Hitler and Stalin
No, President Clinton, it is not the Ames scandal that has colored what the average American thinks about the CIA.
It is the article in the July 15 Sun headlined, "False CIA drug data kept Thai from power," and the series on Honduras that divulged the atrocities committed in the 1980s by a military unit equipped by the CIA.
These are among the almost daily exposes that bring shame and outrage to Americans who still believe in truth and justice, and who cringe to hear evidence that their country is behaving like the Hitler and Stalin regimes.
Do Unto Others
Isn't it strange that so many of those fervently pushing the idea of prayer in school place so little value on "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"?
Mary O. Styrt
I do love Helen Chappell's "Oysterback Tales." What a grand satirical writer Ms. Chappell is!
My problem is the little "squib" beneath her column, which states that Ms. Chappell is Oysterback's "amanuensis."
Now, if that doesn't send everyone scattering to their nearest Webster's dictionary, nothing will.
Give us a break and use the same colorful language Ms. Chappell uses.
Desiree Grinch couldn't pronounce that word, I bet.
Beebe Henderson Castro
Your newspaper has been a consistent supporter of Baltimore County's school superintendent, Stuart Berger. While your editorial June 19 was more equivocal, it seems you still don't get it.
As parents of a child in the county school system, we have watched in frustration and dismay as Dr. Berger's "vision" has resulted in the deterioration of the school's academic and behavioral standards.
Although he may mean well, his policies have demoralized teachers and staff, and many of the best have left the system.
The gifted and talented program, as noted recently in your newspaper, is floundering without a coherent direction or objective.
However, in spite of Dr. Berger's policies and administrative problems, many bright spots remain in the system, such as the magnet school program (which, incidentally, was in the school plan long before he was hired).
It will take time to rebuild the Baltimore County school system. This can't begin until a new superintendent is in place.
Richard S. Geer
Simon on Sex
It's bad enough that Hugh Grant humiliated his girlfriend, Elizabeth Hurley, by getting caught with a prostitute. Do your columnists have to snipe at Ms. Hurley as well?
I was infuriated by Roger Simon's snide theory, in his June 30 column, that Mr. Grant many have "confused" his girlfriend with the prostitute because Ms. Hurley "dresses like a hooker."
Mr. Simon spent the rest of that column complaining that the U.S. is "childish about sex" and that the Los Angeles Police Department is wasting its time on sex cases involving consenting adults. It seems strange to me that someone who believes this should be bothered by a model's clothing.
Not to mention the fact that Simon insulted his entire female readership by implying that the sum of a woman is her appearance. To joke that a man could fail to tell the difference between a girlfriend of eight years and a prostitute he just met is highly disrespectful of women and men.
If Mr. Simon has complaints to make about police priorities, that's fine (although I don't agree with his apparent belief that sex in an automobile is as private as sex in one's own home.)
But he has no right to attack a woman who is innocent of any crime, even if he doesn't approve of her taste in fashion (and I can tell by his picture that he is a fashion expert).
Procurement at City Community College
I am writing in response to the July 16 article by David Folkenflik, "Black group calls for ouster of campus chief," which failed to mention a couple of important points regarding the Baltimore City Community College procurement contract awarded to Legg Mason Realty Group.
First, after an examination of all the procurement proposals, the college's Procurement Evaluation Committee determined that Brailsford Associates Inc., a minority-owned business, was the best qualified applicant.
Accordingly, the college's procurement office recommended to the president, James D. Tschechtelin, that the contract be awarded to Brailsford. Dr. Tschechtelin, however, ignored the advice, and the board of trustees subsequently selected Legg Mason.
Since Legg Mason was the highest bidder, members of the Procurement Evaluation Committee, along with Dr. Tschechtelin and Marion Pines, a white board member, met with Legg Mason representatives to negotiate a lower price.
As a result, two of the original contract specifications were removed, and Legg Mason was able to lower its price. But its revised price was still higher than that of Brailsford.
In addition, even though Brailsford was the most qualified applicant, it was not invited to submit a revised price proposal.
This clearly violates state procurement law, which states that "qualified offerers shall be accorded fair and equal treatment with respect to any opportunity for discussions, negotiations, and clarifications of proposals."
Secondly, Mr. Folkenflik's article said the contract never went through to Legg Mason because of budget constraints. The contract did not go through for the following reasons:
(1) When I showed the procurement documents to the procurement specialist at the Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning, he said what the college was trying to do was illegal, and that he would not approve the contract with Legg Mason.
(2) I reported the illegal procurement activity to the chief of the Division of Fraud, Waste and Abuse in the governor's office.
In accordance with his instructions, I then reported it to the Criminal Investigations Unit in the attorney general's office. The assistant attorney general who investigated the matter advised my attorney and me that the college had trampled all over the procurement law.
He also said when he sees such blatant violations of the law he wonders what the motive was for disregarding it. However, he said he was a criminal investigator and could not help me because there were no criminal sanctions for violating procurement law.
(3) Brailsford Associates protested the board's selection of Legg Mason.
In addition, Mr. Folkenflik failed to mention in his article that I am also suing for defamation of character.
Moreover, he stated I was terminated for what the president said was insubordination. Dr. Tschechtelin's reason for dismissing me continues to change. This is approximately the 10th reason he has given for it, and the excuses range anywhere from exercising poor judgment to staying in my office with the door closed.
His latest excuse was the first I can somewhat agree with; if refusing to participate in a cover-up involving illegal procurement activity constitutes insubordination, then I am guilty.
It is also interesting to note that when my attorney inspected my personnel file 10 days after my termination he found absolutely nothing in it but hiring information.
One final comment: Because I do not have $75,000 or more to spend on attorney fees, I will be unable to pursue my lawsuit.
Therefore, I wrote to Gov. Parris N. Glendening and asked for his help. I sent him more than a dozen documents to support my claim of illegal procurement activity. I also sent him a document indicating that the board of trustees and the president were conspiring to terminate me for reporting the discriminatory activity.
I asked the governor to find me a similar paying job in another state agency and, at the same time, requested retroactive pay back to the date of my termination, back time, and reimbursement for the $4,000 in attorney fees paid by me to date.
Although I have written to the governor twice, once in March and again in May, I have yet to receive the courtesy of a reply.
Pamela C. Smith
The writer is a former internal auditor for Baltimore City Community College.