The identification on a letter to the editor published in The Sun on Saturday incorrectly described Julianne E. Alderman as executive director of the Baltimore County Commission of Arts and Sciences, a position she no longer holds.
The Sun regrets the error.
Tell It All, Please
Editor: The Sun has referred to the presidential candidates' written plans of action and even noted a few details of their plans here and there. But The Sun has not given nearly enough information about these plans. Rather, The Sun has mostly printed speculation and human-interest stories that pass for analysis.
For the sake of our environment, The Sun clearly and repeatedly prints extensively detailed information about recycling -- every what, where and when. For the sake of our country The Sun should clearly and repeatedly print extensively detailed
information about the various plans of the presidential candidates.
I'd like to read more of the candidates' actual plans and less of what journalists think about them.
ob Krasnansky. Ellicott City.
250 Years Old
Editor: I was please to see the fine drawing of St. Thomas' Church, Garrison Forest, by James Drake Iams Feb. 15. This building stands as one of the very few remaining colonial churches in Baltimore County, and its congregation is celebrating the 250th anniversary of its founding during 1992.
)Rev. William P. Baxter Jr. Owings Mills.
The writer is rector of St. Thomas' Church.
Don't Cut the Arts
Editor: A Jan. 31 front-page New York Times headline was "Dinkins Orders Deep Cuts In An Austere Budget Plan -- Proposal Trims All City Agencies Except Police." Tucked away inside the paper was another headline, "No Arts Cuts in Dinkins' Fiscal Plan."
The bulky, four-year preliminary financial plan includes only a brief paragraph on New York's Department of Cultural Affairs: "In recognition of the importance of the city's cultural institutions and their educational programs, the beneficial impact they have on the local economy, and the effects of the reductions taken in previous years, the plan contains no expense reductions during the four-year period."
Needless to say, I was stunned when I read in The Sun Feb. 9 that Mayor Kurt Schmoke is considering a proposal that would phase out financial support for Baltimore's cultural institutions over the next five years. One would hope that this is only a "consideration."
Obviously Mayor Dinkins and his advisers realize the irreplaceable value of cultural organizations to their city. Hopefully Mayor Schmoke and his advisers will do likewise.
) Julianne E. Alderman. Baltimore.
The writer is executive director of the Baltimore County Commission of Arts and Sciences.
Editor: I simply do not believe the results of your poll published Feb. 24 and I doubt their validity.
H. E. Clark. Hagerstown.
No Savings There
Editor: I am astounded at how much my electric rates have gone up in the last year. Somebody at BG&E; is not telling the truth about how much rates have increased.
We try to conserve energy and help BG&E; by shifting our power usage to non-peak periods. We are billed under a time of use rate. Here are the rates:
Jan. 1991 Low Savings: 6.826 cents/kwh;
Jan. 1992 Low Savings: 7.782 cents/kwh, an increase of 14.1 percent.
Jan. 1991 Mid Savings: 5.564 cents/kwh;
Jan. 1992 Mid Savings: 6.424 cents/kwh, an increase of 15.4 percent.
Jan. 1991 High Savings: 1.846 cents/kwh;
Jan. 1992 High Savings: 2.230 cents/kwh, an increase of 20.8 percent.
In a time of recession, it is incredible that BG&E; can get away with increases that are four times the rate of inflation.
Worse yet, though time of use billing is supposed to encourage us to use power when it is the cheapest, BG&E; is increasing the "high" savings rate at over 20 percent a year. They must figure that once they have us hooked they can really nail us.
I switched to time of use because I could see an advantage from moving consumption to "high" savings. With the higher rate of increase in the "high" savings it makes less sense to switch.
Only a monopoly would treat their customers this badly.
It looks like the Public Service Commission is not doing its job, either, in allowing these rate hikes.
' Terral Jordan. Cockeysville.
Social Work Cases
Editor: The poignant story (Feb. 8) concerning the precipitous removal of AIDS-stricken twins from a foster home is reminiscent a similar situation that we experienced -- with a reverse twist.
For us the offending party was the county Department of Social Services, not the private agency which placed two brothers with us under the public agency's purchase of care arrangement.
The boys, one five, the other 3 1/2 , not unexpectedly had difficulty in adjusting.
When the older continued deviant, defiant and sometimes bizarre behavior after several months in care, the agency felt a psychological evaluation was indicated. Because of the expense involved, the matter needed to be cleared with the public agency.
At a hastily called conference on a Friday afternoon, our supervisor calmly explained the reason for an evaluation. In contrast, the social services supervisor, with a most unprofessional and authoritative manner, rejected the recommendation.
Later that afternoon, our case-worker called us at home saying that social services had decided to remove the brothers early Monday morning.
Further, that agency directed that we secretly pack the boys' belongings and not tell them of the sudden, impending move.
This, of course we could not do; so we prepared them as best we could for the unexpected change in their lives.
Monday morning, the social services worker appeared, defensive and uncomfortable, no doubt aware that what was being done flew in the face of sound social work practice.
With possessions in hand, the bewildered youngsters were shepherded out to a waiting car and whisked out of sight.
! Abner Kaplan. Baltimore.
Editor: With regard to The Sun's recent editorial describing the monopolistic consequences of cable television, there is a way to avoid the worst of these tendencies.
I was vice-chairman of Anne Arundel County's first cable TV commission. We were faced with the familiar arguments for "exclusive" franchises, citing the high capital costs of infrastructure and diluted subscriber bases.
After much debate, the commission rejected the position that the only way to provide quality service and reasonable return on investment was to give an exclusive franchise (i.e., a monopoly) to one provider. Instead, the commission established multiple non-exclusive franchises.
We were considered out-of-step with the way things should have been done. Time has shown, I believe, this to have been the correct decision. Non-monopolistic, privatized public service can and does work.
Robert Agee. Crofton.
Editor: The patronage known as the legislative scholarship program is a telling example of how many of our elected representatives would represent their own interests before ours, you reported on Feb. 9. The citizens of this state should also understand several other issues regarding this legislative perk.
This is the only state scholarship program in the country which does not qualify for matching federal funds through the State Student Incentive Grant program. SSIG contributes about $3 million dollars annually to the Maryland State Scholarship pool, on a matching basis with Maryland funds which are disbursed on the basis of need. The legislative scholarships have never qualified for these matching funds, costing Maryland taxpayers millions of dollars over the years.
We are always hearing from the governor and legislative leaders that they need to raise taxes so we do not lose out on federal matching funds for highways, light rail or whatever they want to force on us. Whether or not we need their pet projects, they argue it is their duty to collect as much federal matching funds as they can, even if it means raising taxes. How could they so blatantly ignore this one for years?
The legislative scholarship program also results in each legislator receiving a copy of the confidential financial aid form for every constituent who applies to the State Scholarship Board for aid. This opens the area for significant misuse of very personal financial information about the families of thousands of students each year.
len A. Thomas. Phoenix.