Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five

Performance goals needed for AmpreyWhat are parents...


Performance goals needed for Amprey

What are parents of children in the Baltimore City schools to make of the recent pay raise and four-year contract for the school superintendent, Walter Amprey? Why a 12 percent ($15,000) increase when teachers are receiving a 4 percent increase? Why an expense account increase from $5,000 to $15,000?

Why give permission to collect unlimited fees for speaking engagements, which can only diminish his availability for "superintending"?

Why does he get a four-year guaranteed contract with neither a proposed plan for educational improvement nor any demonstrable administrative accomplishment?

Does the Board of Education really represent the educational interests of children and their parents or . . .?

I read nothing about performance standards for the superintendent in your coverage (June 30). How can the system require performance standards for teachers when the superintendent has none?

My children's teachers have no spending allowance. (In fact I am always having to reimburse these teachers for out-of-pocket expenses that they willingly undertake with no guarantee of reimbursement.)

They have no guaranteed salary without regard to the work they perform or the results they accomplish.

If good teachers coupled with appropriate support truly make the difference in a school system, the mayor and the school board have truly lost it. I am incensed by this sell-out.

Andrew Joseph O'Brien


Failed system

One reason we have one of the worst crime rates in the world can be found in the O. J. Simpson legal proceedings.

The procedures are dominated by legal technicalities, minutiae and maneuvering as opposed to simply looking for the truth to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant.

The system is overburdened with protection for defendants. Thus everyone pays the price in living in fear of crime.

Our criminal justice system is a failure compared with the rest of the world, as is proven by our crime rates for murder, rape, robbery, etc.

Criminals know it is difficult to be found guilty, and even if they are, they may file endless appeals.

If imprisoned, they still have a right to such creature comforts as television, libraries, recreation, etc., as well as early parole.

Fear of punishment has little deterrent value for criminals in this country. When will the public realize that the scales of justice must be tilted back in favor of the victims and potential victims of crime?

William G. Sturm Sr.


Annapolis sports

If I understand it right, the Naval Academy Athletic Association was formed to support the Naval Academy sports programs in such a way as to make them self-sufficient, not as a profit center for a sports business like the Baltimore Orioles.

There is a difference between sound business management of a non-profit organization and a conglomerate business like Jerry Hardesty's. They each have their place but should not be confused with one another.

Mr. Hardesty ignores the county and state offices contributing to the Annapolis community as well as all the water-related businesses that draw visitors and residents to the area. This area has changed tremendously in 30 years. Fortunately for Annapolis, the ambience was greatly improved by the dedicated efforts of people like Mrs. J. M. P. Wright, who recognized the historic value of the town.

The NAAA has been a party to the changes in Annapolis but is no longer the only show in town. This is a fact not always recognized by NAAA management or businessmen like Mr. Hardesty.

Edward S. Gallagher


Welfare Russians

There are many things I will never understand about this country. President Clinton's solution to the problem of the Russian troops in the Baltic states has to be added to the list.

Mr. Clinton pledged to give United States taxpayer money to 2,500 former Red Army officers who are now living in the Baltic states formerly occupied by the Soviet Union. The officers do not want to return to their country and the Baltic states refuse to give them citizenship.

Mr. Clinton wants to give each of these former officers $25,000 so that they can buy homes in Russia.

This represents $62.5 million in taxpayer money. Excuse my ignorance, but why? Can't tax money be better used in the U.S? Don't we have housing needs even if we do not have Russian officers?

Had this "welfare money" been spent in the United States to provide housing for our own citizens, would there be an uprising of taxpayers?

Charles D. Connelly


Second amendment

All the hoopla in O. J. Simpson's preliminary hearing over the rights granted us by the Fourth Amendment of our Bill of Rights against search and seizure without a warrant is amazing.

I, as well as the greater majority of Americans, hold the Bill of Rights and our Constitution most dear.

However, as the Fourth Amendment is being lauded, another part of that Bill of Rights is being lambasted to the point that some idiots have proposed that it be repealed.

That part is the Second Amendment, which grants citizens the right to bear arms.

If the Fourth is to be so fervently protected, why not the Second? Are they not both a part of those great documents that made us the greatest nation on earth?

H. Robert Wagner


Too many mouths

Your article "Decline in birth rate has Italians concerned about the future of their country" (July 3) stated: "In the United States, 2.1 births per women keep the population stable."

At its present rate of growth, the U.S. population will double during my daughter's lifetime.

The U.S. population is growing almost 1 percent each year. Approximately half this growth is attributable to immigration.

Given the disastrous environmental consequences of unchecked population growth, your newspaper should avoid misleading readers with assertions that the U.S. population is "stable."

Steven C. Hill

Bel Air

Editorial parochialism?

Your July 11 editorial, "Kickoff time for the Redskins," shows such a high level of parochialism that I have to wonder what world you are living in. The real world is one in which Baltimore and Washington are now co-joined twins, dependent upon each other in a way neither would choose.

The real world is one in which Baltimore lost a National Football League franchise because:

* We didn't support the team. If you were in Baltimore in the late '70s and early '80s, you saw the empty seats at Colt games year after year like I did.

* The city and state failed to acknowledge that they had to act to make Bob Irsay happy if they wanted to keep the Colts, given the obviously low level of fan support at the time.

The real world is one in which:

* Washington is never going to get a baseball team because of the success of the Orioles in the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

The Orioles would never support a team in Washington because so many of their fans are from Washington and its suburbs that another team would devalue the Orioles franchise.

* Baltimore is never going to get an NFL team. Jack Kent Cooke won't approve an expansion team or the move of another team to Baltimore because he fears that it would devalue his franchise. Who can blame him? What kind of hypocrites are we if we do?

* Mr. Cooke is offering to spend his own money to build a new stadium for his team.

The construction alone will generate thousands of building jobs, a hundred or so permanent jobs and long term income for the state and Anne Arundel County.

The roads and infrastructure the county will have to fund with $43 million in bonds will support an area of the county that is growing by leaps and bounds whether he builds his stadium or not.

Alternative developments like residential uses for the property would require the expansion of schools to educate the children of new residents; commercial and industrial alternatives would add truck and auto traffic and pollution 365 days a year instead of 10 days a year.

The increased visibility of Laurel racetrack, the stadium's neighbor, will help thoroughbred racing in Maryland, an industry that supports about 10,000 people in the state and provides tax revenues.

The increased visibility of Laurel on national television will bolster the image of Maryland as a wonderful place to visit.

Anita Heygster


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