Habitat shows we can solve our problems
Recently, I participated in the Jimmy Carter-Habitat for Humanity work project. Each day as I drove from Howard County to Sandtown, the great divide between the "haves" and "have-nots" became more real.
It was disheartening for me to deal with the skepticism of some of my peers who really couldn't see the point of my becoming involved in this project.
It was also distressing that some of our new homeowners' neighbors did not know what we were about and littered some of the very buildings we were working on.
Knowing what's going on in your neighborhood and throwing trash away properly demonstrates pride and caring. Writing off the urban poor as too far gone to help is uncaring and naive. Bigoted people on both sides of the divide feed on such attitudes.
Those of us who worked together, black and white, Christian and Jew, Sandtown residents and people from all parts of the country, still believe every effort counts and actions speak louder than words.
The causes of poverty and racism are complex and often seem unsurmountable. But like most problems, solutions are often simpler than we think. Continuing to care is part of the solution; giving up becomes part of the problem.
I just read Wiley Hall's column, "No way to mark a day for fathers" (The Evening Sun, June 23). I think Mr. Hall really missed the boat on this one.
He was upset that Harford County, as well as some other counties, chose Father's Day to arrest men who were delinquent in child support payments.
I don't think any county was celebrating putting fathers behind bars. I believe the chosen day was a reminder that there is more to being a father than just "fathering" a child. There is an obligation to be fulfilled.
I wasn't celebrating putting those fathers behind bars, but I was celebrating the fact that now the children of these fathers have a chance to receive what they deserve. Remember, without the support of the fathers, most of these children are deprived.
Mr. Hall also said we should ignore this problem on Father's Day weekend and arrest the alleged deadbeats on the other 51 weekends of the year. Obviously, he hasn't seen mothers struggle to support their children without the help of the father, or the tears of a child who can't have something he or she may need or want because a father has failed to fulfill his obligation.
These fathers do not deserve to have a weekend off. After all, their children aren't getting a weekend off from feeling deprived.
Liesl M. Stryjewski
I feel that the Supreme Court should not negate the race factor in picking juries.
All juries should be made up of a mixture of blacks, whites and other races. There should never be a situation where a jury is all white or all black because this society is not made up exclusively of any one particular race.
To have a jury set up that way is unfair and not a representation of society as a whole.
Murphy Edward Smith
There was an article in "Other Voices" June 23 from Beth Smith of Hunt Valley who is having a problem with a cardinal continually pecking on her window.
I experienced this with a robin about three years ago. He would strike our bow window at the top and slide down for hours at a time and every day. This required much cleaning.
I was at Cape Cod in a small store in a museum and they had the answer. I purchased two images of black birds with wings spread and pasted one on each side of the window. It should be placed at the top of the window like a bird in flight diving down on its prey.
It is made of a black waterproof paper and they are still on my window. No problem since first day -- three years ago.
I feel sure some place locally must sell a similar product. Good luck!
The tranquillity and beauty of a heavenly summer night are completely overcome by a car radio blaring rap music outside my window at 10:30 p.m. This also happens many mornings and afternoons, and especially now that school is out.
When will this outrageous noise be considered disturbing the peace; when will offenders either be warned or ticketed by the police?
Margaret G. Orman
Media conspiracy to discredit conservatives
For days I have read how our vice president is so dumb he can't even spell the word "potato." Give me a break. How can such an insignificant issue get coverage three days in a row?
For weeks, Dan Quayle lambasted Hollywood and the liberal media, and the media was losing. So it was time to pull out something to belittle our vice president and blow it way out of proportion. Thus we have the "potato" story.
For months, when talking about Dan Quayle, I have asked those who have a negative opinion of him why they do. Nine out of 10 could offer no reason other than that the media say he is stupid.
Why do people in the media dislike Mr. Quayle?
They have never liked any conservative. The pro-family, moral and patriotic views of conservatives contradict everything those in the media wish us to believe, so they try to discredit them. For years they have used issues like racism, rich lovers and now idiocy to try to discredit conservatives.
Imagine being hounded on every word you say for four years, being ridiculed and watched for your every mistake while all your successes are covered up.
Imagine dealing with the pressures of fulfilling your duties of vice president in a presidential election year when your boss is not highly favored.
Now place yourself at the spelling bee in which you are holding a card with a misspelled word prepared by a teacher volunteer whose job it is to spell correctly.
How many of you still know without a shadow of a doubt you wouldn't have made the same mistake?
I've seen misspellings printed in your own newspaper. I've corrected English teachers in the past who have made worse spelling mistakes. I've corrected college professors. I've even caught myself a couple of times. None of us is without flaws.
If people in the media are so much more intelligent than Vice President Quayle, how come the only complaint you can come up with about Mr. Quayle's handling of the job is that he can't spell the word "potato?"
Benjamin M. Scholes