Cuts in city's job training office deploredWe...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Cuts in city's job training office deplored

We view with deep alarm the Oct. 6 article on cuts to the staff of the city's Office of Employment Development.

"Sixty-nine staffers at the agency that coordinates Baltimore's employment and job training efforts are now looking for work," according to this report.

This happens in a metropolitan area that has employed half of all Maryland workers and has lost the most jobs since 1990 #F statewide.

These cuts seem to come at a time when we should be doubling our efforts instead of cutting them back.

These cuts also come at a time when corporate America is renewing its commitment to economic community development issues.

An article in a September issue of Business Week reports on how some businesses are linking hands with the inner cities because it is understood that "the only fundamental, lasting solution to inner-city problems has to be built on the residents."

While these renewed insights take on new meaning nationally, Baltimore is moving to a weakened position for developing these kinds of partnerships.

Although the article in The Evening Sun reported that these cutbacks would have no effect on program services, we are not so sure.

One of the key problems with the Office of Employment Development is its dependence mostly on outside dollars from the state and federal governments.

This funding pattern might be shortsighted in the long term if Baltimore hopes to be able to train and empower its citizens for today's economic climate.

If indeed the only way to economic vitality is a re-tooled work force, we need to find more local resources to invest in the lives of our citizens. We need to spend less time "hoping" for the best and more time doing for the best.

Rev. Edward Heim

Baltimore

The writer is the chair of the city Development Commission's Economic Policy Committee.

Saving money

I believe Edd Doerr doth err in his convoluted logic.

He criticized gubernatorial candidate Ellen Sauerbrey on her proposal to provide $2,000 per student tax credit for private school tuition.

His theory is that this will cost taxpayers $232,000,000 per year, since there are currently 116,000 students in private schools in Maryland.

What he fails to acknowledge is that these students are currently saving the taxpayers more than twice that amount, since it costs over $4,000 per student to provide a seat in the public schools on the average.

And if such a tax credit were available, there would probably be more than twice as many students transferring to private schools in a very short time.

Thus the net effect would be that the state will spend far less on public schools, and will actually come out spending less overall by giving the tax credit.

He also implies that this mass exodus would wreck the public schools. Well, he need not fear, since the public schools have been damaged far more severely by the current focus on social engineering rather than on education.

However, just as in business, competition is a good thing, and this may be just the shock the public school administrators need.

Then maybe they will stop thinking they know what is best for our children and start listening to parents.

John McClure

Reisterstown

Black Confederates

I do hope, when the proposed Black Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to those brave black soldiers and sailors who fought and died so bravely in the War between the States, and those names are inscribed, it will also include the known 10 black men who fought for and maybe gave their lives for the Confederacy.

Those men, as listed in "The Civil War Book of Lists," include Old Dick, private, 18th Virginia Infantry; Jaques Esclavan, trooper, corporal, Texas Calvary; Jean Baptiste Pierre August, private, 29th Louisiana Infantry; Charles Lutz, private, 8th Louisiana Infantry; Lufray Pierre August, private, 16th Louisiana Infantry; Levin Graham and Gabriel Groppe, 6th Louisiana Infantry; and ++ Tom, Peter and Overton Ventres, privates, 6th Kentucky Infantry. These men were all voluntary enlistees and not forced into service.

Even though these 10 brave "defenders of the lost cause" are the only known black veterans of the Confederacy, there were, I am sure, other black men in the Confederate service who were "passing" before the war, but their names remain -- so far -- unknown.

Owens L. Pomeroy

Baltimore

Defend yourself

As a subscriber to The Baltimore Sun, I am often amused at the anti-self-defense articles and editorials that appear in your paper.

For example, the anti-self-defense lobby wants us to believe that it is dangerous to resist crimes like rape and assault, using a gun. In reality, using a gun is actually safer than not resisting or resisting with less powerful means.

You might be amused to know that defense with a gun results in fewer injuries (17 percent) than resisting with less powerful means (knives, 40 percent; other weapon, 22 percent; physical force, 51 percent; evasion, 35 percent, etc.) and in fewer injuries than not resisting at all (25 percent).

It is an established fact that when a victim is successful in repelling a crime, the victim is unlikely to report the crime, leaving police to deal only with the unsuccessful attempts to defend oneself.

Since police are exposed to a skewed sample of failure, they can honestly, though incorrectly, conclude that it is dangerous to attempt to defend oneself with a gun.

Thomas E. Maloney

Bel Air

Cahill sentence hard to understand

A Baltimore County resident for fifteen years, I have never before felt compelled to express an opinion on an item reported in The Baltimore Sun.

However, I am outraged after reading of Baltimore County Circuit Judge Robert Cahill's 18-month sentence for a Parkton man convicted of killing his wife.

This sentence doesn't "keep the system honest," as Judge Cahill professes; it makes a mockery of it. I have read of shoplifters receiving greater punishment.

This man took another person's life. No matter how "understandable" Judge Cahill believes Mr. Peacock's rage, the judgment in this case is both incomprehensible and intolerable.

It not only glorifies man's historic domination over women and justifies continued domestic violence, it demeans the sanctity of human life.

I have just one question for Judge Cahill. If it had been a woman outraged over her husband's infidelity, would he have been as "understanding"? I think not.

Patricia L. Petty

Towson

I would think that by now you have received an avalanche of mail, all from people like myself who are shocked that an 18-month jail sentence is the punishment for killing a human being.

According to the story, Judge Robert Cahill was portrayed to believe that if we have a legitimate reason to be angry, our subsequent behavior should be excused -- even to the point of killing another person.

This is wrong for many reasons:

1. Anger cannot be an excuse for violent behavior. Self-control is what civilization is all about.

We can't do whatever we want, whenever we want. We must balance our needs with those of others. Parents struggle to teach self-control every day.

2. Human life is valuable, capable of great good and bad. But except in self-defense, we do not have the right to take someone's life.

3. Lastly, I personally believe it is wrong for a judge not to understand that as troubled as an individual may be, society must not condone abusive behavior.

To take away this man's accountability is to take away his self-respect. While I'd guess that today not too many Marylanders care about his self-respect, I see it as part of a larger issue.

Lawbreakers have little or no self-respect, but a healthy society should have plenty. When we minimize the crime and the punishment, we devalue our society.

As humans, we are far from perfect. Our criminal justice system should provide an opportunity for redress. We should be given a sentence appropriate for our crime, so that we may repay our debt to society, seek God's forgiveness and do our best to get on with life.

This sends the message that we expect reasonable behavior or there will be regrettable consequences.

Linda West

Baltimore

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