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Auto blue laws: What became of family...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Auto blue laws: What became of family values?

News that Anne Arundel County Executive John Gary will seek to repeal his county's blue laws is another tragic reminder that capitalism, at any price, has become our culture's dominant religion. And what is the price of, in this example, allowing automobile mega-lots to operate on Sundays?

Let's ask the families of those workers required to report on Sunday morning instead of spending time with their families.

Oh, they'll be given time off during the week, but if their children and spouse are absent, what quality is there to their own or their families' lives? What part can they play in the development of their children's character or the strengthening of their marriage?

These workers will not be managers and executives, but lot attendants, car washers, sales people and technicians without the clout to avoid Sunday schedules. We need political leaders to realize that decreasing family time together can only add to our society's woes. We need political leaders with the courage to bow not to business interests, but to the family, from which comes our society's only hope of redemption.

L Will our leaders lead to what's right or follow what's easy?

Tim Tinker

Baltimore

Why did school board even ask?

As both a teacher and a parent, I read with great interest the articles on the debate at the Anne Arundel County Board of Education concerning next year's school calendar. Under consideration were the following changes:

Pushing back the opening day for students to the traditional Tuesday after Labor Day. Cutting back or removing the early dismissal and delayed openings as parents of elementary-aged students cited day care problems. How concerned was the board? It approved a 1997-98 schedule with a starting date of Aug. 25 and nine partial school days (as opposed to this year's scheduled eight.) Why ask for input if it is ignored?

Once again, the board gives lip service to parents and teachers, then does whatever it wanted to.

Richard Albright

Pasadena

Broader lesson for Black History Month

The country has acknowledged and celebrated the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. It is February and pictures and posters of Dr. King are still visible.

This is Black History Month. I certainly do not want to diminish the accomplishments of Dr. King. Dr. King, however, is not the only African-American who had a dream nor is he the only African-American who has made significant contributions to society.

Black History Month should be a time when people come together to learn more about the accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans, not just sing the praises of one man.

All blacks do not live in poverty. All blacks do not commit crimes. All blacks do not have children out of wedlock, nor do all blacks participate in the long list of other socially unacceptable acts. We are just like everybody else. We just want a piece of the pie and an opportunity to be judged as individuals; to make mistakes and learn from them and not be judged as a group; to be given a fair and equitable chance to compete and be considered for jobs; to receive welfare if needed and deserved, zTC not a handout; a fair wage for an honest day's work; to be seen as an individual and not as a color; an opportunity just to be, me.

Rose Brown

Annapolis

Mel Sherr's musical gift

Thank you for the Jan. 12 article marking the passing of Baltimore violinist Mel Sherr.

Mr. Sherr was definitely one of a kind. Music was his communicating language, but it was his personality, his ability .. and his desire to please that endeared him to so many. Young and old succumbed to his charming, elegant posture. If they asked for hard rock, he would smile and play Mozart or a Viennese waltz. And they loved it.

Mel Sherr's successful career is testimony to the power and importance of music in all of our lives. For those who knew him, performed with him and listened to his music, the world is a richer place by far. He will be missed.

Debbie Derrickson

Pasadena

'Thank God there are honest people'

On Jan. 23, I had a doctor's appointment in Severna Park. When we arrived there, I had no pocketbook. I remembered bringing it out to the car together with a bag of trash and setting my purse on the car trunk. I disposed of the trash and drove away. We drove home, searching the road. No luck. I asked my neighbors if they had seen it. Again no luck.

Before we had the opportunity to notify the police, the phone rang. A Mrs. Kelly from Catonsville was calling to tell me she had my purse. Her son saw it fall from the car as I drove away. By the time he retrieved it, my car had disappeared. That evening, after work, he returned it. He would accept no reward. He just said he hoped if it happened to his mother, whoever found it would return the purse.

Thank God there are still honest people. I did not get his name, but I hope his girl friend, his mother or he will read this and again be assured of my prayerful gratitude.

Elizabeth Feusahrens

Pasadena

Al Hopkins' career of public service

On behalf of many of the citizens of Annapolis, I wish to applaud Mayor Al Hopkins for almost 36 years of community service. With Mr. Hopkins having spent a majority of that time as alderman for Ward Six, I feel his constituents were served well.

For the past 7 1/2 years, we have appreciated his achievements as mayor. Under his administration, the Gotts Court parking garage was built. On Main Street, State Circle and Francis Street, old bricks were replaced with new bricks, enhancing the historical flavor of downtown. His administration constructed the much-needed facility on Chinquapin Round Road, from which the Department of Transportation now operates.

As chairman of the Transportation Advisory Board for the City of Annapolis for the past four years and as author of a study of the department of public transportation, I am pleased to have been a part of the Hopkins administration. We have smaller, maneuverable, attractive buses, frequent operating schedules and our publications are printed in Spanish and English. Recently, modern shelters with seats were installed throughout the city at many bus stops.

Sylvanus B. Jones

Annapolis

Why make mastery of English more difficult?

The on-going discussion concerning teaching black English (Ebonics) to aid in the mastery of standard English somehow seems to be missing the point.

English, in its written and oral forms, is one of the most difficult languages to learn.

Why make mastering it more difficult by going from step one (Ebonics) to step two (standard English)?

Immigrants, who arrived in America and accepted standard English from the start, appear to have progressed both culturally and economically very well.

We can understand and respect why Ebonics evolved, but do we have to justify a mode of speaking that may haunt some of us who want to get on with the gains the Civil War victory produced?

Miriam T. Glister

Severna Park

Mountain Road is not dead yet

Before Sun staff writer Edward Lee scripts the final epitaph for the Mountain Road retail district (Feb. 7), I would like to share a different view of business on Mountain Road. My family has owned and operated Pasadena Furniture for nearly 50 years. Forty-three of those years have been on Mountain Road. Our customers drive from as far away as Westminster, Elkton, even Virginia. They come to us because we offer a quality product at a fair price and we treat our customers as they should be treated. It wouldn't matter where we were located, our customers would find us.

This is true with many other businesses on Mountain Road, which also have been flourishing for decades. Had Mr. Lee done a bit more research, for every unsuccessful business on Mountain Road, he could have found at least four or five thriving businesses: Angel's, Pastore's, Village Cleaners, Klung's Texaco, Goodyear Tires, Arundel Seafood and dozens more. Each has its own story of success.

Mountain Road is not unlike any retail district in America. Some make it. Some don't. It's that simple. Most businesses fail in the first five years of existence because of under-capitalization, not just on Mountain Road, but across America.

If the purpose of Mr. Lee's article was to find vacant retail shops, he should have driven a few miles down Ritchie Highway to the Severna Park Mall, where he would have found the entire mall vacant. He could look across the street to Park Plaza and see as many empty windows as full ones.

So, before a "Road Closed" sign is erected at the Double T Diner, I would ask Mr. Lee to take a second look at business trends in general: what makes businesses succeed and what makes them fail. Perhaps his next article will provide a positive view instead of an artificial death watch.

Ray Kenney

Pasadena

The writer is general manager of Pasadena Furniture.

Pub Date: 2/23/97

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