'Heavy Into Metal'
Editor: The shocking revelations of theft and destruction reported in the Sun Magazine on Sept. 3 ["Heavy Into Metal"] reveal a city out of control that is pandering to thieves and drug addicts. Many years ago, a businessman told me that anyone who buys stolen goods causes the thief to steal again. David Simon's article proves the point. As long as any company or individual will pay for the stolen scrap metal, the stealing will continue.
Obviously the system needs to be changed. The scrap companies must be required to obey the law, with substantial penalties for non-compliance. No individual should be allowed to transport scrap metal in a supermarket cart. Unless a person has receipt showing payment for his cart, it should be confiscated by the police.
These are just a few suggestions. Something drastic must be done before the city is reduced to rubble.
Maybe it's already too late. Baltimore may have already conceded that personal property destruction and stealing are acceptable forms of modern behavior.
Editor: After too many years of monotonous mediocrity, the Sun Magazine finally hit the bull's eye with "Heavy Into Metal." David Simon's writing and Michael Lutzky's photos were superb.
While dreadful, these scavengers are, after all, only a disgusting symptom of society's larger ills . . .
Federal housing handouts with few strings or standards attached.
Houses handed out to unreliable "residents" who have no stake in, or sense of responsibility for, the city's investment.
The failure of all levels of government to successfully wage and win the war on drugs.
I pray your excellent, moving story helps the city leaders to see where the real problems are.
Charles E. Poyer Jr.
Editor: The Sun Magazine article about property throughout the city that is being stripped by junk dealers was chilling.
Baltimore cannot afford the stripping of city homes. It can be stopped. The law should provide for heavy, not token, fines for junk dealers who buy stolen materials. Dealers should be held responsible for determining the legitimacy of products they buy. Licenses should be confiscated after repeated violations.
Why can't sweeps of junk yards be made on a regular basis to assure that owners can verify sources of suspicious materials and the legitimacy of written information given to the dealers by the junk sellers?!
Why can't the police confiscate shopping carts and their contents when they arrive at the junk yards if the proper proof of ownership is questionable?
The brilliant minds of our government officials should be able to solve this critical problem if there is a will to do so.
Genevieve W. Mason
Salute to Russia
Editor: What a wonderful surprise to see "A Russian Ramble" in your Sept. 10 issue of Sun Magazine.
I just recently returned from spending 15 wonderful days cruising Russia by river from St. Petersburg to Moscow on the Dmitry Furmanov vessel. We visited St. Petersburg, Valaam Island on Lake Ladoga, Petrozavodsk on Lake Onega, Goritsy, Kizhi on Lake Onega, Uglich, Kostroma and Moscow. What a wonderful tour.
Russia was interesting. Lots of history there and so much to see. I will not forget my trip for a long, long time.
We saw so many places Mr. Will Englund wrote about in his article. A special treat was when I turned to Page 10 and found the photo of Vassily Makheyev and Sergei Lukin at their Ben and Jerry's Cafe. These two fine gentlemen were most pleasant and helpful to our group. We paid 2,500 rubles for a double-dip of delicious ice cream (50 cents).
My sincere thanks to Mr. Englund for this fine article and also thanks to the Baltimore Sun for publishing it.
Janet L. Michael
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