I would like to congratulate Mike Littwin for his hilarious article on Bob Packwood (Sept. 11).
In these days of doom and gloom reporting, it was a most pleasant treat.
When I read the heading of his article, I thought "Oh, another Packwood story," but decided to read it anyway.
I must say it made my day. Best laugh I've had in ages.
The crab population in the Chesapeake Bay needs our help.
But how can we do it without devastating the watermen or infringing on the rights of recreational crabbers?
As with any shortage, we need to look at where there is waste. Trim there, not at the water's edge.
I propose we put a temporary moratorium on All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feasts -- those inebriated festivals where people come by the hundreds to see how many crabs they can shove in their mouths in four hours for one low price.
Usually used as a fund-raiser, the Maryland crab feast uses smaller crabs than crab lovers normally buy and the eaters don't take the time to properly clean the crab, but go for the back fin and discard the rest.
And why not? They paid admission and it isn't their responsibility to worry about crab consumption. Not after a few beers, anyway.
I've been to crab feasts and seen whole uneaten crabs rolled up in the waste paper coming off the tables.
The charities that depend on these crab events to raise capital could simply lower their admission costs and charge by the half-dozen for the crabs.
When people pay for something, they become aware of waste. And those who are not big crab eaters would not have to pick up the tab for the gluttons.
To see such waste at a time when the existence of a healthy crab population is at risk is decadent, blind folly.
If we don't do something soon, we will all pay the price. Instead of a more conservative crab event, there won't be any crabs at all.
Bomb Was Needed
Richard Ochs, as a young history major at the University of Maryland, is pontificating about events that may well have occurred before his time (Saturday Mail Box, Sept. 2).
He maintains that the United States committed a capitalist crime when the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. How can one reason that Japan with our aid has not become a capitalistic nation?
If his thinking is accepted as factual, even the entire episode on Okinawa should not have taken place. He writes that Japan was at the end of its resources and it would only have been a matter of time before that nation was starved for food, fuel and ammunition.
Reduced to absurdity, instead of using satchel-charges and flame-throwers for Japanese hidden in the caves, our soldiers on Okinawa should have marched before them with placards reading, "We have you starved. Surrender!" The fall of Japan came only a few months after Okinawa was secured. He implies that the aerial bombings of Japan by conventional means should not have occurred and the big bombers should have carried streamers telling the Japanese that they were in a hopeless situation.
As a surgeon, I totally deplored the loss of so many innocent Japanese civilians by the atomic bomb as much as I resented the murderous events perpetrated by the leaders of Germany, Italy, and Japan. These men killed many persons in a terrible manner. Witness the number of armed forces killed without warning at Pearl Harbor.
I was on Okinawa that August night in 1945 when we learned that the Japanese had surrendered because of the use of a new type of bomb. With many others, I experienced a tremendous calm and elation. We could now all go home. We were in the preparatory stages of the invasion of Honshu, scheduled for November of that year. If undertaken, this event would have resulted in 100,000 casualties in the first 30 days. I might never have been privileged to return to the United States.
I cannot read the minds of those responsible for the conduct of the war or what reasoning led them to use the bomb. I am quite certain that if the Japanese had the bomb, they would have used it on the United States.
On the island that night, the war was forgotten and those of us who were fortunate enough to have survived were going home.
We did not question the propriety of the use of the atomic bomb. The end is the same when affected by a conventional bomb or an atomic bomb.
Joseph M. Miller
The Sept. 9 Sun states, "Baltimore's reservoirs are nearly full, thanks to their large capacity . . . "
Baltimore has found a solution for cities with water shortages: Build bigger reservoirs!
"The bigger they are, the fuller they get."
Robert C. Tompkins
What the City Has
I read with interest the Sept. 10 Today section article, "Under the Influence," about Fells Point. One of my favorite areas, I have infrequently enjoyed the night life, but especially like strolling the antique shops and having brunch or lunch there on Sunday afternoons.
I take great exception to the comments made by Ron Furman, owner of Max's on Broadway, a Baltimore County resident, that residents should "take a little crap because if you didn't have the people coming down here . . . you wouldn't have Fells Point."
One could arguably counter that if you didn't have the residential community and homeowners, you also "wouldn't have Fells Point."
His most uninformed statement is typical of non-city residents: "The city's dying around us . . . We've got Fells Point, the Inner Harbor and Little Italy. What else do we have?"
We have beautiful, stable neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and safe residential areas like mine, a small enclave in northeast Baltimore just east of Montebello Lake known as Mayfield, where I am raising a family.
We have all of the neighboring communities around Herring Run Park such as Arcadia, Lauraville, Belair Edison, as well as Hamilton, Ednor Gardens and elsewhere. We have gems such as Mount Vernon, Roland Park, Guilford, Charles Village, Wyman Park, Northwood, Federal Hill, just to name a few.
Some of these areas also offer unique shopping, restaurants and bars, and stable business communities.
There are countless ethnic neighborhoods in the east end of town that have managed to remain intact despite changes over the decades. I am less familiar with the west end of the city, so I am sure there are many lovely areas that I have not been able to mention.
The city is far from dying around us. Yes, there are some deteriorating areas, but there are also plenty of vibrant, historic, stable areas and people committed to keep them that way.
As a teacher with the Baltimore City public schools, I beg to differ with regards to your editorial, "The Reality of City Education" (Sept. 5). As usual your editorial writing is fraught with innuendo and cynicism.
While it is true that politics have had a large voice vis-a-vis determining school policy, this is only the result of a public that wants answers to complex social issues (read: accountability).
As far as your comments regarding textbooks and the fact that they're "discarded so easily and new ones are bought," well, that's the result of a revamping of the curricula to meet the ever changing needs of a diverse student population. This curriculum has been developed and implemented in order to facilitate greater comprehension and retention of essential learning skills.
Being a highly trained professional with course work at the postgraduate level I was both dismayed and angered by your comments about our union.
Yes, you are correct to say that teachers are concerned about their salaries. It is rather simplistic on your part to think otherwise.
There may be a mistaken notion out there, but we are salaried employees. Having a strong union that protects our salaries ensures that teachers are free to go about the business of exams, and the relatively low pay that we have to endure.
I doubt that many other professions would stand for the constant muck slinging that follows us in the press.
The only part of your editorial that was not a distortion of the facts is that of parental involvement. You are correct to say that "parents are the most important motivators of children." I'm certain that my colleagues would agree with that statement implicitly.
I look forward to seeing the parents of all the students in my class involved with their children's education both in and out of school.
avid A. Samuel