Social workers share blame in abuse caseI...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Social workers share blame in abuse case

I am writing this letter concerning a news item which appeared Oct. 5 in The Evening Sun, regarding the sentencing of Tanya Lucas for the murder (by arson) of her children.

Although I agree with the judge's statement that it was a $H "heinous" crime, I feel an even more heinous crime was committed by child welfare workers.

After several investigations of child neglect and abandonment, properly conducted follow-up investigations should have revealed that a 2-year-old child who weighed only 10 pounds was being neglected and abused.

These so called "professional" social workers should have been looking out for the welfare of the children when they saw these and other signs of mistreatment.

Someone clearly was not doing his job, and should also be put on trial. Surely they are as guilty as Tanya Lucas.

G.L. Byrne

Baltimore

Arnick cartoon

Your cartoon of John Arnick being seduced by an enormous floozie on a bar stool was shameful.

Your suggestion that there was anything improper or that local politicos connived to reinstall Mr. Arnick to an office he'd been elected to and had resigned from only to accept a judgeship is not only misleading but vicious.

And to add insult to injury, the Dundalk bar where the action is taking place with its unshaven bartender and disreputable looking patron did not serve to endear your paper to the citizenry of Dundalk.

For a long time now, the Dundalk community has been making impressive strides forward with some innovative schools; its community college which, in addition to its rapidly expanding services, features internationally recognized lecturers on a regular basis; a concert association, which presents important national artists; a unique community quality program and an enviable record for public safety.

To suggest that Dundalk is a backward "mill town" indicates a failure to recognize the remarkable achievements that have taken place there during the disastrous decades that have ravaged other similar communities throughout the country.

If the citizens of Dundalk are less than enchanted with having a paper of The Sun's caliber in the area, you might attribute it to your lack of sensitivity.

Milton Schwartzman

Baltimore

Sex and rock music

I am writing in response to Dorothy Jones' letter "Dirty music" (Oct. 4), in which she stated that music played on the radio encourages and glorifies sex among teen-agers.

Being a teen-ager myself, I realize that there are many problems with teen-age sex. However, the words to songs on the radio have nothing to do with this issue.

It is not often that one hears a song and analyzes every word of it in order to understand its meaning. To say that a song is going to influence a teen-ager's decision about sex is not logical.

Adults need to have a little more faith in teen-agers' ability to make such important decisions based on what they feel and not on what is on the radio.

It's time for adults to realize that we teen-agers are a little more intelligent than we are given credit for.

Kristin Karbonik

Catonsville

Cut and run

In retrospect most of us agree that our Vietnam venture was stupid. What then can be said of our recent decision to double our forces in Somalia? Double stupid?

Aidid has told his country that we are an invading force. Surely our returning with a much greater army will support his declaration. . .

Should we "cut and run"? You bet -- the faster the better.

The "stop loss" is well used in the financial world. Let's use it here. We have a great many serious problems in our own society. Let us give President Clinton the time and tranquillity to address them.

oward M. Pratt

Baltimore

Faith and science

Wendell Hanks' Oct. 12 letter displays some basic misconceptions about evolution. Evolution is taught as fact because scientists regard it as well-established as the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Unlike creationism, which relies on faith and belief, evolution is supported by evidence in numerous fields of inquiry, including biology, geology, paleontology and cosmology.

Mr. Hanks asks why creationist views should not be given equal time. Creationism is religious dogma; therefore, teaching it in public schools is a violation of the First Amendment. It is not science and so does not merit equal time any more than geocentric astromony merits equal time with heliocentric theories.

Creationism is one of numerous creation myths that have been devised by mankind to explain our origins. Yet I have never heard creationists argue for equal time for teaching Hindu or Buddhist creation myths. Support for teaching creationism is simply a backdoor approach to promote one's particular religious beliefs in the classroom.

Finally, Mr. Hanks perpetuates another myth by referring to Adolf Hitler as a humanist. Humanists support civil rights for all, regardless of race, religion, creed or nationality. Few would argue that Hitler shared this view.

Kenneth Marsalek

Baltimore

Muted debates

The United States shells out billions of dollars for foreign aid, disaster relief and pay raises for its politicians, and yet there has never been a great debate on how these expenditures are to be paid for.

Why, then, is there so much controversy over paying for the health-care program?

Frank Matthews

Baltimore

Mt. Pleasant Park project is no swamp

As a taxpayer of the city of Baltimore for 18 years and a civil servant of the state of Maryland for 10 years, I am outraged by the libelous misrepresentation of a good faith community

proposal by the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks.

In a time when government-bashing seems to be in vogue, it is especially important to recognize and reinforce those efforts of local government that truly embrace and support the entire community that it is intended to serve.

An apparently self-serving church-affiliated athletic association, thinly veiled as "The Committee to Preserve Mt. Pleasant Park," has considered itself to be above community standards of honesty and social inclusion with its door-to-door flier campaign which it describes as an effort to stop the city from eliminating casual walking and recreational activities by converting the Mt. Pleasant Park into a swamp to save money.

This is unfortunate inflammatory rhetoric.

It is my understanding that the city of Baltimore, with the assistance of some specifically earmarked grant money for wetlands regeneration, has a unique opportunity to create a model urban wetlands nature preserve area.

The city proposal intends to create an alternative recreation area to complement the already numerous athletic fields in the

northeast Baltimore City area. The city has also proposed, in reaction to the church-affiliated athletic association's objections, that another nearby athletic field be made available to them, and that improvements be made to these field areas with taxpayers' money.

The proposed alternative recreation area generates myriad possibilities of utilization not presently available anywhere in the city: a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk guided nature trail able to be enjoyed by patients of the Maryland Rehabilitation Center and other wheelchair-bound city residents; a guided nature walk trail able to enjoyed by the patrons of the Harford Senior Center and other less athletically-inclined city residents; a nature preserve available for the study of ecology and the environment by school classes, scout troops and nature club members; a nature area for city residents of all ages, abilities, races and religions -- a playground that respects all cultural diversity.

In parochial contrast, the athletic association proposes the expansion of the status quo, i.e., an athletic area that continues to be utilized primarily by their group for soccer and softball practice.

Children and adults alike need to learn other than the values of competition and winning at any cost including deceit presently being modeled by this athletic association. It might be said that support of these values with city taxpayers' money is an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds.

People need to learn the values of respect for all life and accommodation of all people's needs, not just their own self-interests. Baltimore needs to learn these values now more than ever.

Eugene A. Pometto Jr.

Baltimore

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