- The Washington Times - Monday, November 6, 2000

Readers respond to Bush 'mistake'

Twenty-four years ago, after having had a few too many beers in the town in which he spent summer vacations, Texas Gov. George W. Bush was pulled over after being observed driving too slowly. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, paid the fine and never questioned the officer's legal authority to fine him.
He has been open with the people of Texas and our country in saying that he had a problem with alcohol when he was younger. He also has said he is not proud of this, and he abstains from alcohol.
Mr. Bush is running for president as a former entrepreneur and business executive, a public servant and the governor of a state larger than Germany. He is not the same man who made a few mistakes more than 20 years ago.
Mr. Bush was not, like his opponent, raised to seek office from the time he was in diapers. He did not spend his years as a young adult overly concerned with appearances like a poll-watching politician. Perhaps he should have.
When Mr. Bush was arrested for driving under the influence, his father already had been director of the CIA, envoy to China and chairman of the Republican Party. If Mr. Bush were the type of person who did not accept responsibility for his behavior, he could have pulled strings and gotten out of the DUI charge. Instead, he paid his fine and accepted responsibility for his actions.
If those who now hold office in the executive branch would do the same for their misdeeds, our nation would be better off.
JOHN HULLIHAN
New York

Readers respond to Bush 'mistake'

I am a lifelong Republican, but I cannot vote for Texas Gov. George W. Bush for president.
I am shocked and very disturbed to hear that he has been covering up a 24-year-old arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. Lying to the American people is exactly the offense for which I believe President Clinton should have been removed from office by the Senate after he was impeached by the House.
Mr. Bush has done the same, and I would be a hypocrite if I voted for Mr. Bush. I wonder if Mr. Bush has other instances of drug and alcohol abuse that he also has been covering up.
Character counts. Replacing "Slick Willy" with "Slick George W." is no improvement.
LARRY STANTON
Hyattsville

Readers respond to Bush 'mistake'

I very much appreciate the manner in which The Washington Times handled the news of Texas Gov. George W. Bush's 24-year-old arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol putting the story on page A8 ("Tricksters unleashed as race nears end," Nov. 3). That is what I would call proper coverage and newspaper etiquette.
Many of us people from all socioeconomic levels have been arrested on a DUI charge, and mine was in 1976 as well. That was a time before the nation was made truly aware of the danger of drinking and driving.
Again, I congratulate The Times for not practicing sensationalist journalism. You do credit to your profession.
EDWARD J. VON KLOBERG III
Washington

Bush's public face is his real one

The photograph of Texas Gov. George W. Bush on the front page of your Nov. 1 edition, in which he is seen taking off a mask of himself, inspires me to share an observation of the two main presidential candidates that, until I saw that picture, was just beyond my grasp of explanation.
During these past couple months of the Gore and Bush campaigns, I have liked something about Mr. Bush but have sensed something I didn't like about Vice President Al Gore.
My observation, based largely on the photograph, is this: What you see behind the "mask" of Mr. Bush is well Mr. Bush. I believe his campaigning "persona" is no different from Mr. Bush, the person.
My gut tells me this is not the case with Mr. Gore. I believe if you were to take off his campaigning "mask," he would be a totally different person.
Is this an important consideration when one is voting for the per-son who will be sitting in the most powerful seat in the world? It is for me.
JIM BLACK
Annapolis

Honor veterans with your vote

Election Day this year is just four days before Veterans Day. This holiday recently has come to mean simply a day off and great sales. However, I believe there is a much better way to honor those who have served the nation in war go to the polls tomorrow and vote. Only about 50 percent of those eligible to vote actually do so, which is an insult to those who were willing to risk their lives so that their fellow citizens would have that right.
In Vietnam, I saw very young men die at the military hospital where I was stationed as a Red Cross hospital worker. Some of them were not even old enough to vote. They would not live long enough to have that right.
Those who are simply too lazy to vote are, I believe, dishonoring all the young Americans, in every war,who have died so that they could have that right. This year, honor war veterans by voting.
JOAN M. MAIMAN
Chicago

Loss of bald eagle nest on Wilson Bridge will not harm species

The Oct. 4 article "Government accused of ignoring species law for bridge" reported on a claim that the Endangered Species Act is not equally applied to public and private landowners. The source for the article, Rob Gordon, director of the National Wilderness Institute, compared the reconstruction of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge with the case of a private property owner, John Taylor of Fairfax County, whose home construction plans ran afoul of the act. Mr. Gordon misinterpreted and omitted facts in both cases.
We did authorize "take" (the harassing, harming, killing, capture, etc.) of a bald eagle nest in the proposed Woodrow Wilson Bridge project, based on the law's criteria. As the Endangered Species Act requires, the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project has identified measures to protect eagle habitat before any construction that may affect either nesting or wintering eagles. These include the creation of a 10-acre eagle conservation preserve, protection of 32 acres of forested property for foraging, and protection of a 51-acre area for possible nesting. Also in accordance with the act, it was determined that the loss of one nest out of the 6,104 nests existing for bald eagle pairs nationwide would not jeopardize the eagles' continued existence.
As with the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project, the loss of a nest site on Mr. Taylor's private home construction site will not jeopardize the eagles' continued existence, and a take permit could be issued. We have given Mr. Taylor ways to minimize the likelihood of the nest's abandonment or to mitigate for loss of the nest at no cost. Further, we have offered to assist in documenting the measures taken through a habitat conservation plan to ensure his protection from litigation by a third party or organization. However, instead of engaging in the process of forming a habitat conservation plan, a process hundreds of citizens and corporations have completed successfully, Mr. Taylor has sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A quarter-century ago, Congress took the far-sighted step of creating the Endangered Species Act to reverse the alarming trend of human-caused extinctions that threatened the environment we both humans and animals share. The act has evolved to allow new approaches for conservation. Through innovative partnerships, it is possible to reverse the decline of species and support them on the road to recovery.
JOHN WOLFLIN
Supervisor
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Chesapeake Bay Field Office
Annapolis

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