What value government employees?
The Aug. 28 Evening Sun Metro section reported different responses from the state and city government to the "financial crisis" affecting both. Today's economic climate is making it increasingly clear the value each government places on its employees, who render services to the public.
Baltimore city and the state both are facing large deficits in the new fiscal year. However, the state has opted to deny all raises, steps and cost-of-living increases to its rank-and-file employees and imposed a longer work week, which amounts to working over 28 days a year without being paid for it.
The city, on the other hand, has managed to put a pay freeze in place, which still allows for step increases and averts layoffs, but also allows an "additional 15 days' paid leave off" in lieu of a raise.
Could someone please explain to me why the state must impose longer hours without pay for its employees while the city is keeping the same hours and "more paid leave," and both are claiming to be saving money?
It is obvious the "Schmoke" financial mirror reflects a more valued and respectful image of its employees than does the state's.
Mallory Scott Fisher
Your Aug. 30 item about the Westminster Livestock Auction is testimony about inexcusable animal cruelty live animals sold to be fattened, bred, slaughtered!
These animals are brutally killed. While still alive, their throats are slit open; then their heads are cut off and skinned. Every day, all over the world, millions of animals (chickens, cattle, fish, etc.) suffer horrible deaths, for human consumption.
Mothers carry their babies to see cock fights, dog fights, etc., and thus start to teach them early that it is acceptable to brutalize innocent animals. Greyhound dogs and horses and birds are used and abused in the name of entertainment and sport.
We are a violent society getting worse by the minute. There is no excuse for animal abuse and we should be ashamed.
The epitome of duplicity is exemplified by the conduct of our diplomacy around the world, especially with Turkey. The pages of history reek with the despicable exploits of that country's relentless genocidal parades. Its ruthless treatment of minorities within its borders and the crimson blights that trail in the wake of the Carthaginian profanations are well-documented but fall upon deaf ears and unseeing eyes.
Now the Kurds are writhing in agony within its borders, victims of its brutality and savagery. America's paranoia drove it into the arms of Turkey, but at what cost must we pay homage to a cruel and barbarian dictatorship whose acts rival the inhumanity of the Holocaust?
August A. Conomos
Get it straight
On Aug. 29, your paper reported that it could not endorse the 3rd District incumbents because of their failure to share a spot on their ticket with an African-American candidate.
Simply put, you are wrong. Councilman Mike Curran and I made an offer to an African-American candidate who kept us waiting indefinitely and then declined our offer. As a matter of fact, your paper reported this information the week before your endorsements were made.
If The Evening Sun would spend more time getting the facts straight and less time trying to appeal to people through superficial emotionalism and indiscreet populism, perhaps we could all take your paper more seriously.
&Wilbur; E. (Bill) Cunningham
The writer is a Democratic candidate for City Council for the 3rd District.
I, too, attended the AFRAM Expo, and I would like to thank Marjorie J. Ashe for her Forum letter Aug. 29. It is refreshing to know there are other people who share similar viewpoints.
On Aug. 18, my family attended the German Festival in Carroll Park across the street from the old Montgomery Ward building. I don't know how many people attended, but I saw approximately 20 to 22 black people, including a little girl of mixed race. With the exception of her skin color, she could have been cast as "Pippi Longstocking," because she had her hair done up in two reddish-blond braids.
I, too, believe that African-American people attend many different ethnic festivals, exploring the richness of Baltimore's diverse fabric. I cannot say the same for white people, though. It would seem that whites, in general, exhibit benign neglect when considering attending "other cultures' affairs." I believe this is one of the many reasons Baltimore is so prejudiced.
Currently I am volunteering for an organization called Solutions to Ethnic Problems Corp., and we are seeking viable solutions for ethnic and racial problems. By attending these different festivals we are, at least in part, learning to overcome our differences seeing how "the other half lives."
Brian D. Vismale
An Aug. 29 Associated Press story concerning our agreement with 10 state attorneys general gave the mistaken impression that aseptic "drink box" manufacturers can no longer claim that our popular juice and milk packages are "easy to recycle." Not true.
That drink boxes are recyclable is a matter of fact. Moreover, drink box recycling is a simple process. The layers of paper, plastic and aluminum separate readily when shredded and stirred in water. The process, called hydrapulping, has been used by paper recyclers for 20 years. It is certainly no more difficult than separating ink from newspapers.
The only "difficulty" we face is collection, a problem encountered by every other industry seeking to recycle. But, we are working to address this challenge. Pilot drink box recycling programs have already been established in more than 200 schools and communities in 12 states. Later this fall, we will launch the "National Recycling in Schools Program," a joint program with the U.S. Conference of Mayors that will bring drink box and milk carton recycling to at least five additional cities.
Drink box makers are firmly committed to recycling.
The writer is president of the Aseptic Packaging Council.