Editor: It was hard for me to believe that the Baltimore "trolleys" would be discontinued for lack of profit. Are the "trolleys" run for a profit or to boost the tourist trade at the Inner Harbor?
Sick at Column
Editor: I am sick at heart after reading the piece by Ray Jenkins on the op-ed page of The Sunday Sun for Feb. 24.
In the first place, I think Mr. Jenkins' Canadian friend understood President Bush's statement on "morality and wars." There was no "superiority" implied here, just the fact that the United States is a country of high morals with the means and military might and manpower to back them up.
Second, I was appalled at the killing and vindictive attack on his country made by a columnist of a leading newspaper.
Editor: My heart goes out to the family of Army Sgt. Ron Randazzo, who was killed in the Persian Gulf, the second Marylander to die since the war began. His mother, Leona Randazzo, while obviously grieving over the loss of her son, said on the radio just two days after his death, "we have to be over there, we have to fight."
This display of patriotism, courage, and sacrifice from the mother of a son who just laid down his life for his country should demonstrate to all Americans that our nation stands as strong as ever. This should also serve as an example to those members of the Maryland congressional delegation who failed to endorse the resolution authorizing force to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, as to those qualities we Marylanders admire and respect in our leaders.
Milton H. Leubecker.
Timonium. Editor: This letter is in response to the Feb. 18 letter on "Runaway Growth."
The governor's 2020 commission's proposals would not reduce or stop growth, as many would like to believe. The 2020 plan would merely direct more residential and commercial growth into the already congested areas of this state than would occur under the existing situation.
This is what gets me. People think that because the bill is titled "a growth bill in the Chesapeake Bay region" that it will reduce growth and this is not the case. In fact, the 2020 plan would cause more growth in cities such as Annapolis, Baltimore and other cities designated as growth areas.
In short, the 2020 plan will not stop growth, but rather it will cause the "growth areas" to become even more congested. It will also cause more treated sewage discharge to be pumped into the bay as the growth areas with water and sewer grow at an accelerated rate.
The 2020 bill is a bad bill. It was created for political reasons. It was created to take the public attention off of the state's abortion issue. It was created to take the public's attention off of the budget deficit and the need for higher taxes or less spending.
It's to give urban area delegates and senators a bargaining tool to deal with rural legislators. If 2020 passes, it will be everybody's loss because it will be a case of government interfering with the free-enterprise system.
It is also unconstitutional for the General Assembly to pass a law that takes or destroys land values without just compensation to farmers and other landowners. The 2020 plan would devalue rural land values, but it would also price a building site out of the reach of most low-to-moderate income families. 2020 is class segregation.
J. Douglas Parran.
Hope He Learns
Editor: We will all sleep easier now that we no longer need fear the poison pen of Gov. William Donald Schaefer. But the reason? Instead of the governor's realization that his private letters are no longer private, how about an understanding that such behavior demeans himself and, consequently, all the citizens of Maryland?
Editor: Doctors who pad Medicaid fees for their own benefit go to jail. Proponents of the "Sabatini Plan" want the same doctors to pad the same fees for the state's benefit.
What are we coming to? At least when the state condoned gambling by entering the lottery business, no one was forced to buy tickets.
Here, doctors would be forced into highly unethical and possibly criminal behavior.
These politicians rush to remind us that 16 other states are beating the system with similar schemes, so the politicians are just doing their job to keep Maryland competitive.
Do they also tell their children to cheat in school because others are getting ahead by doing it?
Is this sleaze now Maryland's norm? Let's take a higher-minded approach and work to improve the system, not defraud it.
Robert B. Heaton.
Scrapping Educational TV
Editor: Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Joseph Shilling, state superintendent of education, have decided to permanently shut down the cameras in the production department of Maryland Instructional Television on June 30 and to return Maryland education to the dark ages.
Their excuse is to save money, but MIT is a money-making division of the Department of Education, probably its only money-making division. It sells its educational video tapes and the supporting print material nationwide, and it also obtains private funding to finance its productions.
So where are the savings to make this move worthwhile? It looks as though the governor and Dr. Shilling do not even know what is going on in their own Department of Education.
Governor Schaefer and Dr. Shilling should know, however, that we have a severe education problem in Maryland. They should also know, but apparently do not, that MIT is one of their strongest allies in the struggle to overcome that problem because the teaching tools they produce offer the greatest potential for overcoming student lack of interest, which is a major part of that problem.
MIT produces instructional videos to supplement the educational materials used by teachers in the elementary and secondary schools in Maryland. Their videos are designed to bring the subjects alive, to capture the interest of the students, and to stimulate their desire to learn more about the subjects.
But the materials presented in those videos are also carefully selected, screened, and perfected by education design specialists so that they fit perfectly into the Maryland school curriculums.
The productions receive rave reviews from teachers in Maryland, from the students and from other educational agencies across the United States, and they are about to be lost.
I agree wholeheartedly with Dr. Shilling's re-emphasis on reading, writing and mathematics, but I cannot agree with a return to horse and buggy teaching methods in this age of electronics.
I realize that MIT is a well-kept secret. That is why Governor Schaefer and Dr. Shilling think they can get away with its destruction. And they will get away with it unless a large number of concerned parents lets their representatives in the legislature know that they disagree strongly with that action.
Unfortunately, by the time enough of them become aware of the problem, it will probably be much too late to accomplish anything. The affected producers and other production people are already looking for jobs.
If the power is cut off on June 30, it is very unlikely that it will ever be turned on again, and education in Maryland will have successfully taken a giant step backward.
Gene R. Griffin.