Letters to the Editor

Volume VI Number 23
June 11-17, 1998

Owens Fan Touts Green Credentials

Dear New Bay Times Weekly:

Janet Owens is the greenest of all the candidates in the Anne Arundel County executive race.

Two connected foundation stones of her campaign are controlled growth and smaller class sizes. Mr. Gary's "build 'em thick" environmental philosophy results in a "stack 'em deep" educational philosophy. Janet Owens believes these two views are corrupting our quality of life.

Ms. Owens' environmental record is impressive. A decade ago, she initiated weekly testing of the Severn River near her Millersville community so that when coliform levels were high, parents could keep their kids out of the water.

At her home, she is now struggling heroically to save eight very old oaks, the largest in Anne Arundel County north of the Cumberstone Road area.

Ms. Owens placed part of her 60-acre family farm in South County into the USDA's Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. In fulfilling its requirements, she has put special effort into planting environmentally protective grasses.

In the late 1980s, she helped to stop Genstar from mining next to Jug Bay. Her farm is located close to both the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary and the Patuxent River Natural Resource Management Area.

Janet Owens is a practicing as well as a believing "green." With her as county executive, Anne Arundel will, as she says, "No longer be 'Waiverworld' - a developer's paradise." The county will become instead a place with "intelligent long-term plants both to promote and to control growth so that our quality of life gets better, not worse."

-H. Catherine Armiger, Lothian

Were Veterans Deceived on Benefits?

Dear New Bay Times Weekly:

In 1994, the Navy Times reported a shocking confrontation between an old soldier retiree and a major general. "General, you lied to me." The general replied, "Yes, I did."

The so-called "TRICARE" is supposed to take care of military healthcare needs. The problem, however, is that those over 65 can not join. Because Uncle Sam promised them life-time healthcare, most had no need to join Medicare Part B. Now, if a retiree wants to do so, even though he shouldn't have to, the accumulation of many years' penalties are excessive and prohibitive.

In Anne Arundel County alone, the director of the Office of Aging stated that there are about 3,000 military retirees in this bind. There is an abundance of octogenarians. These vets need healthcare the most, without delays and cost, because most are living with limited longevity, ailments and curtailed budgets.

In 1997, Rep. John Ensign, R-Nev., introduced a bill that would have waived the late Medicare Part B enrollment penalties. Our own Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, incredibly, voted against it.

The breach of faith on the part of the federal government and the cancellation of an implied contract between retirees and the government is now having severe consequences in recruitment.

Fellow retirees, don't switch to alternative, costly, unfair measures. Write, call and visit your legislative representatives and confront them when they appear at functions near you.

- Alvin Lucchi, U.S. Army Col. (ret.), Annapolis

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