Who would dare desecrate Old Glory?One of...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Who would dare desecrate Old Glory?

One of my proudest moments of World War II was when I raised a flag that my father had sent to me in the center of a town we occupied in Germany after V-E Day.

The flag was beautiful and represented the nation we honored and countless Americans who fought and died since its founding.

It is not a political symbol to be displayed indiscriminately, but it does represent America to me. With all its faults, this is still the best country in the world.

We pledged allegiance to this symbol, and no one has the right to desecrate or destroy the flag, which I proudly display on every occasion.

The four Maryland legislators who, for whatever reason, recently chose to vote against the U.S. flag "desecration" bill are not worthy of respect or support from me or other veterans and their families.

Frank Bressler

Baltimore

Music, not talk

The latest example of "bait-and-switch" chicanery, until recently used only by discount outlets of dubious reputation, has reached new heights of exploitation in the decision of WJHU-FM to change its weekday day-time format from classical music to news and talk. The Sun reported that only two callers complained! Bet they were not even cash customers.

Granted, the majority of Marylanders does not listen to classical music all day, nor do they want to. I am a member of that majority.

But at the office or in the car, when I do not want something more satisfying than molasses on a G clef, there are (were) no two persons alive who could make that listening the very experience that most of us have had neither the scratch nor the leisure to enjoy -- a relaxed, richly-rewarding, come-as-you-are, laid-back course in music appreciation.

I refer, of course, to Bill Spencer and Lisa Simeone. They charmed us with wit and whimsy, the history, lives and background of composers, trivia both historical and hysterical and some of the best musical treasures that our culture and every other culture have passed on to us.

Small is the consolation to know that, though I am losing all this, I can now hear talk-shows.

As if I should actually pay to hear a style of blowfish who really thinks that "his mind is on loan from God" carry on in a manner that is about as informative as Daisy Mae discussing physics with Sam Newton, Isaac's brother!

Brian M. Rafferty

Pasadena

Traffic was awful

I just returned from sitting in a gridlock of traffic, stuck on I-83 North at the Oregon Ridge exit, to attend this year's "BSO All American Salute." Fireworks were scheduled to occur after the concert.

My family sat in an overheating car for more than an hour and a half to travel a total of about a quarter-mile before the Oregon Ridge exit sign to the exit itself.

There were at least another 2,000 cars attempting to move to the entrance, three lanes abreast. I am appalled that the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has the enormous chutzpah to sell more tickets than they could ever dream of accommodating.

The Baltimore County Recreation and Parks Department should

likewise be ashamed for its utter mishandling of the situation. They know the maximums that the park and its entrances can serve.

What, may I ask, if the BSO decided to sell 100,000 tickets to its next concert, and all 100,000 ticket-holders arrived at the Meyerhoff doors demanding, overheatedly, to get in?

I obviously did not even get close to the park's entrance road, so by 8 p.m. I exited homeward. I hope those people that did arrive by 4 p.m. for the 8 p.m. concert enjoyed themselves.

I know that the BSO and parks department certainly owe me the $38 I paid for tickets, as well as ticket costs of those 2,000 others who didn't get to see the concert. Don't look at me to support such an outdoor outrage in the future.

Samuel H. Esterson

Baltimore

Berger's record

A recent editorial listed what The Sun considers Baltimore County School Superintendent Stuart Berger's accomplishments in reforming the county schools ("Continuing the School Reforms," June 28).

However, the editorial writer neglected several of Dr. Berger's other "accomplishments." Was he or she out of town when reports appeared in your paper of falling test scores due to "lack of systematic, countywide staff development," a gifted and talented program in disarray and violent disruptions in several county schools?

The report of the Behan Committee [on school safety] indicates several contributing factors to violence in the schools, including site-based management, disciplinary policy and frequent turnover of teachers and principals that can be traced to the highest levels of the school administration.

In arriving at an overall assessment of Dr. Berger's efforts, I think we need to consider the bad along with the good.

Sylvia Egeth

Owings Mills

A question of safety

My only daughter, a graduate of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, is a new pediatrics resident at Johns Hopkins.

She and her husband were married less than a month ago. He is a graduate of Duke and the Vanderbilt law school and is studying to pass the Maryland Bar. He works for a Baltimore law firm.

We helped them move into their first home, a row house in the Butcher's Hill area. We all fell in love with your city, especially the beautifully revived downtown areas.

They were full of hope and excitement at starting their careers together, with the strong expectation of making Baltimore their home. The neighbors were friendly, and we felt good about their situation.

The other day, however, at about noon, in broad daylight, my son-in-law was mugged less than two blocks from home.

Two men forced him into an alley at gunpoint, threatened his life, subjected him to vile racial verbal abuse and then proceeded to take his wallet, his watch and -- ignoring his pleading -- even his brand new wedding ring. We thank God that he was not seriously hurt.

My daughter was on the verge of hysterics. She's a tough lady who lived in the heart of Houston, Texas, for several years while in college and does not frighten easily.

But she is frightened now. She's afraid even to leave her new home to walk to her car. What a sad commentary on an otherwise beautiful city.

The Southeastern District of the Baltimore Police Department responded quickly, and they are investigating, but that doesn't help much now.

I can't describe to you my deep concern for their safety and for her state of mind.

I hope and trust that the good people of Baltimore will voice their concern about this incident to their elected officials in the strongest possible terms. I know no one in your city, so I feel helpless to help my only daughter and her husband.

Perhaps some of your readers might have some influence in petitioning for additional security in the Butcher's Hill/Hopkins area of your city. Thank you for your help.

Hugh Brewer

Fayetteville, Ark.

Praise city students

On a recent weekend night, I attended with my husband and children "A Night of Music" at our own Baltimore City College. The program featured the best musicians from the third oldest high school in the nation.

We enjoyed, among many other selections: "Shut de Do' ", a favorite of the program, which exhorted us to "Keep the devil in the darkness . . . Keep the devil in the night"; and a resounding medley with tributes of recognition for Linda R. Hall, choral director, and Alvin T. Wallace, symphonic and jazz band director.

There are few who wouldn't feel compelled to shout about what we heard and saw in a large high school in a city that renders its teen-agers "hopeless," "hapless," "rudderless and rowdy." We heard discipline, collaboration and musicianship. We saw teamwork, respect and the true spirit of cooperation.

Too many remain immobile in their skepticism over the "compatibility of the 'races.' " Such skeptics would do well to mosey on up to their own national icon of a high school the next time City College sponsors its "Night of Music" or any other artistic event, for that matter.

Northeast Baltimore has in its midst a microcosm of any interesting community's culturally diverse teen-age population.

The City College high school and the children's parents can justifiably boast of students who are responsible, mature and accomplished.

It is a shame that too often still the reputation of our city's high-schoolers is given a "boo(s)t" in the wrong direction by the ,, media, by select community leaders and by the children's own neighbors.

So, neighbors and all city dwellers in the market for an evening of downright professional-quality entertainment, check out your very own "Theater on the (33rd St.) Hill" and take advantage of the next "op'nin" or show at City College High School.

You'll not only be doing yourselves a favor, but as the song says, you'll "Keep the devil in the darkness, keep the devil in the night."

Kathleen Chamberlin

Baltimore

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