Out-of-control deer population must be hunted

In some places, the deer herds in Baltimore County number five to 10 times the acceptable levels ("Deer debate stirring emotions on both sides," June 19).

These creatures are responsible for almost daily collisions with vehicles, an epidemic of Lyme disease, severe damage to crops and landscaping, substantial reductions in the regeneration and diversity of forests, an alarming loss of habitat for songbirds and a threat to the water supply for the whole region because of soil erosion into the reservoirs.

The state of Maryland and several counties have instituted managed hunts to safely reduce excessive deer populations. Baltimore County must do the same thing.

The alternatives proposed by the relatively few hunt opponents are unworkable, unduly expensive and ineffective.

Hunting opponents should be more concerned about the suffering of the many deer that die after collisions with vehicles and about the human occupants of those vehicles than about "deer that have been wounded - but not killed - by hunters."

Barry C. Steel


Find ways for deer, humans to co-exist

Thanks to reporter Laura Barnhardt for her unbiased coverage of the deer debate ("Deer debate stirring emotions on both sides," June 19).

This is clearly a very complex issue that is not easily solved by bullets or arrows - particularly when humans continue to encroach on the habitat of the deer.

I would like to see the state and the Department of Natural Resources collaborate with the Humane Society of the United States to set up one of the contraceptive programs that have been operating successfully in other areas.

The Humane Society recently agreed to provide such a program for the Assateague ponies ("A Maryland model," editorial, April 18).

Doesn't everyone want a better population control plan for the long term?

Or is this really all about polishing up our guns, putting out bait and letting them rip?

Let's get together with the experts to explore viable long-term options so that we may all exist in peace.

Linda M. Kelly


Death of Md. officer is front-page news

I believe The Sun owes an explanation to the thousands of law enforcement officers of Maryland and mostly to the family of Cpl. Steven Gaughan, a Prince George's County police officer who was recently murdered.

How did the death of a man who has selflessly served Maryland for many years, and has now made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, get stuck on the second page of Wednesday's Maryland section ("Police officer shot, dies after surgery," June 22), while Page One of that section contains articles on the following topics: the bear census in Maryland, endangered bats, a recreation center and the debate over the development of a hotel in Baltimore?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds The Sun's priorities very insulting.

Jason Zahn


Support for abortion betrays core values

Susan Reimer cites sociologist Barbara Dafoe Whitehead to contend that Republicans are appealing to married parents of young children by depicting Democrats as "anti-God, anti-America, anti-family and anti-heartland values" ("Democrats need to pitch to parents," June 19).

Indeed, when a political party is in bed with the abortion industry, which has destroyed millions of children in the womb, well, how much more anti-God, anti-America, anti-family or anti-heartland values can it be?

Andrew Todaro


A political attack on values of families

For years, we conservative Republican readers have had to tolerate Susan Reimer's political attacks on our values disguised by The Sun as family observations and humor. But I would guess even The Sun's editors must have recognized that the Sunday column "Democrats need to pitch to parents" (June 19) belonged in the editorial section.

Such blatant political commentary has no place in the Home & Family section, where readers expect nonpolitical, informational articles.

Please, do now what The Sun should have done with Ms. Reimer's liberal gobbledygook long ago: Put it in the editorial section with the rest of your left-wing pabulum.

Vince Clews


New homes menace valley in Allegany

Reporter Timothy B. Wheeler's front-page article on the proposed 4,300-home development in rural Allegany County is really important ("Allegany residents split over prospect of suburbia," June 17).

To add a greater perspective on the plight of the Little Orleans Valley, it should be noted that this proposed development north of Route 68 would be in addition to William M. Rickman Jr.'s proposed horse racing-slots-casino development south of Route 68 in the same valley.

The Rickman development has received highly questionable water withdrawal permits from the Department of the Environment despite the pleas of local residents who experience well failures on a regular basis.

These failures occur because the Little Orleans Valley lies within the rain shadow of two Appalachian ridges to the west that catch most precipitation.

If the well failures are experienced on a regular basis by the few residents living there now, how can any development of such enormous proportions be seriously considered in addition to Mr. Rickman's plan?

The state should look beyond the county's desire for development at any cost and deny the permits that would let this proposal go further.

Ajax Eastman


Column prompts real pleas for help

I wonder how many of those who criticized Dan Rodricks' column asking the drug dealers to at least stop killing each other would think this was "naive," "pandering" or "disingenuous" if just one of the 20 or so people who responded to it asking for help was a friend or family member, especially if that family member was their child ("Rodricks' plea to drug dealers challenges readers, too," June 19)?

I am glad that Mr. Rodricks has the full support of The Sun's editors.

Michael Connell


Tall buildings boost market for amenities

So long as the buildings maintain the typical Mount Vernon faM-gade at street level, height is not a problem ("New height rules threaten city's charm," letters, June 18).

The more people we have living in the neighborhood, the more likely it is that we will see a surge in amenities such as retail outlets, restaurants and other services.

Kathleen H. Jarmiolowski


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