Student housing at Towson StateCouncilman Douglas B....

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Student housing at Towson State

Councilman Douglas B. Riley's proposed legislation to strengthen the ability of neighborhoods to halt disturbing behavior follows a more than two-year period of Towson State's working together with the community.

University administrators and students have convened monthly with representatives from neighborhood associations, the police department, zoning offices and businesses to find fair ways to prevent student-caused problems. We have agreed that a few landlords have knowingly allowed more tenants than is permissible by the zoning code.

With this new legislation, the community hopes to hold landlords responsible for tenant violations of zoning codes and for other disturbing behavior. We expect this will allow more effective enforcement and therefore more immediate relief when distressing behavior occurs.

Towson State officials have mounted a campaign to inform students about their responsibility to comply with local housing laws.

Towson State University, like other schools in the nation, advises students that it reserves the right to take action when students are found guilty of violating local laws and it has, on occasion, acted on that right.

Problems like the ones this legislation addresses are occurring in communities across the nation where colleges and universities are located.

Student interest in off-campus housing is currently high. Although the percentage of offending students and landlords is small, the controversy and distress emanating from such situations is overwhelming for those concerned.

Towson State University wishes to assure the community of its ** intention to continue its long-time role as a supportive, responsible and responsive neighbor.

Dorothy G. Siegel

Towson

The writer is vice president for student services of Towson State University.

Caring parents

Something happened at Villa Julie College that was like a breath of fresh air, strongly refuting what we so often read and hear about the breakdown of the family and family ties.

At a freshman-parent orientation held at the college, the student center was filled with freshmen.

More than 300 parents also attended -- mothers and fathers who on a weekday had taken off from work or used a day of vacation in order to come with their sons or daughters to learn, first-hand, what was planned for their education at Villa Julie.

They showed intense interest, asked intelligent questions and gave every evidence of the love and support they felt for their children . . .

So don't count out the good parents, the ones who really care about their children. There are still plenty of them around.

irginia Tanner

Stevenson

The writer is director of public relations for Villa Julie College.

Natural parks

It was welcome news to read about how the Baltimore City Parks Department, city planners and Yale University forestry students are moving our parks in a more natural direction.

City residents shouldn't always have to travel elsewhere in the state to find nature when there is so much unused land in our own parks.

Living near Herring Run Park, I'm glad to see that some of it is now being turned back to meadow.

Not only will this create a more beautiful, diverse and healthy environment, but in time more natural parks could be a great educational resources.

Bob Jacobson

Baltimore

Obsolete word

In his piece that appeared July 27 in Other Voices, John Brain complained about the way "politically correct" thinking erodes the English language. Probably true.

But he barks up the wrong villain when he picks on the League for the Handicapped. It wasn't politically correct or incorrect to discard "handicapped" in favor of "people with disabilities." It was the truth, belatedly recognized, that the person is not the disability, and the disability is not the person. Characterizations such as crippled, or handicapped, or even disabled, are assaults on his personality.

No, the new words will not debase the language. But the old ones did debase people with disabilities, of whom I am one.

Mr. Brain, a person who writes beautifully, needn't mourn for usages like crippled, handicapped or disabled. He will still be able to find them in future dictionaries, marked "obsolete."

Harry London

Baltimore

End the silence on Bosnia

The resignations of three diplomats from the State Department have moved me to end my silence on the horrific tragedy befalling the people of Bosnia. I only wish I had spoken out sooner.

Where are the voices of those who profess to be champions of life, human rights, freedom and democracy? Those are easy words to speak, tougher to act upon.

Where are the voices of the women's movement in the face of the systematic rape and murder of thousands of Bosnian women and young girls?

Where are the voices of the Jewish community and the state of Israel in the midst of genocide?

Where are the voices of America's "enlightened": the writers, artists, performers, scholars and students, doctors and lawyers who could influence so many toward the right course of action?

I shudder to think that the inaction on the part of those above might be grounded in racism or ethnic bias.

Winter is coming and the forces of evil and death will thrive on its darkness and cold. The time to act is now. The extent of the horror in Bosnia is well-documented. Ignorance cannot be pleaded. The international rule of law is clear: Genocide is unacceptable.

The United States has the means, resources and legal justification to put an end to the killing. The only element lacking is resolve.

David L. Feigelson

Owings Mills

Why do media bash the Catholic Church?

It has become all too evident that there is a planned campaign by the major media to bash the Catholic Church out of existence and to use its demise as a precursor to destroying all religious forces in America. And this is being done in the name of freedom!

The efforts were honed to coincide with the visit of Pope John Paul II to the World Youth Day activities in Denver. Major TV networks were advertising well in advance the issues they planned to discuss, none of which spoke of the good the 'D Catholic Church is doing both here and abroad.

Magazines undertook polls to show how bad Catholics are, calling the "cafeteria Catholics" who don't practice their faith and who ignore the pope whenever they feel like it.

Every TV commentator launched into one controversial subject or another which, in his or her mind, was more newsworthy than the extraordinary events taking place before his or her eyes.

Not once did I experience a single article or commentary that presented World Youth Day and the pope's visit in a completely complimentary manner.

On-the-spot interviewers took pains to find youths who were willing to mouth words they wanted to hear. But whenever an interviewee began to praise the pope or the basic moral principles of the Catholic Church, the conversation was quickly ended.

It must have been embarrassing to the materialistic media to have to admit that, this time, they couldn't understate the estimate of 500,000 people, mostly youth, standing before them, speaking out strongly for a moral recovery.

Here were young men and women cheering loudly as Pope John Paul II spoke out unequivocally against abortion, contraception, euthanasia and fornication. May they be the phalanx to lead us all into a moral revolution to reinstitute the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses -- the basis of Judeo-Christian beliefs.

There was one shining exception to the dispirited, ambiguous coverage by the TV networks: the Eternal Word Television Network, which not only provided excellent coverage but presented it in an interesting way.

Unfortunately, the cable TV company in my area continues to find excuses for not bringing it to my neighborhood, even though they are always advertising the availability of trash stations. Is this another form of Catholic bashing?

Ralph T. Gies

Gambrills

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