HypocrisyThe hypocrisy of some anti-smoking people amazes...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Hypocrisy

The hypocrisy of some anti-smoking people amazes me, especially concerning the open air stadium. Where is the outcry against the sale of beer; are they all alcohol lovers?

I have never seen anyone become prejudiced, use foul language or drive dangerously due to smoking.

Excessive use of alcohol causes brain damage, cirrhosis of the liver and many ruined families. The sale of alcohol will never be banned. It brings in too much money.

Alcohol is fine, but not in a family-oriented stadium.

Ruth Biddle

Baltimore

Teach youths better values, not sex appeal

Regarding the use of Norplant contraceptives in teen-agers: Why do we keep applying Band-aid solutions to preventable, destructive problems?

Anybody who teaches in the city or works in other ways with the teen-age population must certainly be aware of the tremendous pressure on young people to relate in a sexual way.

Instead of selling sex in commercial after commercial, in sitcom after sitcom, why can't we reinforce the values of home, scholarship, character, reachable, positive goals?

Doesn't anybody realize how insulting we are to teen-agers, female and male, when we push superficial resemblance to rock stars, when we emphasize far-out hairdos, manicures, provocative clothing and immodest behaviors?

Doesn't anybody realize how vulnerable the newly "mature" are to pressures to look gorgeous and to "make out"?

Concepts, so easily influenced by the media, inform behaviors. And how we behave tells the world how we feel about ourselves.

Why not help the young (and all of us, really) to feel their worth, their potential for contributions to society?

Of course, counsel and advise girls and boys already sexually active for their health and freedom from unwanted pregnancy. But don't just stick a device in a young girl's arm and continue with business as usual.

It takes thought and it takes energy to really care.

Rhona Raher-Olefsky

Baltimore

Craven writers

The Evening Sun's Feb. 3 editorial, "Legislative hypocrites," is a textbook example of the pot calling the kettle black.

The Sunpapers keep beating the drum for more taxes and fees on everything. The Butta Commission on efficiency in government recommended loads of fee increases, too, including fees on local governments -- but woefully little in spending cuts.

Neither your paper nor the commission has had the courage to attack the prevailing wage boondoggle, which costs the state $30 million to $50 million a year with not one cent of value to the taxpayer.

The final paragraph of the editorial, with references to "the level of hypocrisy in the State House" and "craven lawmakers," might be more accurate with a few select word substitutions:

"The level of hypocrisy at The Sunpapers is appalling. If The Evening Sun is serious about lowering the cost of government to the average taxpayer, it must be willing to make hard decisions.

"So far, their craven editorial writers haven't shown they have the political courage to get the job done."

What is The Sunpapers' position on the prevailing wage?

Robert H. Kittleman

Clarksville

The writer is a member of the House of Delegates.

Hard to swallow

From The Evening Sun, Jan. 28, 1992: "Lexington Terrace spruced up before mayor's visit."

A quote from Dr. Robert W. Hearn, housing authority executive director: "The purpose was to try to clean up the grounds to get the trash out. It has nothing to do with the mayor."

A quote from a resident: "This is the first time it's been cleaned out in six years."

Will the next quote from the housing department be: "God didn't make little green apples, and it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime?"

Will readers be expected to swallow this as truth also?

Charles D. Connelly

Baltimore

1-800-POWER

I think all of our Washington representatives should have an 800 number for their constituents.

Most people do not write letters any more. That's why the talk shows are now flourishing.

Gilbert J. Lukowski

Baltimore

Patterson Park

It was pleasing to read the Saturday Sun report Jan. 23 on the good things we are doing at Hampstead Hill Middle School, the focus of so much prior negative publicity.

That positive sense was reinforced later that morning as I carried my groceries home from Fells Point and the Broadway Market. In Patterson Park, quacking ducks and screeching sea gulls made me wonder how many people know how nice it is to live here. And how safe.

Your article on city violence showed the area around Patterson Park as among the city's safest.

Ed Rutkowski

Baltimore

Library closings

It is sad to witness the deterioration of the Baltimore County library system.

Until a few months ago, the libraries purchased at least 15 copies of a new book and allowed patrons to place reserves on them. That policy is no longer in existence, and the number of book purchases has been drastically reduced.

Even worse is County Executive Robert B. Hayden's planned closing of some branches. A community without a library is a deprivation that should not be allowed.

Geraldine Segal

Randallstown

What Catholic schools are all about

Jean Marbella's Feb. 1 article about Catholic Schools Week highlighted certain "famous" people and their quotes about their Catholic education. I was outraged by the tone and bizarre references in this article.

It is clear to me that Ms. Marbella has not a clue as to what Catholic schools are all about.

She has failed to capture the essence of a Catholic education. Why did she not mention in a more positive light the values that are taught in these schools? Why did she not mention the respect for self and others that is taught in Catholic schools which for some reason is not being taught in our tax-supported public school system?

Parents who send their children to Catholic schools become involved in every aspect of their child's education. These parents care about what their children are learning, and as a result their children learn invaluable life-long lessons.

Above all, Catholic schools are teaching children how to live in this society as loving, caring human beings. They are able to teach what no public school could ever begin to teach -- the message of Christ.

Ms. Marbella would do well to actually visit a Catholic school before attempting to tell their story. Then she would truly witness excellence in progress.

Cathy Mote

Glen Burnie

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Reading the article . . . reminded me of my own Catholic education complete with good times and bad moments, too. The many stories I have heard or read over the years about growing up Catholic often end with quips that resemble anecdotes from military boot camp: "My drill sergeant was a mean-spirited, slave-driving robot. You know, I'll never forget that guy."

So, too, were the many sisters who managed to control and actually teach classrooms crammed with 40 to 50 restless children in all types of weather, dressed in habits unaccommodating to current fashion or seasonal change. Just check out the photo from the Shrine of the Little Flower included in your article.

My memories of Catholic school include being in sixth grade in Dallas when President Kennedy was assassinated. That day was the first time I saw a disciplined student body fall apart and stumble home in a daze like zombies and watched from a distance as a nun wept softly and shook her head while kneeling in the last pew of the church.

My memories also include my eighth grade sister who spoke to us of being engaged to marry before deciding to enter the convent. Her fiance waited for two years hoping that she would abandon religious life.

Such recollections remind me that we were not taught by "nuns" as much as by religious women who loved other people as much as they loved God.

Your article reminded me that the sisters did not so much create the bad times as much as they helped us learn from the painful and challenging events that comprise the vagaries of human life.

Fr. Edward Owens, O. SS. T.

Hanover

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