Letters to the Editor
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Does the Puzzler Go Too Far?
Dear Bay Weekly:
I really enjoy reading Bay Weekly, which I consider a family publication. I also like to do crossword puzzles. However, I wonder why Ben Tausig finds it necessary to include sexual or off-color words as answers to his puzzles.
I no longer work on his puzzles, especially after the words Kotex, sex and sperm (to name a few) were the answers.
Maybe you can find someone who doesn’t enjoy using the words he learned as a fifth-grader, and I’ll go back to working on the puzzles.
A Concerned Reader,
Editor’s note: We decided that this letter deserves a break from our policy of not printing unsigned letters as it gives us opportunity to clarify puzzler Ben Tausig’s standards for word inclusion.
“Each of these are words,” writes Tausig “that anyone of any age might encounter on common household products, in the drug store, on the pages of the newspaper, or in a sex education class in school. My policy for entries is to use words that could appear in the pages of the paper where the puzzle runs (Will Shortz, The New York Times’ puzzle editor, maintains a similar policy). I don’t see these words as being particularly risqué, and I doubt any of the three would violate that policy.”
Double Duty: Yes, Lawmakers Are Human
Dear Bay Weekly:
Thanks to Bay Weekly and Carrie Madren for the article “Double Duty” [Vol. xvi, No. 3: Jan. 16] about the busy lives of some of our state legislators. Of the eight profiled, I know one from his hippy days way back in the 1970s, the other from being my senator and the third from his being my local delegate and from having worked for him in his business. I was surprised to learn that a fourth owns a restaurant within walking distance of my home.
It’s important for readers to know that most of our delegates and senators are hard-working people devoted to public service. The job is not easy, and they’re human. Any one of us who is motivated and committed enough could run for and possibly be elected to office. Whether we love them, hate them, agree with them or disagree with them, most of them are willing to meet and listen with us as they do their public service job in addition to having other “real” jobs and raising families. However, about that special session tax increase …
Paul Foer, Annapolis
Truth is Weirder than Fiction
Dear Bay Weekly:
A few weeks ago in News of the Weird, there was mention of an Army Corps of Engineer miscalculation on a levee they were building in New Orleans. Instead of protecting from waters several feet over Katrina’s flood waters, it will only protect another six inches.
That brings to mind something I do each year. In addition to setting New Year’s resolutions, I look back at accomplishments and failures in the past year. One real failure was the decision to rebuild New Orleans. If, as most people feel, global warming is causing an ever-increasing rise in our oceans, why would rational people choose to rebuild a city that is (a) on the Gulf Coast and (b) below sea level.
The rebuilding of New Orleans is the type of tax dollar waste that we can ill afford in times of recession. Many of the former residents have chosen not to return, which seems like the most rational decision of all. Yes, turning New Orleans into a salt marsh/protected wetland would not, at first, be a popular decision. But it would be a rational one. Furthermore, it would ensure there would never again be a catastrophic evacution with the concomitant loss of life and property from at least one seaside city. We are all now paying higher homeowners insurance rates due to New Orleans. Rebuilding it is just asking for more pain!
Glenn H. Weder, Hollywood, Md
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