Editor: I am not a native Baltimorean so the closing of Connolly's restaurant really means nothing to me. I have been there several times and the food was mediocre at best. But this letter is not about Connolly's food, it is about their integrity.
Why didn't they inform their employees that they were closing? The picture of the young man standing forlornly outside of the restaurant was sad indeed.
Naomi Connolly states that she closed quietly because she didn't want to make a fuss. That's all well and good for the press, but be fair to your employees. Why didn't someone inform William Owens that he didn't need to report to work after the restaurant closed? That was a very sad picture of Mr. Owens peeking through the window with a huge "closed" sign looking back.
The article stated that Sen. Barbara Mikulski rushed to the restaurant to get a last fish sandwich. Well, who is rushing to aid Mr. Owens? I hope that they gave the poor man severance pay.
Since two pictures of Mr. Owens appeared, I assume they were " meant to provoke some type of emotions. Well, my emotion is anger. I am truly upset over this story.
Editor: "Schaefer drops Steinberg from drug commission," stated The Sun headline on Aug. 28.
I would like, in retrospect, to state that regardless of the status of Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg, the people have admiration and respect for him. First and foremost, Mr. Steinberg has done an excellent job in his post as chairman of the drug commission for Maryland. He has received praise for his endeavors on the commission, not only from politicos but also from experts in the area of drug control.
Further, as most elected officials and wise Marylanders know, many of the positive and beneficial programs coming from Annapolis were a result of the work of Mickey Steinberg. Specifically, Mickey Steinberg, a former legislator with 20 years experience, was responsible for gaining authorization for a baseball stadium in Camden Yards and the light-rail line in Baltimore. Marylanders should not forget that the reorganization of Maryland's higher-education system owes much to him.
It is a sad day when a man of Mr. Steinberg's talents and efforts is put out to pasture -- for doing a good job. My advice to Mr. Steinberg is to resign his post and seek to use his talents where they will be appreciated.
Imagine, the message the resignation of Lt. Gov. Steinberg would send to key people in Annapolis. His resignation would signal to the citizens of Maryland that things have not been and are not "right" in Annapolis. He would become a hero overnight.
John A. Micklos.
Editor: Robert Kirk (letter, Aug. 24) noted that an Associated Press article in The Sun used an incorrect term, north by northwest, to describe the movement of Hurricane Bob.
Mr. Kirk then speculated that if the Weather Service was the source of that term, "we now know where the Weather Bureau gets its scientific hurricane forecasts." After checking the releases from the National Hurricane Center and the Baltimore weather office, I could find no evidence of that term being used by either office.
I do have some knowledge of where the Weather Service gets its scientific hurricane forecasts. The Weather Service gets it by having the most skilled hurricane hunters and hurricane forecasters utilizing satellites and radar at the Hurricane center in Miami. This group provides excellent guidance to their local offices, which add their input to warn and advise local communities.
The loss of life in comparison to damage during Hurricane Bob and more emphatically Hurricane Hugo in 1989 was amazingly low. These two storms speak volumes about the effectiveness of the Weather Service's scientific hurricane forecasts.
Editor: With apologies to those relative few who were truly hurt, I ask, "what recession?"
There was wide disagreement as to when the recession really started, and now there are conflicting reports as to whether it is already over or even beginning to end. I don't know how to read or understand the "leading economic indicators," but when I look at the "neighborhood indicators," I simply can't see a genuine problem that has touched the masses.
We have turned out in record numbers (2 million-plus) to watch a lousy baseball team, not to mention buying up the stadium dirt at nine bucks a jar. Disney World is having a banner year. Ocean City is as traffic-jammed as ever. The video stores are always out of the latest tapes. The golf courses are packed. And well-run restaurants, whether fast-food or fine-dining, are still crowded.
We seem to be as bad at running recessions as the Soviets are at running coups.
Editor: I read with a great deal of personal interest Roger Simon's Aug. 30 column concerning the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. I was at Hickam Field on that fateful morning of Dec. 7, 1941, and the word is attack, as in unwarranted and sneak and surprise.
In all the talks I've given about that Sunday morning, I've emphasized over and over the peaceful nature of the Hawaiian Islands at that time. Certainly war raged all around us in Europe, but we were a nation at peace, caught with our pants down by an aggressor, war-like country.
I believe the members of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association will rise up as one to protest any kind of participation by any Japanese at Pearl Harbor this Dec. 7. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and started World War II. The world was changed forever. Let's leave it that way, and God bless America!
Hugh M. Roper.
Socialistic Tax Hell
Editor: Your editorial of Aug. 27 ("State Tax Package Looming?") left me cold. The conclusion is that the best way to ensure prosperity and economic growth in the state is to couple spending cuts with a restructured tax system (read higher taxes).
A tax increase by any name is a tax increase, and you made a nice effort to sell this to your readers, but this one isn't going to flush. Spending cuts are a joke, and even the mere implication that higher taxes on anybody (including the wealthy, whom I suspect are really the middle class) can create prosperity is absurd.
Study your history and see what happened when Herbert Hoover raised income taxes in the middle of his administration. When higher taxes can create prosperity in Maryland, flocks of pigs will soar over Annapolis.
My concern is for the average working man or woman who now works about five months of the year to pay his taxes to all levels of government. We have income taxes, Social Security, self employment tax, sales tax, gas tax, property tax, etc. How much more does Big Brother need?
Will six months worth of work and pay suffice? Does anybody actually feel that they don't pay enough in taxes? Does anybody care about those on fixed incomes who can't afford escalating tax rates? The problem is not that people don't pay enough taxes.
Do the writers at The Sun not see a problem in raising taxes in a recessionary climate? Why advocate tax increases when people are already receiving less income? Do the writers at The Sun not understand that tax increases will slow down the economy even more, and perhaps exacerbate the state deficit, or do they think investors will flood this state with new capital expenditures?
Do the writers at The Sun not understand that when taxes are considered as a whole (federal, state etc.) that there is an optimal rate of taxation which will bring in the greatest amount of tax revenue for a given level of economic activity, and that tax rates above this level will actually cause tax revenues to decline?
Why should the state be any different than a private enterprise during a recession? What do businesses do during a recession? They work smarter and harder, increase efficiencies, cut fat and tough it out.
What does government do during a recession? Instead of finding ways to stimulate economic activity or cut its budget or operate more efficiently, it seeks to raise taxes, then scare everybody into believing that vital services will end if increases aren't granted.
I, for one, have had enough. My property taxes have gone up 100 percent in the last seven years. Maryland is fast becoming a socialistic tax hell.
I will no longer vote for any politician, whether conservative, liberal, Democrat or Republican, who will not disavow tax increases of any sort.
Ford C. Waggoner III.