Thank you for having the article by Juanita Mathews, "My Children Have Questions in Their Eyes," on the top of the Opinion * Commentary page of The Sun July 14.
It is so beautifully written. It's feelings from the heart.
What a teacher! What a person! Thank you, Juanita Mathews!
Florence R. Bahr
Staff writer Jean Thompson makes a dangerous leap by suggesting (July 6) that the excellent once-per-week services provided by the CollegeBound program personnel could allow schools to "eliminate guidance counselors, to spend their dollars on other services . . ."
Although we are proud of the number of graduating students who choose post-secondary education and are accepted into junior colleges, four-year colleges, trade schools and the military, counselors are also concerned with helping students who choose to work after graduation.
We assist students who drop out of school, students with personal problems, parents, grandparents and guardians with concerns.
Guidance personnel give aid and support to community agencies involved with our students. Counselors bring employers into the school for "mock interviews" which can result in a genuine job offer.
We teach conflict mediation, help students plan for their futures with curriculum choices, work with failing students and even help track down truants.
With all the tasks, we aggressively sell the need for future education and we are grateful for the help we receive from our CollegeBound representative.
We need more adults and more resources for the guidance staff, not less. We have a Commonwealth counselor and a new School to Work coordinator in our school.
Please let them do their jobs, they do them well, but do not think XTC that they should replace the staff already serving children.
The writer is a counselor in the Baltimore City public schools.
Numerous reports in the press foretell losses of jobs by many workers of large corporations that in the interest of greater efficiency and profit plan sweeping reorganizations.
Loss of many jobs affects not only those unfortunate people who lose employment but also their community, since loss of business, increased burden on the welfare system and an increase in crime are all correlated with increased unemployment in a community.
The question arises whether it would not be fair and fully justified to demand a larger share of contribution to the increased cost to the public when a private company increases its profit at the price of pushing additional burdens onto the taxpayers.
Of course, the company might respond by threats of pulling out entirely from the community. Such a move would involve additional expenses and a loss of trained work force.
By carefully considering the pros and cons, a community might recover some of its extra burden, and obligate a company to take into consideration additional factors besides profitability in making decisions about its employees.
G. G. Pinter
My, my, my. How soon we forget.
Your editorial of June 23, "A Question of Fairness," tells us that litmus tests neither serve country nor government; and KAL's malevolent editorial cartoon of the same day portrays Sen. Phil Gramm as a butcher, bending the knee to the "religious right" as he serves up the head of Dr. Henry Foster on a platter.
How unfair of the Republicans!
Where was your outcry against the unfairness of a Democratic controlled Senate and committee applying their litmus test in the hearing for nomination to the Supreme Court of one of the most qualified men ever to be nominated for that position?
No hue and cry was forthcoming from you when Democratic senators bent the knee to "radical liberals" as they served up the head of Judge Robert H. Bork on a platter.
Hypocrisy, thy name is The Baltimore Sun.
Richard G. Bartholomee
In her Opinion * Commentary essay "The Shame of Srebrenica" (July 13), Diane Paul is concerned about the thousands of women and children who may lose their lives if the fighting is not stopped.
She feels that lifting the arms embargo will prolong the fighting. She also thinks that a serious military effort should be mounted by the U.N. This would include using vast numbers of U.S. military personnel.
Obviously, Ms. Paul is not aware of the long-standing problems in this area. In his book, "Blood, Tears and Folly," Len Deighton states that in early 1941, "Croat militia murdered 250,000 people in three months . . . Muslims decimated the Christian population . . . As the war progressed, torrents of blood were shed as various paramilitary partisan groups fought each other."
The collapse of the Soviet Union has brought renewed partisan fighting. It would take a massive effort to subdue the very sophisticated weapons being used in this area. It would also entail a loss of many American military personnel.
Ms. Paul doesn't seem to be concerned that these personnel are also someone's children. We must not ever endanger our brave young men and women unless our own national interests are directly threatened.
Charles S. Wehner
D.C. Tax Cut Would Help All
Scott Higham's thoughtful article entitled "Tax cuts could be lure to paradise on Potomac," July 3, contained a few mistaken impressions to which I would like to reply.
The claim that reducing tax rates for people who live and work in the District would turn the Washington suburbs in Maryland and Northern Virginia into "sprawling, low-income communities" appeals to our worst fears.
The equivalent argument is that the current prosperity of the Washington suburbs is due to the depressions and poverty that today are smothering the District's citizens. How can that be?
Economic expansion and increased prosperity inside the District can only be good for the entire region. It would produce more jobs and more business opportunities for people who live inside the District, and also for those who border the District.
The first principle of the D.C. plan, which Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and I have been discussing, is to increase economic activity and prosperity inside the District.
To achieve that goal, the plan proposes to remove to the extent possible the barriers to job creation and business formation that today smother economic activity and perpetuate poverty.
When combined with the federal code, the District's high tax rates on personal incomes are a major barrier to opportunity for its poorest residents.
As a result, the plan calls for the elimination of federal taxes only on economic activity that takes place within the District's borders and that is engaged in by District residents.
Under the D.C. plan, those who work outside the District would receive no tax benefit by moving into the District of Columbia.
Second, Mr. Higham's article assumes that only the wealthy would benefit from a low-tax-rate environment, which reveals an unspoken prejudice against minorities who are poor.
The assumption is that low income residents are somehow incapable of becoming self-supporting members of a vibrant community.
An equally false conclusion is that their only alternative will be to flee the growing prosperity of a resurgent District economy.
To the contrary, the reduction in the personal income tax barrier to jobs and businesses would open the way for many of those who today are poor to work their way into the middle class.
Not only would they be able to contribute to their families and their communities, but they would represent a growing market for businesses in nearby communities as well.
For nearly 30 years, we have been trying to help the poor with government programs to fight poverty. Our urban landscapes are littered with the results: abandoned buildings, oppressive tax rates, unbelievably high levels of crime and the pernicious sale and use of drugs.
What we have produced is a separate socialist society of dependency and despair the likes of which have never been seen.
The direction of policy for D.C. must be to increase the opportunities for prosperity for all, and especially the poor. I believe the D.C. plan is an important first step in the direction of a new urban renaissance for America.
The writer, former secretary of housing and urban development, is co-director of Empower America.