Editor: We are grateful for Garland L. Thompson's "Do It Yourself" column in the Aug. 23 Sun and especially for the plug he gave our Sept. 13 forum at the downtown Unitarian Church. However, a couple of corrections are in order. The $27,000 (toward the $52,000 feasibility study), which we tried and failed to raise from such establishment foundations as Abell and Goldseker and from such businesses as General Motors and the Automobile Dealers Association, is a sum far beyond the treasuries of the 55 community organizations in our coalition.
We certainly don't want the community organizations to stay away from our meeting out of fear that we intend to hit them for the $27,000 as Mr. Thompson implies.
What we do intend to do at our public forum is to discuss how and from where we must borrow that amount of money so that we can complete the feasibility study and get on with passing the legislation in the City Council. We will then be able to create a politically independent commission which will become a community owned, non-profit, democratically controlled insurance company.
If there are strong arguments to have our country become independent of Middle East oil, I would contend that there are just as strong reasons to organize the citizenry to make our city independent of an insurance conglomerate which is every bit as money-grasping and blood-sucking as the oil conglomerate.
A. Robert Kaufman.
Shut It Off
Editor: Each summer the capacity of the power generating companies is stretched to supply the American public with artificial cold air.
Residential air conditioning was quite unusual prior to the mid 1950s but, in some fashion, the human race managed to survive without it.
The "sheiks of Arabie" are hard-pressed to supply the oil needed to keep the American public in environmentally polluted summer comfort.
William J. Harris.
Editor: My heart goes out to Evelyn Lambert who writes from her Towson home to say that county schools are good and city schools are bad. She is doubly ignorant both of the schools in her own county which have an agenda of problems to address and of the many city schools that are award-winning combinations of great educators, supportive PTAs and talented students. This is in spite of the disproportionate state funding the city has to live with.
Light rail may seem of little importance in Towson, but for city residents who have to live with thousands of cars from the county cramming into the city every day, adding not a whit to the tax base but using our space and air, light rail is a solution to a very real problem.
This generalized city-bashing in the guise of concern for children does nothing but attempt to create a negative image of our schools and the children who attend them. If sympathetic individuals want to improve schools in the city for "those unfortunate children" perhaps they wouldn't mind their schools doing with a little less state funding so that city kids might have the rightful share of the state wealth that they have long been denied.
Editor: The recent wave of violence sweeping through the townships and homelands of South Africa reveals just how complex any negotiated settlement to South Africa's democratic transition will be. Despite repeated calls by the de Klerk government, Chief Buthelezi and others to end the senseless violence, over 350 people were killed in one week alone. Evidently, power politics remains the name of the game among South Africa's black majority.
The root of the problem lies mainly with the African National Congress' insistence that it alone represents black South Africans. Nelson Mandela's inability, or unwillingness, to accept the legitimacy of other black organizations, most notably the Inkatha Zulus, has split the black community apart, creating a political intolerance that manifests itself in violence unparalleled since Beruit.
Until Mr. Mandela realizes that politically motivated violence will not result in the coercion of other political groups to ANC dominance, but instead will tear South Africa apart, there is little hope of realizing the dream of a unified, democratic South Africa.
John B. Wetzel.
Editor: In light of recent events in the Middle East, I believe it has become imperative that we investigate and invest in clean, safe alternate energy sources. With the deteriorating environment such measures were indicated long ago, but the need for them is now stronger than ever. While solar energy is destined to become the energy source of the future, funding for it is a mere pittance when compared with funding for nuclear power and traditional polluting energy sources. Now is the time to increase funding for solar energy research and to provide tax credits and other incentives for their use. Tax credits for them were highly successful in the '70s; it would be appropriate to reinstate them as soon as possible.