Editor: If a restaurant ad said, "Bring your gluttonous self to ravage our food," would you think they respected you as a customer?" What if a theater advertised, "Come with your silly friends to see our flicks"? Would you be enticed into going there?
The Maryland Science Center's dinosaur exhibit is advertising with a campaign that says, "bring your little monster to see ours." My 5-year-old has seen this ad during cartoon programs and thinks it means to take his toy dinosaurs with him to the Science Center. Poor kid doesn't know he's being insulted.
The folks behind this Science Center ad don't think it show disdain for their young paying customers. They insist that the ad is funny. Well, it's about as funny as any ethnic or racial joke would be.
I don't plan on bringing my son to a place where his ticket will be accepted by people who have publicly called him a monster. If the Science Center wants to smirk about children, perhaps they should rethink what their mission, if they have one, is all about.
D. Clark Levine. Towson.
PAC Limits, Etc.
Editor: The leadership of the General Assembly, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker R. Clayton Mitchell Jr., are to be congratulated for their sponsorship of bills which would bring long-needed reform to our election process.
Special interests, as represented by political action committees, have been contributing increasingly large amounts of money to candidates. Winners in the 1990 General Assembly campaign spent a total of $10.1 million, which was $3 million more than was spent by the winners of 1986. Even more disturbing is the fact that 71 percent more was contributed by PACs than had been true in 1986.
The set of recommendations announced by the leadership included a suggested limit of $8,000 per candidate on contributions by PACs. Although this is certainly better than no limit at all, it is too high. I earnestly hope that the limit will be lowered and a cap of $4,000 will be put on PAC campaign contributions.
There is little doubt that reform of our election process is long overdue. When passed, the legislation now under consideration will go far to combat "the perception that democracy has been corrupted by special interests."
$Josephine W. Marbury. Baltimore.
Aris T. Allen
Editor: "Aris T. Allen, Pathfinder," (editorial, Feb. 12), although a splendid polemic and in retrospect an excellent reflection of Dr. Aris T. Allen the man, is not complete.
I wish to complete the entire portrait of the man and present another side of this wonderful, complex and humanitarian human being.
I came to know Dr. Allen as a result of my appointment by the governor to the Morgan State University board of regents. For almost three years I sat across from him during board meetings. I gained over the years some insight into this wonderful man.
Dr. Allen was a pathfinder, as your editorial states. Yes, he was interested in the development of our young people, regardless of their station in life or color.
Dr. Allen worked very hard as a board member, considering the many responsibilities he carried. He was available as vice chairman of Morgan's board to anyone seeking help.
This hard-working, warm and soft-spoken American always had time in his busy schedule to help solve problems related either to the board or students at Morgan. One of his major priorities was to see young people improve in all areas of life.
Although not mentioned in your editorial, Dr. Aris Allen took his responsibilities in relationship to education very seriously at Morgan. He told me many times, "Our youth are our future."
Dr. Allen was not only a large man in body, he was also large in mind and spirit. He found few tasks that he could not accomplish.
I was fortunate, along with my wife, to share a small part of this world and to become friends. He loved life, he loved his fellow man and was a model of the best of what a family man should He was, further, a great admirer and aficionado of large-breed working dogs. He possessed the virtues of patience, loyalty and ability to make friends with almost any individual.
I am a better person for having the good fortune of meeting Dr. Aris T. Allen. He will be missed by citizens throughout this state. Further, he will be missed by many at Morgan State University. Dr. Allen was indeed a pathfinder in all aspects of his long and productive life.
John A. Micklos. Baltimore.
I Mean Like
Editor: You know, I mean like, there's somekinda revolution going on . . . okay? Somehow, it's happening like everywhere. I mean, you know, people are just like . . . talking . . . right?
You know, just like . . . listen . . . like anywhere. I mean, I hear it from, like, little kids and college kids . . . okay?? And, I mean, like, from teenagers and grown-up adults too . . . right?? And like on TV news and from talk radio persons . . . okay?? And on afternoon and late-night talk shows . . . and in media commercials . . . right?? And from relatives even, and elementary school teachers, and, I mean, even, you know, from like a graduate school professor. Know what I'm saying?
It's all like the same kinda quality . . . right? Or I mean, like, not quality . . . okay? I mean it's like this eee-quality. Okay? I mean, you know, equality of life . . . expression . . . okay??
I mean, maybe, like guys, it's a solidarity thing, you know. I mean, people like, you know, not just relate to. I mean, but like sorta celebrate freedom of expression . . . together. Okay?
#Vaughn Paul Deckret. Baltimore.
More on Day Care
Editor: Working mothers with infants will find little solace in the report (Today section, Jan. 31) that Baltimore ranks as one of the nation's five best cities providing day-care service. Encouraging progress has been made in increasing the number of day-care centers, but the same cannot be said for family day care for babies.
The article, while well written otherwise, comes up somewhat short in making a distinction between group day care and family day care. As providers of this service, we usually receive two or three calls a week from anxious parents desperately seeking placements for their infants. And despite serious efforts at recruitment, the number of family providers for children of all ages has remained substantially unchanged in the past year.
Nor, in my opinion, is it likely to improve. Fifteen years ago when we were certified as family day-care providers, the regulations .. covered about 17 pages. Last fall state regulations comprising 125 pages, many of them mind boggling in detail, were issued. These cover all family day-care operations.
I challenge anyone with the fortitude and patience to wade through this thicket of guidelines and then conclude that red tape for licensing or recertification has been reduced. Yet this is one of the criteria for which the city received high marks from the rating panel.
Required also are criminal background checks -- both Maryland and Federal -- for all family day-care providers, despite the fact that many of us have been known for years. Good quality of care? It would be interesting to learn how this determination was made, particularly with respect to family day care.
Doubtless many children receive good care; but do agency records document this? I question it. We see the social worker and the inspectors once every two years, their visits relating only to recertification. Moreover, under the new regulations the maximum number of children permitted in care has been increased from six to eight. Conceivably, this would allow a provider to accept two infants under age 2 and six toddlers between ages 2 and 4. Under these conditions, the provider's role becomes that of a custodian rather than a guarantor of quality care.
Abner Kaplan. Baltimore.
Editor: Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and Gen. Colin Powell revealed the true ugliness of Operation Desert Storm by writing messages to Saddam Hussein on bombs being dropped on the people of Iraq and Kuwait.
Was the bomb on which they wrote a "cluster" bomb which has been responsible for scores of civilian casualties or one containing white phosphorous which is designed to burn human skin?
How can the leaders of our country joke so cheaply about the loss of human lives?
&Edward; L. Donnellan Jr. Baltimore.
Stereotype of the 4th District
Editor: As a city councilwoman from the Fourth Councilmanic District, I am writing to register my outrage about comments contained in recent articles regarding the mayor's plan to shift certain neighborhoods from one district to another.
Specifically, I refer to the administration's plan to move the Bolton Hill area from the Second Councilmanic District to the Fourth District. One resident was quoted as saying, "Fourth District representatives spend a great deal of their time fighting drugs and crime."
The article went on to say that Bolton Hill residents want council representatives with the "stamina and interest to focus on the issues important to this mostly white and middle-class neighborhood."
According to this particular resident, Bolton Hill citizens are primarily concerned with historic preservation, traffic congestion and cultural concerns. Funny, I didn't know white and mostly middle-class citizens had a monopoly on quality-of-life issues.
I am appalled that in this day and time, there are people with such a narrow perspective on life. To limp all Fourth District residents in the same category reflects a limited understanding of urban issues.
To say that all Fourth District residents are only concerned with ,, crime and drugs does a disservice to the many fine and upstanding and, yes, middle- and upper-middle-class citizens who make this district home.
There are many community leaders in the Fourth District dedicated to preserving the quality of life they have enjoyed for many years. Every year, the percentage of homeowners in the district increases, as more young and upwardly mobile professional couples move from other areas into the district.
It is impossible to talk about historical preservation and not mention several neighborhoods in the Fourth District, i.e. Upton, Marble Hill, Upper Eutaw-Madison and Reservoir Hill, to name a few. I hope residents from Bolton Hill will take this opportunity to work with the City Council to develop a redistricting plan that would reflect the changing demographics of Baltimore City.
Sheila Dixon. Baltimore.