Tamar's Children can still be saved

On behalf of the women of Tamar's Children, I hope to disabuse state Public Safety Secretary Mary Ann Saar of the misinformation she has apparently received ("Judge extends prison alternative," April 13).


First, the effort by the women who are part of the Tamar's Children program to save the program is not the cause of their distress.

As the secretary knows, these women, who all have histories of trauma, were only a short time ago mired in a cycle of substance abuse treatment and relapse, homelessness and incarceration.


Yet immediately upon learning that Tamar Inc. had been fired by Potomac Healthcare Foundation - effectively gutting the program - these women devised a multipronged advocacy strategy to save the program. Being present in court as Baltimore Circuit Judge Joseph H. H. Kaplan repeatedly ruled in their favor, engaging the media and contacting their representatives have been an empowering experience for the women.

And their involvement should be all the evidence that Ms. Saar needs that this program is uniquely successful and must be preserved.

Second, this program is not beyond repair. Now that Potomac Healthcare has bowed out, the stated reason for ending the program (that the parties could not get along) no longer exists.

And as Judge Kaplan sensibly advised, the state can enter into a new contract with Tamar Inc. and an alternative substance abuse provider and hire an administrator to oversee the operations.

After all that these women have overcome in their lives, it simply cannot be that it is not worth the state's effort to save this program.

I urge Ms. Saar to meet with the women and devise a plan to save Tamar's Children.

Laura Cain



The writer is an attorney for the Maryland Disability Law Center, which is representing the women of Tamar's Children.

Striving to sever a cycle of abuse

The Tamar's Children program is about the lives of women and children, moms and babies who seek what should be simple - a life together in which they have respect and dignity ("Judge extends prison alternative," April 13).

These women have known trauma, violence and substance abuse, often from childhood. Many are survivors of a childhood that many of us would dare not imagine.

The front-line workers in the program have always placed the well-being of these women and babies first. Perhaps the powers that be now need to do the same thing.

Those in positions of trust such as state Public Safety Secretary Mary Ann Saar should come to the program and speak to these women and children before spouting to the press that the program will be closed.


We at Tamar's Children have a simple agenda - helping women and children live healthy lives and breaking the cycle of the effects of intergenerational violence, trauma, substance abuse, poverty and incarceration.

Susan Mockus


The writer is acting program director for Tamar's Children.

Tax cuts push us toward plutocracy

In regard to The Sun's editorial "$10 tax cut" (April 14), it should be obvious by now that President Bush is doing the bidding of his extremely wealthy supporters as they try to turn this country into a plutocracy.


As the middle class keeps getting squeezed in every direction, the mega-millionaires just get richer and richer.

Under Mr. Bush, those least in need have received the most, while the rest of us struggle to pay for education, energy, housing and health care.

If we in the public continue to fall for $10 tax cuts, we will have only ourselves to blame for being fleeced.

Paul Streckfus


Democrats just seek electoral advantage


This last legislative session should tell people one thing - vote them out ("Governor calls Assembly session extremely partisan," April 12).

The Democrats do not care about the citizens - all they care about is getting a Democrat elected as governor.

Well, I think Maryland voters are smarter than that.

William Pohlman

Perry Hall

Regents chairman should admit error


I salute The Sun for taking a stand in the editorial "Regents in wonderland" (April 16) and calling for Board of Regents Chairman David Nevins to admit his mistake.

Apparently, The Sun did not agree with the ethics committee's review of the case, which exonerated Mr. Nevins ("Ethics review clears regents chairman of alleged lobbying violation," April 13).

I agree with the stand taken by The Sun, and recommend that either all members of that review committee be investigated and evaluated, or that we ask House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller to appoint another completely independent committee, with no regents or representatives from Constellation Energy on it, for another review of the matter.

The review committee's decision on Mr. Nevins is a good example of sweeping something questionable under the rug.

The allegations against former Gov. Marvin Mandel for similar misconduct will probably get the same treatment when they are reviewed.

Quinton D. Thompson



Segways can reduce the need to drive

I enjoyed The Sun's article on the Segway Human Transporter and felt it presented a fair review ("The Full-Tilt Tour," April 8) - unlike some other articles, which have tended to mock these remarkable devices. I commend The Sun for resisting that temptation.

In this time of ever-increasing gas prices, the 83-pound Segway offers an incredible alternative, not to walking, but to lugging a 2-ton vehicle around to buy, say, toothpaste.

No, the Segways won't replace your car in all circumstances, but they make a great substitute on the many occasions when a car or an SUV is simply overkill.

The key here is: They are a great substitute for driving, not walking.


If you normally walk somewhere, walk - don't use a Segway.

But if you live in an urban setting, and commute five or six miles each way, then a Segway is a great way to get to work.

It's worth serious consideration.

Besides, they are incredibly fun to ride.

Jim Ross



Working miracles with the rare birds

Thanks to reporter Abigail Tucker for her delightful article "Rare birds cared for by rarer people" (April 12).

It's so refreshing to read hopeful news about these wonderful whooping cranes and the people who have wrought miracles with them. And on the front page, too.

As Ms. Tucker points out, spring has returned to the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and the first crane egg has been found. That's very good news, indeed.

Velva Grebe