King of Greenwood
As a veteran teacher in Baltimore County, I was deeply disheartened by your Aug. 26 editorial, "Berger's the Boss."
The demotions of the 40 principals and assistant principals was a carefully orchestrated scam on Dr. Berger's part, designed not to replace incompetent staff but to swell the ranks of the top with those who have proven loyalty to the superintendent. You completely lose sight of the ego problem that drives Dr. Berger to make staffing changes.
Let's examine what really happened to those victims of the Monday Massacre.
Obviously he had decided as early as March when he "changed the rules" for "downgradings" that these 40 employees had to go. However, he deliberately waited until three days after school got out for summer vacation to notify his victims. Why?
It seems fairly clear that he delayed informing the public for fear that the furor would add to the backlash he had already created with the infusion controversy. Had Dr. Berger made this announcement while schools were still in session, he would have risked far more wrath from an already-angry segment of parents and teachers.
Superintendent Robert Dubel was quite comfortable in his role as boss; unfortunately, Dr. Berger insists on being king. I am one of many frustrated employees in this system who feel this way.
Many of us see a very simple solution to a relatively complicated problem: Why not invite Robert Dubel back to finish up what he started here? If reform is what is needed in our educational system, shouldn't we have a reformer rather than a revolutionary
at the helm?
I appreciate your Sept. 6 editorial's interest in the year-around education of Maryland youth. Your comment about the importance of teaching methods, student grouping, instructional materials and educational technology is well taken. However, we must rely on other avenues to address the overcrowding dilemma faced by our schools.
In some areas, educators have elected to combat bulging school enrollments and limited space by using relocatables; busing students to a community church; combining grade levels; confining student to classrooms during lunch and recess; restricting parking for staff, parents and students; teaching in basements, closets and hallways; duplicating assemblies; "roving" special area teachers, and offering school programs in alternative facilities.
None of these options is ideal.
Despite the controversial nature of utilizing school buildings all year for educational purposes, this concept can clearly be designed to help alleviate classroom overcrowding. Instead of saying no to year-round schools, please encourage school communities to explore all options before deciding what is best for their children.
Nancy Nowak's Resignation
I was outraged to read in The Sun (Sept. 4) of the forced resignation of Nancy J. Nowak as director of parole and probation for Maryland. As a resident of Baltimore, I was naturally concerned when I read less than a week before (The Sunday Sun, Aug. 28) about the 2,092 violent and serious offenders who were loose in the community virtually unsupervised. The one reassuring note was that Ms. Nowak had come on board, was looking into the matter and presumably could be expected to do something about it.
But no sooner had I absorbed the bad news than the grain of hope embedded within it was taken away. Ms Nowak has been forced out -- for talking about the problem! What is going on? It's not as if she could keep it a secret. We, the public, may not have known the specifics, but we have been aware for some time that something was seriously wrong with the penal system. Acts of terrible violence have been breaking out all over. When the perpetrator is caught, he frequently turns out to be an escapee, parolee or probationer. I would say that Ms. Nowak's "time bomb" is already going off.
Susan J. Gaztanaga
I want to express my appreciation to Nancy Nowak for her commentary on the inherent dangers in the supervision of thousands of people on parole and probation. As a long time employee, now retired, I can attest that her remarks were entirely accurate and justified and certainly in the public interest.
Because of her "expose" she was forced out as state director of parole and probation by Secretary of Public Safety and Correctional Services Bishop Robinson.
0$ Thus the hazards of bureaucracy.
Daniel W. Wood
We have felt discriminated against by cable companies for years.
Comcast won't run cable because we live too far out and there are only 37 homes in our development. Prestige Cable is only a mile and a half from us -- but that is Carroll County, so they won't service us. The Bell Telephone Co. can run cable to us, but the FCC will not allow that, fearing that would give cable companies too much competition.
We feel we have as much right as cable users to view sports on our TV and not be penalized because the cable company has a monopoly on who gets cable and who does not.
Maybe if they had some competition, they would not be so arrogant in their demands for more money all the time and everyone who would like to be able to view a ballgame or fight would have the opportunity to do so.
Sandy Banisky brilliantly used metaphor in "Roving abortion doctor hailed, vilified," (Sept. 3) as she described a "new breed" of doctor, up before sunrise, pulling "on his cowboy boots," thus evoking the image of the Western hero setting off to right wrongs.
She alleges that this new breed is made necessary solely by "anti-abortion . . . attacks on doctors." Although powerfully emotive, the author's editorial opinions are surprising on the front page of a newspaper.
Abortionists are not news. Abortionists have been around long enough to be proscribed by the Hippocratic Oath, which originally forbade physicians practicing abortion. Nor is the fact that they "ride the circuit," often practicing outside their community, new.
Abortionists, shunned by the medical community and living on the edge of society, have left a legacy of death and destruction for generations.
Now, as pointed out in the article, retired eye doctors and pathologists are necessary to assure the financial solvency of abortion clinics.
Ms. Banisky accuses the medical profession of cowardice when she states that the only reason for the lack of abortionists is fear of personal harm. If this were so, surgeons who daily face death from hepatitis and HIV and emergency room doctors who face violent death would quit.
More physicians have died of patient-acquired AIDS and more have been shot to death in emergency rooms than abortionists have been harmed. Despite this these specialties do not lack doctors.
Is there another reason doctors avoid practicing abortionPerhaps it is because in medical school we learn to cherish life. Indeed, society expects us to be pro-life. We also learn that the living zygote becomes an embryo, then a fetus and is alive. This life is distinctly human.
When confronted with the option to be involved in abortion, I and many of my classmates refused. None of us were particularly religious. We were simply not willing to terminate what we had been taught was alive.
This scenario is repeated daily in medical schools and teaching hospitals across the country. In many, students and residents are not trained in abortion, due to lack of interest.
Perhaps this is the real reason for the shortage, rather than the recent deplorable wave of anti-abortion intimidation and violence.
Is a man who has left the service, failed in family practice and needs a new car, a new American hero?
Does a hero travel the country terminating life, providing little support with brief contact in a difficult situation and then move on thinking he has "cured" the women he likely never sees again?
I can believe that the billion-dollar abortion industry hails the abortionist as a hero, but this sort of practice does not warrant Ms. Banisky's accolade of "a new breed of medical specialist." The old and dishonorable name, abortionist, will suffice.
Randall C. Wetzel, M.D.