Community colleges began with 4 missions
Ted Hendricks is to be commended for his excellent Opinion Commentary article, Dec. 3, on academic tenure of faculty in Maryland's public community colleges.
The author's last paragraph, however, was totally inaccurate when he wrote: "The original mission of Maryland's community colleges was . . . to prepare students to enter bachelor's programs at four-year colleges."
In fact, the public community colleges were designed to offer the following college-level programs:
1. Those for students desiring to transfer after two years to four-year colleges and universities.
2. Two-year terminal or career programs for those wishing to go directly to employment such as nursing, secretarial or other business-related occupations.
3. Less than two-year certificate programs in a number of vocational or technical fields.
4. Adult education programs for personal or community services.
H. David Reese
Elections stacked for incumbents
Your Dec. 2 editorial about black election victories in majority white districts unwittingly identified the major component in winning elections, the power of incumbency. With precinct breakdown showing that racial voting was still strong, I wonder how you can envision a color-blind America as whites lose majority status and the country becomes solely a nation of minorities.
I agree that we should return to the original thrust of the Voting Rights Act, which was to protect the suffrage of minority groups and that race should not be the dominant issue but one of several important factors.
I wonder, however, how you can conclude that Maryland's two black majority gerrymandered districts pass that muster, especially the 7th District, when you look at the tortured geographic boundaries.
Perhaps you can enlighten readers further as well as address the incumbency factor by suggesting ways to curb that power and level the playing field in future elections, e.g., no PAC money for incumbents.
K. Dale Anderson
Richard McKinney continues to inspire
The Nov. 24 article on Richard I. McKinney was one of the most delightful news features I have ever read.
The Sun often profiles the contributions of many local individuals who have influenced the landscape of our community; thank you for the effort over the years.
As a young black professional and native Baltimorean, I realize the urgency of focusing on the positive images and leaders in all areas of our society.
In the black community, there is far more good news and many more admirable investors in the substance of the human race than are given attention in the daily news media.
Dr. McKinney's accomplishments and his continuing (even at age 90) to inspire those in pursuit of higher learning epitomizes the strength, diligence and effective impact of black men past and present.
The writer is to be commended for taking pains to impart to us the depth and breath of this scholar's philosophies and their relevance to many pertinent issues today.
I am even more thrilled that this feature was done while Dr. McKinney is alive and well.
Needless to say, we often only become cognizant of the monumental contributions of our heroes through some obituary, eulogy or biography shared after one has passed away.
Thank you for inspiring others by focusing on a pillar of academic excellence and sterling example of quiet strength.
Marco K. Merrick
Pregnancy center discusses options
Mona Charen brings up some interesting points in her Nov. 21 article, "Pro-life propaganda -- in the best sense of the word."
I am on the board of directors of a local crisis pregnancy center and believe centers such as ours are the best kept secret around; we are working to change that. I also believe that these centers are truly "pro-choice."
The three options available to clients are openly discussed; what is abortion and its ramifications; how plausible is it to think one can single-parent a child and, finally, what a loving option adoption truly is.
Destroying history isn't 'progress'
This is in reference to your Dec. 2 story regarding the Cockey family graveyard, "Cemetery won't halt progress." For your writer to equate the destruction of a 250-year-old historic site, whether it be an ancient family cemetery or an early 18th-century house, to "progress" is to equate cuisine with a Big Mac.
These writers need some local-history sensitivity training. In our greed obsession, some will not be happy until every tree, every element of our past and every open space is obliterated for the sake of some vacuous commercial venture. We'll have the legacy of Bob Evans and Burger King, how endearing.
$Joseph Merryman Coale III
Adat Chaim brought Judaism to suburbia
"Blintzes, baseball, bar mitzvahs: Suburban life with a Jewish flavor," (Dec. 5) by Jay Apperson was a wonderful article which captured the changing demographics of the Reisterstown-Owings Mills community.
As a new resident and a parent myself, I think that he successfully illustrated the struggle families and individuals face balancing secular activities yet maintaining their Jewish identities and observances of Jewish rituals and customs.
I am disappointed that while describing the growth of the Jewish community in the Reisterstown-Owings Mills area, Mr. Apperson did not mention Adat Chaim.
As he learned through our interview about a month ago, Adat Chaim is a Conservative synagogue, which was founded 11 years ago by a community of people who grew up in Reisterstown and Owings Mills or have decided to make this their home.
Before any of the other synagogues moved to this area, the Adat Chaim community built a congregation which reflected the changing and growing Jewish community.
To illustrate the growth of this dynamic synagogue, this year they hired me as their first full-time rabbi, have experienced a 20 percent increase in membership, and an enrollment in the Hebrew school of over 160 children.
The holiday of Hanukkah celebrates the renewal and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem and of the Jewish community. Adat Chaim, a Congregation of Life, represents the great growth and development of Reisterstown-Owings Mills community.
Rabbi Aaron M. Gaber
Bar closing any hour litters neighborhood
I don't wish to disappoint those bar owners who claim that extending opening hours will reduce the problems caused by departing bar patrons, but experience has taught me otherwise.
The main argument in favor of later closing seems to be that those who currently leave the bars at 2 a.m. in a drunken, rowdy clump, urinating in doorways and vomiting on shoes, will then amend their behavior to trickle out between 2 and 4. This is patently false.
In England, where the pubs close at 11 p.m. and kick out at 11: 20, similar drunken rowdy clumps leave at that time, and proceed to urinate and vomit with the same passion and intensity as their Baltimorean cousins.
In Frankfurt, Germany, bars in the legendary Sachsenhausen quarter close between 1 and 2 a.m., resulting in the now familiar clumps doing equally familiar and unpleasant things.
Wherein the rub lies, however, is apparent during international trade fairs when the bars stay open until 4. Do the patrons trickle out between 2 and 4? No, they don't.
The drunken, rowdy clump normally seen just after 2 emerges drunker, rowdier and even more productive just after 4.
Let them drink until 2 and they'll drink until 2; let them drink until 3, 4 or 5 and guess what?
Common sense and late-night drinking don't mix, and until they do, as sad as it may be, dealing with inconsiderate sots will remain a cross to be borne by those who have chosen to live in an "entertainment quarter."
I know, I've done both.
Only one coffee called Kona
Since we moved to Hawaii from Severna Park, our friends have sent us items from your paper from time to time. We read with interest the Nov. 15 article concerning the bagging of non-Kona coffee as from Kona.
There are many inaccuracies in the article, but I will deal with the worst.
Kona coffee is an Arabica coffee, usually of the typica type. There are several countries growing the same exact coffee type. What makes Kona special is the weather, not a special bean. A Kona plant moved to a different place will not produce Kona coffee. A good example is the coffee of Guatemala which uses the same type plants. It is good coffee but does not taste like Kona.
A coffee buyer who has any talent could not be deceived by a substitute, I know coffee tasters who can not only tell you it is Kona but can tell the section of Kona it is from and the
Official-looking stickers? There are only two tags that I know about that denote Kona coffee in its green -- unroasted -- state. One is a certification tag from the state of Hawaii that lists the grade of the coffee, and the other is a Kona Coffee Council green tag, which lists the coffee grade and that it was milled in Kona.
For roasted coffee, a roaster can get a Kona Coffee Council roasted coffee sticker. The KCC sticker is supplied only to roasters who buy green coffee directly from Kona and meet other KCC requirements. The grades of coffee that can be called Kona, are Extra Fancy, Fancy, #1 and Prime. The difference in grade has to do with the beans' size and defects. Extra Fancy is the largest, with the least defects.
Captain Cook, Hi.
The writer grows coffee on the Kona coast of Hawaii.
Snow does not stop at the city line
I enjoyed your recent articles about snow removal plans as outlined by George Balog and his city Department of Public Works. But I could not help but recall a classic moment from last winter's snow removal comedy of errors.
I work downtown and live just over the county line. On one of those awful blizzardy days last year, I decided to go home early as I watched conditions worsen throughout the day. So, at about 3 p.m., I began my trek home, heading north on the Jones Falls. I entered the expressway just behind a phalanx of three city snowplows, which were in the left lanes.
These would serve as my escort as I winded northward, the luckiest driver on the roads that treacherous day. And so it was . . . until we hit that awful (and uphill) no man's land north of Northern Parkway.
During that stretch of a mile and a half or so, something strange started to happen. The pace, which had been set for me (and the hundreds of cars now behind me), by the snowplough, began to slow. Then, inexplicably, the plow in the right lane moved one lane to the left behind his partner.
Then, the two of them moved yet another lane to the left, behind their colleague. There were now three plows behind one another. My phalanx had collapsed. What was going on here?
The answer, as incredible as it still seems, was that these trucks were approaching the city/county line. They were moving toward the left so they could make a U-turn and head back toward their jurisdiction. Heaven forbid they should have actually removed snow from Baltimore County for a few moments, before heading south again.
I am glad my sons weren't in the car with me that afternoon because my language, as I tried to break through the mountain of snow left by my would-be escort, would have changed their image of me forever. I was not alone. I could see hundreds of motorists behind me that afternoon, dazed by the idiocy of a line drawn between governments which did no one any good, hitting their steering wheels, cursing.
If I weren't so angry that day, I would have written to everyone I know and used this story as a persuasive argument for regional government. That argument still stands, as far as I'm concerned. So forgive me if I smile when I read about how many tons of salt the city is going to buy.
Until they are accompanied by some common sense and thought and courtesy, they won't do anyone much good.
Jonathan D. Rogers
Mayor Schmoke simplistic about drug abuse
After having read Mayor Kurt Schmoke's Dec. 8 article regarding his perspectives on the California and Arizona initiatives on legalizing marijuana use (restrictively for medical purposes), I offer both praise and criticism of his position.
I applaud his consistency in favoring the decriminalization of illicit substances. Politicians flip-flop so much on issues that it's almost like watching a pancake get cooked. He has not wavered from his position that has afforded him much antagonism and controversy.
However, I feel he continues to be too simplistic about solutions to a problem that is not simply a legal or medical dilemma.
As a psychiatrist, my perspectives on substance abuse transcend the "medical approach" he has campaigned to implement these last 10 years. Drug abuse has genetic predispositions, self-medicating agendas for physical and mental ills and recreational intents. However, substance abuse is almost always about poor judgment.
The best and most consistent approach to getting this crisis in control always must be societal and cultural. Insight and judgment is not gained by prescribing a pill or locking a confining door, but instead is crafted and molded by parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, neighbors, businesses, religion and experience.
Mind-altering substances do not share the same room with sanity. Perhaps by knowing our weaknesses we can maximize our strengths.
Joel Hassman, M.D.
We can afford income tax cut if it is done responsibly
Ellen Sauerbrey's Dec. 7 letter ("Glendening gift will leave the bill for others to pay") and your Dec. 8 editorial ("Targeting Glendening") create the false impression that my administration is proposing a 10 percent income tax cut and spending initiatives that the state cannot afford.
This is simply not true.
Both the editorial and letter contained significant factual inaccuracies and mixed "apples and oranges" in discussing my initiatives.
They wrongly add the cost of programs over multiple years with the cost of programs in the first year. Similarly, programs that will be funded in the state's operating budget have been incorrectly lumped together with capital expenditures that will be financed through the sale of general obligation bonds.
Together, these mistakes insinuate that our initiatives are not affordable when, in fact, they are.
We have developed a fiscally responsible and balanced budget that addresses both the state's structural deficit and the revenue loss from a 10 percent income tax cut. Our three-year fiscal plan protects funding for education, economic development and safe communities and provides a safety net for our children and the elderly.
I have consistently stated that I would propose an income tax cut only when it could be done responsibly. Any responsible income tax cut proposal that protects funding for our priorities and maintains the state's coveted Triple-A bond rating must include some revenue offset.
While the primary purpose of the tobacco tax increase is to reduce smoking by our children, it also helps pay for the income tax cut. Savings from declining caseloads in entitlement
programs, an early retirement program for state employees, innovative welfare and Medicaid reform initiatives, continued reduction of overlapping services and streamlining operations in state government will also be used to balance our three-year fiscal plan.
Recent studies have shown conclusively that raising the cost of cigarettes discourages smoking, especially among teen-agers. Critics complain that we are depending on a declining source of revenue but, frankly, that is our goal: to discourage smoking. We know that the revenue from tobacco taxes will decline over time and we have calculated the decrease into our three-year fiscal plan.
How would Mrs. Sauerbrey pay for her 24 percent income tax cut -- that would cost the state $1 billion a year -- and still balance the budget? She must make Draconian cuts in education and eliminate the safety net for our most vulnerable citizens. We will not pay for an income tax cut on the backs of our children and seniors.
Finally, Mrs. Sauerbrey criticizes our economic development efforts. During my first two years, we have implemented substantial regulatory reform and eliminated or reduced 10 taxes that will save Maryland businesses more than $120 million per year.
We have had significant success in attracting and retaining major businesses, such as MedImmune, which create the kinds of high-tech jobs that will propel Maryland's economy forward into the 21st century.
My 10 percent income tax cut will save Marylanders an additional $485 million during the first three years and create 5,000 new jobs annually.
The income tax cut will provide a significant boost to small businesses, the economic engine of Maryland, enable Maryland firms to retain and recruit the "best and brightest" employees and send a positive message regarding Maryland's commitment competitiveness.
When the state's budget is introduced in the General Assembly in January, the public will clearly see that my fiscal plan is balanced and our initiatives are paid for. This includes the 10 percent income tax cut that is prudently phased-in over a period of more than three years to minimize any damage to the important programs and services our citizens expect and need.
Parris N. Glendening
4 The writer is governor of the state of Maryland.
Pub Date: 12/14/96