friedmans of Pikesville are correct that people have destroyed much of our wildlife habitat ("Killing the deer is not the answer," letters, Oct. 16) .

But somehow the deer population has increased dramatically. They face virtually no predators and thrive on our shrubs, flowers and vegetable gardens.

Unless you've experienced large herds of deer in your neighborhood, you cannot appreciate the damage they do.

Until we installed deer fencing on our property, we had deer spending the night on our front lawn, and having breakfast on our azaleas, tulips, hosta and whatever else appealed to them.

They are comfortable around people, not bothered by dogs and difficult to discourage.

It is almost impossible to talk to anyone in our area who has not struck a deer with his car or had a close call.

Lyme disease, caused by deer ticks, is increasing, making the presence of deer in our back yards more dangerous.

They must be controlled and hunting is the logical means.

The argument that dead deer on front lawns may traumatize our children is far-fetched. Responsible bow hunters would certainly not leave their kill behind.

Yes, we do need better ways to manage our environment, and perhaps bow hunters in a residential area seem absurd, but the problem is serious.

In this case, killing is the answer -- through regulated, controlled hunting.

Pat Schwartz Glen Arm

I take issue with The Sun's editorial "Deer kill in my back yard" (Oct. 12).

For some of us who have lived in suburbia for many years, occasional appearances of deer on our streets and yards were once welcome.

But now, instead of occasional visits from single Bambis, we are now trying to shoo away herds of them daily.

Deer are ravaging our gardens and pose hazards to motorists on quiet streets; instances of Lyme disease, caused by ticks deer carry, are also rising.

Fearful, frustrated suburbanites have every right to protect their properties by culling these herds, as long as they don't jeopardize anyone else.

Henry W. Eisner Baltimore

Tobacco fee renegotiation undermines contracts

It would be interesting to know if those who support the state of Maryland's efforts to renegotiate Peter G. Angelos' valid contract for his fee from the tobacco settlement are the same people who regularly vilify athletes who demand re-negotiation of their contracts ("Issue brewing over lawyer fee," Oct. 12).

The state is reinforcing the notion that a contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on.

David Ricklis Eldersburg

Utility deregulation isn't all that complex

I have been in the gas deregulation pilot program since its inception in 1997 and I don't know why People's Counsel Michael J. Travieso claims "consumers may not understand the intricacy of looking for a gas supplier" ("Deregulated natural gas under fire," Oct. 17).

What is there to understand? All gas suppliers are approved by Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and quote a price that includes load balancing.

Consumers should ignore the gimmicks and focus on price or reputation, just as they do when they buy gasoline.

If they don't like shopping for gas, they don't have to do so. It's their pocketbook.

Zev Griner Reisterstown

Taiwan Republic thanks region for earthquake aid

On behalf of the people and the government of the Republic of China on Taiwan, I'd like to express our deep appreciation to The Sun for its coverage of the earthquake that struck my country Sept. 21.

I'd also like to thank the many Sun readers who contributed generously to the subsequent rescue and relief efforts.

During the hours and days after the earthquake, rescue teams from the United States and dozens of other countries rushed to Taiwan.

While we now know that 2,340 people were killed and thousands of others injured by the earthquake, we are also quite certain that, thanks to the help of our friends in the international community, many lives were saved.

Of course, the loss of the people of Taiwan is very real. But this event has brought citizens of the Republic of China on Taiwan closer together and made us more determined to build new links to the international community.

C. J. Chen Washington

The writer directs the government information office of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.

Younger, elder Ripken excelled together

I read with pleasure The Sun's editorial honoring Cal Ripken Jr. as a "Marylander of the Century" ("Cal Ripken Jr.'s celebrated work ethic," Oct. 3). However, I was disappointed that it referred to Cal Ripken Sr. merely as a "coach."

The elder Mr. Ripken displayed a special interest in youngsters who wanted to learn the game, as well as in professional athletes needing to improve their skills.

The relationship between the two Ripkens, and his father's work ethic, have enabled Cal Ripken Jr. to attain his many personal achievements.

Edward R. Platt Randallstown

Northern slave trade doesn't excuse the South

Chris Millirons' letter suggests the South should be immune from criticism about slavery because Northerners helped bring slaves (most of whom ended up in the Southern states) into the United States and the Confederate constitution magnanimously forbade importation of slaves ("It was the U.S. flag that protected slave ships," Oct. 12).

But Congress banned the importation of slaves on Jan. 1, 1808, well before the birth of the Confederacy. By 1804, all northern states had banned slave ownership (New Jersey was the last to do so).

The argument that the Confederacy was righteous to prohibit the importation of slaves -- while supporting slavery itself -- is fatuous at best.

We must stop using the North's complicity to justify Southern slavery.

Charles W. Mitchell Lutherville

To our readers

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Send letters to Letters to the Editor, The Sun, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore 21278-0001. Our fax number for letters is 410-332-6977. The e-mail address is letters@baltsun.com.

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