Nation's birthday is marred by divisive flier
I've just come from a lovely evening. My three daughters and I parked along Route 450 outside Annapolis and watched the fireworks from the World War II Memorial overlooking the Severn River and the Naval Academy. It was a great setting with a great show enjoyed by several thousands of us on the overlook and the Naval Academy bridge.
Upon returning to our car I found an unsolicited flier on my windshield that tried to use an FBI crime report as a justification to separate white and black citizens of the United States.
What a shame that the authors and those who wasted their time distributing this trash didn't stop just long enough to see what was happening around them.
The folks I had just spent the evening with were as diverse as all of Anne Arundel County and the rest of the country. We had a wonderful time celebrating what brings us together, not arguing about why we should pull apart.
To the people responsible: If you insist on being miserable then please crawl back under your rock and let the rest of us enjoy what we have and work to make it better.
Mike Binnix, Severna
Thanks to Glendening for improving cemetery
Gov. Parris N. Glendening should be commended for the quick response taken in transforming and improving the deplorable conditions of the Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery.
Once dedicated, the cemetery, much like the Korean War, was soon neglected and forgotten. ("Veterans cemetery receives repairs, funding," June 24).
Lack of funds for the proper caretakers due to low wages allowed the cemetery to deteriorate, the graves to erode, with headstones mired in sinking mud and overtaken by weeds.
Learning of the cemetery's plight from relatives' complaints in The Sun, Governor Glendening took immediate action, approving a request of $200,000 for necessary repairs and improvements.
He delegated the restoration project to Thomas B. Bratten Jr., a retired Army captain who heads the Department of Veteran Affairs. Under his capable supervision, there is already marked improvement.
The sunken headstones have been pried up, fresh soil added to the sunken graves and the headstones are in the process of being lined up and straightened. Garrison Forest Cemetery, housing the remains of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans will soon be worthy to be called a veterans cemetery.
On behalf of all veterans and family members of the buried veterans, I thank and congratulate Governor Glendening and Captain Bratten.
Boris Robert Spiroff, Severna Park
Motorcyclists invisible except when speeding
Last night while watching the late news, I saw a segment devoted to speeding vehicles. Col. David Mitchell of the Maryland State Police is going to target high speed. The specific road area noted was Interstate 95.
But wait, the target is not all vehicle traffic. The target is motorcycles.
As a motorcycle rider, I will admit there are motorcyclists that speed, some very fast indeed. But are motorcycles the only vehicles on the road that are speeding?
Many times I have been in the right lane doing the legal speed limit and have had to constantly look in my rear-view mirrors to make sure that I was not run over from the rear.
Cars and big trucks seem to have fun seeing how close they can come to you. It is like they are trying to give you a push so you will go faster. They are mad because you are holding them up by doing the speed limit.
If a motorcycle is involved in an accident with a car or truck, many times it is not the fault of the motorcyclist. The excuse put forth by the other driver is, "Sorry, but I didn't see you."
I have heard it a few times myself. One time after being rear-ended, I was offered the usual excuse about not seeing me. Then the driver added, "But didn't you see me coming?"
It appears that the only time that a motorcycle is visible is when it is speeding.
I am all for cracking down on excessive speed and reckless driving but let's do it to all drivers not just to the usually invisible (except when speeding) motorcyclist.
Fred C. Lohn, Pasadena
Connect Arundel Mills with light rail system
With Arundel Mills set to open in November, and the light rail nearby at BWI Airport, one hopes the Mass Transit Administration takes advantage of this situation to the mutual benefit of both parties.
It should not be hard to extend the light rail south to Arundel Mills, thus giving the light rail an additional traffic base while providing mass transit to a major shopping complex.
The opportunity to reduce highway traffic and cut air pollution should not be missed.
Daniel E. Withey, Sykesville
Elian demonstrations provoked reaction
It was very sad and very disturbing to see the reaction of the relatives of Elian Gonzalez in Little Havana in Miami.
I can understand their anguish but if they really loved Elian, as they profess, they would let him go to be with his father and to live where his father designated.
I thought it to be in very bad taste for these Cuban refugees to tear and spit on our American flag.
If they are so unhappy with our laws and our way of life, let them go back to wherever they escaped. Their cries and threats to leave this country and not be here next year did not do a thing to me. I say, "Go, and good riddance!"
Marge Griffith, Pasadena
Affordable coverage essential for Medicare
I agree with your editorial ("Make drug coverage part of Medicare," June 28).
However the plans put forward by Republicans and Democrats are too expensive for most seniors on Social Security to afford.
Average monthly benefits from all retired workers is $804 a month and average benefits for all couples is $1,348 monthly. The only plan that appears feasible is raising premiums from $45 per person to $100 per person monthly with no deductible.
Impose a cap of $5 for generic drugs and $10 for brand names, with no maximum cap. And keep the complete operation under Medicare. Give seniors a choice to keep supplementary insurance if desired.
Under the Democratic bill my prescription costs would rise to $3,450 per year more. With the Republican plan it would cost me $5,850 more per year.
James W. Barron Sr., Arnold
Strengthen political will to reduce air pollution
The single most important thing that we have to do to clean up the disgustedly polluted air in Anne Arundel and throughout Maryland is to crank up our political will to resolve the problem.
Unless our elected representatives have the political will to stop this drain on our health, our safety, our quality of life, and our economic future, the problem will only get worse.
The New York state legislature recently passed a bill that prohibits New York companies from selling pollution credits to companies in 14 other states. Maryland is one of those 14 states.
The state of New York recognizes that Maryland is a pollution-generating state that is threatening the citizens of New York.
Maryland is not just a recipient of "bad air" from the west; we are polluting the air of our neighbors who have higher standards and are willing to enforce those standards.
Where is Maryland's political will?
Mary E. Cooper, Laurel