Code Words on Slots

I've been following the slots debate for two years now, going from for to against and starting all over again. Your "Stirring Up the Party" (Maryland Notebook) in the Aug. 19 issue illuminated a concern of mine. What bothers me is Gov. Robert. L. Ehrlich Jr.'s refusal to place slots in "family-oriented areas" such as Timonium in Baltimore County and state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.'s insistence that slots won't fly in "rural, conservative areas." If you substitute "predominantly white" for the two descriptions by the governor and state Senate president, you're saying the same thing in terms of demographics. It seems like those two politicians are saying slots are okay as long as they're not in "our" neighborhood.

The other sticking point for me is, what is so special about the horse racing industry? Why should that industry be saved by the state? I'm sure there are other struggling industries in Maryland wondering the same thing. It smells of a special interest piece of legislation to me, which immediately brings up ethical questions of whether certain politicians will benefit financially from slots legislation.

I don't know who's more "obsessively pursuing slots," Ehrlich or Miller, and what is the real motivation.

Eugene Morgan


Worthy Effort Against Lead

Regarding the Aug. 20 Metro section article about the plight of the Bauer family as they try to rid their historic home of lead: There is a pervasive attitude that because lead is everywhere, those who attempt to control it in their own homes are somehow being alarmist. It is my observation that people become overwhelmed with the expense and effort it takes to ensure an old home is safe from lead, so they ignore the issue. Ignorance becomes impossible when you are personally affected by the poison and understand that there are ways to protect the health of yourself and those you love. In the case of the Bauer family, they are willing, at considerable expense, to maintain the look of their historic home with expensive windows. In doing so they will have eradicated a poison from their lives and preserved the historic integrity of their home. They should be applauded for their efforts.

Genevieve D. Chase

Takoma Park