Invoice on non-terminally il|; gun laws; community-supported agriculture; minimal wage plans


Is it OK to allow the terminally ill to end their lives at a time of their choosing to avoid suffering, but not a person with severe or chronic pain who has lost the will to live? Should a lethal prescription be an option for all who are suffering?

The Maryland General Assembly will be debating SB 845/HB 933 this week, offering “aid in dying” or “physician-assisted suicide” to someone with a six-month prognosis. There are many problems with the bill and its lack of protection for vulnerable populations such as the disabled, poor and elderly who might be targeted and feel the value of their own lives diminished. The policy makes suicide socially acceptable, as evidenced by Oregon’s increased suicide rate, much higher than the national average (Oregon Health Authority, Suicide Trends 2017). The biggest problem is the policy does nothing for the longer-term suffering of non-terminally ill. Are we doing enough to relieve suffering for everyone?

As a nurse practitioner for more than 35 years, I have walked with many people who are suffering, often on their final journeys. We can’t give up on our quest to relieve human suffering. Medical innovations, increased access to palliative care and socioeconomic support systems are needed. However, sometimes the simplest measures can be the most effective. These include being physically present with someone who is suffering, listening, providing gentle physical care, gentle hand-holding or touching. Health care providers, caregivers and loved ones who can do this, and not walk away, can ease pain and suffering certainly for the terminally ill, and across populations.

Sandra Nettina, West Friendship

Maryland Democrats will continue to test the boundaries of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and will most likely receive a “hand-slapping” from the Supreme Court for overstepping their restrictive policies. Thus, Maryland will squander millions of dollars in litigation without making Baltimore one iota safer. Wouldn’t it be more sensible (a word Democrats have been using a lot) to simply allow wider access to concealed carry permits and confirm what everyone already knows — concealed carry permit owners are not the problem.

Peter Tutini, Annapolis

I wanted to extend a big thanks to Dana Munro and The Capital for highlighting community-supported agriculture and some of the local farms providing fresh food in the recent article about Anne Arundel County CSAs. At the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF), we know how important it is to connect local farms with communities because it reduces food transportation costs and emissions, as well as fostering more environmentally friendly farming methods.

CBF doubles down on this commitment to local farms by training other farmers about regenerative agriculture and environmentally beneficial farming at the organization’s Clagett Farm in Upper Marlboro. At the 283-acre farm, CBF farm staff grow a variety of produce as well as raise grass-fed sheep and cattle. CBF sells the produce through its own CSA program at the farm, which also has a pickup location from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays at the Philip Merrill Center, 6 Herndon Ave., in Annapolis, next to the Bay Ridge community.

CBF’s CSA program costs $797 for a full 26-week share or $439 for a 13-week share. CSA customers can expect lettuces, cabbages, strawberries, peppers, tomatoes, watermelons, squash, green beans, cucumbers and other produce from the farm throughout the year. CSA members also get access to the farm in Upper Marlboro to learn about regenerative farming and opportunities for self-picking, such as in the strawberry fields. You can learn more about the Clagett CSA program at

Each year, the farm also donates several tons of produce to local food banks and shelters. In 2022, Clagett Farm donated more than 23,000 pounds of produce.

A.J. Metcalf

Metcalf is the Maryland communications coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

I am sure I am not the only small business owner who takes antacid pills every time I hear Gov. Wes Moore’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and have automatic increases based on the consumer price index. Let’s think this through a little harder.

I own three Cold Stone Creameries here in Maryland and we start hiring our employees at age 15 when most kids are in the 10th grade. They come to us looking for their first job. Most have no work experience. little to no social skills and have no real understanding of how to multitask. We have to invest a lot of effort into training these kids and hope that they stay. We have found that with each increment of the minimum wage increase these kids want to actually work less not more. They want a job in high school to make some extra spending cash, they are not raising a family.

If we had to pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour or more, we would not hire high school kids but hire people with experience, who are more mature, who know how to interact with customers and know how to multitask.

I have proposed the idea for a two tier minimum wage program before. One minimum wage for those in high school and another higher minimum wage for those with a high school diploma. Give kids an incentive to stay in school and get their diploma, all the while giving them the chance to work in high school.

Now tying the minimum wage to the consumer price index is like putting the cart before the horse. One of the leading factors for inflation is the cost of labor. I know we have had to increase the price of our product after every raise in minimum wage. So if you automatically increase the minimum wage when consumer prices increase there will be no stopping how high minimum wage would become. It would create an unnatural rate of inflation that would stifle the economy.

Let the free market set the price of labor. If you have noticed with the short supply of labor recently, companies are raising starting wages to entice applicants. This is the law of supply and demand, small labor supply and high labor demand equals increased starting labor rates. Then when a recession hits, the free market will adjust labor rates accordingly. If you have set a floor for the rate of labor in a recession, the free market can’t adjust naturally and business are forced to lay employees off or they fold as they can’t afford to pay minimum labor rates.

Small businesses are the heartbeat of the Maryland economy, our voice and opinions should matter more than keeping campaign promises. Please Gov. Moore, reconsider your minimum wage proposal and keep the heartbeat of Maryland strong.

Mark Pringle, Lothian

With President Joe Biden’s recent visit to Ukraine and Poland, much attention has been given to our level of support for Ukraine’s defense against Russia. However, I am concerned our support of Ukraine is on the verge of waning, with the possibility of collapse. Especially on the Republican side of Congress relative to future expenditures. Yes, we have supplied Ukraine with much-need weapons and munitions. But it often seems only after much hand wringing and stated concern over provoking Russia. And now many Republicans are saying enough.

How can we be concerned about provoking Russia over providing greater support to Ukraine. We have already been provoking Russia for a year. Russian President Vladimir Putin only understands strength; he sees our foot dragging over concern for provoking him as a sign of weakness, heading to collapse. This will only provoke him to be more aggressive. We need to pay attention to the lesson of Crimea. This is not lost on China, either. We need to provide Ukraine with the aircraft requested by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy — they are needed now, not later. They are needed now to take out Russia’s bases of operations raining terror on the Ukrainian countryside. They are needed now to take back eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

We need to call on Biden to back up his attendance to and words of support for Ukraine with stronger action — we need to get the ball rolling on giving Ukraine its much needed air support capability before it is overrun by the Russian offensive now underway, slowly, but surely. Enough of the Russian genocide of Ukraine. Enough of the Russian devastation of Ukraine. The United States being a world superpower and being afraid to provoke Russia are incongruous!

John W. Robinson, Annapolis

The lawsuit filed by Dominion against Fox News has confirmed what many of us have long suspected, that Fox News on-air entertainers and executives allegedly did not believe former President Donald Trump’s lies about a stolen election. They not believe it, but they continued to promote the lie, choosing guests they knew to be lying. They knew full well that President Joe Biden had won, but personalities like Tucker Carlson continued to push the Big Lie, out of fear for corporate profits and that they would lose viewership to Newsmax and other right-wing outlets. As political writer Rick Wilson, summed it up: “They knew Trump lost. They knew, and lied. Over, and over, and over.”

Moral of the story, if you enjoy Fox News for its entertainment value, have at it. If you are looking for a trustworthy news source, please consider other options.

Kristin Silva, Severna Park


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