Police shooting of mental patient was wrongAs...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Police shooting of mental patient was wrong

As a former mental health worker and a recovering trauma victim, I would like to say a few things about the shooting of the mental health patient by the police. I have no doubt that the officers went to that home to help the patient. I am also certain she was not cooperative, and was indeed, threatening toward them. But -- she was in a psychotic state, and remember these men were in her home and had not been invited there. They had sprayed her with tear gas, so she may not even have known who they were.

So, in addition to an already paranoid, psychotic state, she was put in a position where she had to defend herself in the only place she felt safe. I'm not suggesting that the police should have walked away from the situation. But it certainly seems there were a few, more humane options that they overlooked. They could have asked neighbors if there was any family or friends that may have been able to call to convince her to put down that steak knife. Or they might have called in a professional in the mental health field to try to do some negotiating.

True, it would have involved more time and money, but her death might have been prevented. How many times have we been told of situations where people have been on top of a building, poised to jump and "the negotiating team" had to talk them down? Was this crisis any less important? I don't think so. The police would have come out looking like the dedicated group they usually are, instead of a group too eager to solve a problem by using brute force and guns.

J. R. Rolle

Westminster

League supports education spending

The League of Women Voters of Carroll County recognizes that Carroll County government is facing grave income shortages and must therefore cut many services which we feel )) are essential to the well-being of county citizens. As we bemoan this situation, we must face it with the resolve to make the most of each dollar.

Accepting that funding for public education will be limited to the minimum "maintenance of effort" requirement, we must urge the school board to do the same. The League of Women Voters supports quality public education. We believe that extended enrichment, athletic, music and art programs must not be

drastically reduced or eliminated. It is imperative that we continue to pay competitive salaries to our teachers in order to attract and retain top-notch educators.

Cherie W. Jenkins

Westminster

The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of Carroll County.

Hampstead bypass for Pennsylvanians

The Sun for Carroll on Jan. 23 ran an article concerning the much-needed Hampstead bypass. Sit in the line of traffic in Hampstead any work day and figure out the ratio of Marylanders to Pennsylvanians. I have a solution: Put a toll gate on Route 30 at the Maryland line. Either the Pennsylvanians will find an alternate route or the revenue generated from the toll will help pay for the road that they use every day.

Why should Maryland, more specifically Carroll County, foot the bill for a road that Pennsylvanians use as much or more than Marylanders? Many of the people are former Marylanders escaping to Pennsylvania for lower taxes; these same people complain about the services (or lack of) that they receive for their tTC tax dollars. This is a classic example of "You get what you pay for."

Martha Quinn

Hampstead

What's in a name? Let's try these for new team

Finally, Bawlamer has a football team, but doesn't know what to name it. Some thoughts on the matter:

First, let's get rid of those that are on the top of list. Baltimore

Ravens? No, the literary allusion escapes 99 percent of football fans, even when it is explained to them. The Mustangs? Nice horsey name, but it's a has-been car, over the hill. Besides it

sounds too Texan. The Bombers? Please, no. Bombers are responsible for the death of millions of innocent men, women and children in the 20th century. If the nearby roundball team has sense enough to discard the name "Bullets" as too violent, why should the new team in town endorse mass violence. Colts? It's glory past. It's gone. Give it up for something new.

Alliteration seems popular with sports teams, e.g. Pittsburgh Pirates, Buffalo Bills, etc. So how about Baltimore Blues? The logo and mascot could be the Blues Brothers. The Bingos? Lot of that in town, but

Animals seem to make the best sports team names, but many of the best ones are taken, like Lions, Bengals, Rams and such. How about redeeming some creatures with bad reputations? Baltimore Rats? We've got plenty of them and they're real resilient. There are many dinosaur names, and they're plenty powerful, but too many syllables and nobody knows where to put the accent.

Perhaps we'd be on the right track with something reptilian. Images jump out at you. Fangs. Venom. Scaly skin. Snake eyes. The tongue thrusting out. All sorts of good verbs for the sports writers. Zoologists and reptile lovers for years have been trying to tell us that snakes really are lovable and benevolent creatures. Let's help them out. The search is over. Let "Snakes" prevail.

Wayne C. McWilliams

Sykesville

As one who was a teen-ager growing up in the Cleveland area during the 1940s when the Browns were being built, I am outraged that the Browns management fabricated a totally implausible story to deny that the team was named for Paul Brown.

None of my family or friends who grew up with me in Cleveland had ever heard that the Browns were named for Joe Louis. It is improbable because 1.) Joe Louis was so closely associated with Detroit, Cleveland's arch-rival, and 2.) the racial climate of the time would not have tolerated it.

If they wanted a name associated with a winner, Paul Brown was their man. To Ohioans 50 years ago, Paul Brown was as much a hero as Cal Ripken is to Marylanders today. We were awed by his Massillon high school teams. We basked in regional pride as we cheered his Ohio State teams on to victory after victory.

When Paul Brown took on the National Football League, he had a stadium and some private financial backing, but no politicians giving him taxpayers' money. Paul Brown had to build the All-American Conference as well as a pro team. Yet in four seasons, the Browns' attendance figures demanded NFL recognition.

Art Modell timed Paul Brown's firing in 1963 to coincide with a Cleveland newspaper strike. Then he hired out-of-work sportswriters to put together a propaganda pamphlet with out-of-context quotes. But it strikes me extremely petty to hold a grudge for more than 30 years, even after Paul Brown's death, and rewrite a team's history out of childish spite.

I sincerely hope that Art Modell will do as he says and let the Baltimore fans choose the team name. But Art Modell's track record at keeping his word isn't very good. Baltimore fans want a name with special significance that reflects pride in Maryland -- just as the name "Browns" has special meaning in Ohio.

Janet Foote

Westminster

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