Letters to the Editor - May 3

April 30, 2011

Judge Boone has given of himself willingly, unreservedly

To the editor:

A good judge gives the citizens of his community more than his time; he gives his heart and soul and life's energies. If he does his job correctly, he is always giving up a part of himself — sometimes to his detriment — until there is no more to give.

Something must be done to get six-month to one-year sabbaticals for all Maryland judges every 10 years of service. Retired judges could fill in while a judge is on sabbatical.

A number of years ago, I wrote a letter to Chief Judge Murphy of the Maryland Court of Appeals about the need to initiate a sabbatical program for the Maryland judiciary. He wrote me back at the time agreeing that it was a good idea, but he did not have the funds in the budget to do it.  

We must do it, and whatever it costs is the price we must pay to keep good judges on the bench and protect their physical and emotional health.

We have to realize that a judge — a good judge — sometimes wakes up at 4 a.m. replaying a difficult and emotionally loaded case over in his mind or thinking of a matter he knows is scheduled on the docket to come before him that day.

W. Kennedy Boone III has been a good judge, exemplifying Shakespeare's observation that "earthly power doth show likest God's when mercy seasons justice." He has a quick intellect, he's respected by lawyers and his legendary sense of humor lightens the courtroom and has traditionally been his sword and his shield.

When Boone, currently on a leave of absence recommended by the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities, returns to the bench prior to his mandatory retirement under Maryland law when he reaches age 70 next year, let's give him the respectful sendoff and homage he deserves. He has given of himself willingly and unreservedly to all of you and his fellow jurists and he has done so to his own detriment. Have you ever found yourself doing the same for those you love?

R. Martin Palmer


'Illegal' was key word  in immigrant tuition decision

To the editor:

This is in response to the April 25 editorial with the headline "Immigrant students have a right to learn." Yes they do, but not illegal immigrants. Let's set the correct tone at the outset.

I won't reiterate all of the writer's arguments for allowing this bill; they have no merit. We are talking "illegal."

Here are key expressions: "wedge issue by callous politicians," "sky-is-falling cries," "nothing worrisome about this measure" and "bill has been subjected to purposeful distortion."

These are expressions applicable to all opposed to the bill, thus spoken like a true liberal Democrat who lays the blame on everything and everyone except where it should be placed. Even the headline misleads, so the reader gets the feeling we are talking about immigrants period and not illegals.

The article argues that these students must complete high school and two years of community college, and their parents must pay taxes. But most illegal immigrants are at the bottom of the pay scale. Further, these students are totally Americanized, speaking the language just like anyone naturalized. Yes, but they haven't applied for citizenship. Many around the world would love to come to America and partake of its blessings. Why are these students given that opportunity above all others?

I assume the person writing the piece for The Herald-Mail has a degree in journalism and a strong command of the English language. What is it about "illegal" that the writer and most Democrats don't understand? By the way, I looked up the definition of "illegal" and couldn't find any subordinate or hidden definition that allowed it to be used in the legal sense.

My understanding is that this bill makes Maryland and New York the only states granting illegal immigrants this privilege. That should really make us proud, since we are a nation of laws and we are willing to break another one. Let's give our delegates and senators a big pat on the back because the bill passed mostly along party lines.

Edward Kendall


Insurance requirements for mammograms need changed

To the editor:

The containment of health care costs is a national priority. Unfortunately, many health care professionals only give lip service to reducing the costs of health care. I have great respect for the health care professionals who not only deliver excellent health care but also try to reduce the cost of providing that excellent care. I don't have quite as much respect for the health care professionals who seldom or never look for ways to reduce the cost of health care.

I would like to address the issue of mammograms for women. The American Cancer Society's mammogram guidelines call for yearly mammogram screenings beginning at age 40 for women at average risk of breast cancer. There is nothing complicated about that guideline.

But, in some cases, including Medicare, if a woman wants her insurance company to pay for a mammogram, she has to get a doctor's order for the mammogram. Many doctors, especially the best doctors, are generally overworked and hard-pressed for time. Most women are perfectly capable of scheduling mammograms without the unnecessary bother and cost of getting orders from their doctors.

I believe that one tiny step in the war to reduce health care costs could be taken if insurance companies would pay for yearly mammogram screenings beginning at age 40 for women at average risk of breast cancer without the need to get orders from their doctors.

I await a letter to the editor from any health care professional in this area who believes that insurance companies should not adopt this practice.

Daniel Moeller


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