letters to the editor - 4/29/04

April 29, 2004

Mental health cuts endangering my son

To the editor:

I am writing in regards to the Maryland budget cuts affecting mental health care for children. I have a son who has been seeing a therapist since the age of 6 for ADHD, PDD and ODD. As he grows, his need for therapy, which helps him develop essential life skills, will increase.

Since the cuts took effect in February, the improvements which we had been seeing in my son's behavior have declined dramatically. It's been most noticeable since the loss of the services which he was receiving through Angie Zeger, his Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program (PRP - LifeSkills) worker.

My son's separation from her has affected his ability to do things like manage his anger, accept criticism, respect authority and numerous other skills. My son also feels a personal sense of loss in Angie Zeger's absence that he expresses to me daily.


The issue is twofold - the effect this has had on the children now and what effect it will have on their futures. Without help, parents fear their children won't become productive adults and function well in society.

They need to be able ability to seek and hold productive employment, raise families and live by the laws that govern us. These skills, which most develop at an early age, are an ongoing struggle for children who suffer from mental health disorders.

I am concerned about the effect that these budget cuts have already had on my son and children like him. Our children are our future and will make our society. Without the assistance of the state funding where will society be?

Vivian J. Miller

'The Mourning Herald'

To the editor:

Renaming this paper The Mourning Herald would seem appropriate after reading your coverage of our neighbors who attended the Rally for Abortion Rights - the right of a mother to choose to end the life of her unborn child. Glad your cameras could be on hand to see all the people who support such a senseless tragedy.

I bet the family of Linda Smith must be so proud to hear how she helped organize a group through her work with the National Organization of Women that supports the mother's right to let the doctor remove her fully developed baby, puncture its skull, suck out the brain, then return the baby inside the mother for a natural delivery. So proud of wanting to maintain partial-birth abortion as a right.

What is so ironic is about 50 percent of those babies aborted are female. Why are you not trying to protect their rights as well?

May the divine mercy of God be what you seek when you all come to your senses. May our God be blessed.

Patricia Patterson
Falling Waters, W.Va.

To address sprawl, vote for Tom Trumble

To the editor:

Once again, the primary election season is upon us. Once again, the dominant local election issue is residential development - how many houses, at what density, located where in Jefferson County, W.Va.? These are obvious questions, but what are the answers and why do the answers matter beyond the ready response of "not in my back yard?"

Do you care about congestion and unsafe roadways? Do you care about high-quality schools? Attracting modern forms of commerce? Preserving history? Providing recreation? A plentiful and safe water supply? Attracting tourists? High taxes? Just being able to draw a deep breath and enjoying a quiet, cool summer evening?

Residential sprawl is implicated in every one of these issues. Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as saying, "No more sprawl." Land-use regulations are just that - regulations that can be repealed, revised and amended. It's a difficult task that requires a county commissioner who can negotiate among those who have conflicting interests. Until meaningful and significant land-use reform is accomplished, all candidates' promises will be empty and in two more years, we'll still be spinning around the same issues.

I believe that Tom Trumble is qualified and capable to assemble and lead a skilled team of citizens to work with the remaining three county commissioners to 1) address the current problems of sprawl that have been long in the making; and 2) find mutually acceptable solutions so that we're not in this mess again in a few years.

On May 11, please vote for our present, vote for our future and vote for Tom Trumble for County Commissioner.

David M. Hammer
Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Thanks, counselor

To the editor:

The public defender's office often has the reputation of being nothing more than a plea-bargaining agent.

However, I recently had a case that was without complications and of very little significance as far as the penalty I faced, yet James A. Johnston made it apparent that he was more than willing to fight against my conviction. I would like to say "thank you."

Jason Marquart
Washington County Detention Center

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