Why not base all honors on person's race?
I was absolutely shocked that only dead white people have been glorified with New Jersey Turnpike rest stops named after them. This obviously is another attempt by white people to neglect other races.
I am so glad Candus Thomson (Perspective, June 1, "Which one doesn't belong?") has found yet another way to show why Americans should bicker among themselves about their race, color or creed. One up side to her article may be that she had to go out of Maryland to find this blatant act of bigotry.
Through investigation I have found that while Clara Barton did initiate and help establish a free public school system in New Jersey, along with her other lifetime achievements, her rest-stop designation could certainly be replaced by one for Paul Robeson. Mr. Robeson, an actor, was alive when the names were allocated to the rest areas, but he was a black man.
New Jersey-born Joyce Kilmer may have been a great poet, with many contributions to American literature, and he was killed in action defending this nation during World War I, but he wasn't black. On the other hand William Carlos Williams, while not dead at the time, was a wonderful poet who was black. Because Williams was black he should replace Kilmer. (What did Williams die of?)
Not only did Alexander Hamilton get shot in New Jersey, but he must have traveled extensively through the state on his constant commutes between New York and Maryland. Hamilton may even be responsible for there being rest stops in New Jersey. Hamilton also is credited for little things like restoring our young nation's credit and establishing a national bank here. I guess that is why he is on the $10 bill. Nonetheless, Hamilton should be replaced by Count Basie. Not because Count Basie was a gifted musician, but because he was black.
The notion that New Jersey-born artists should replace the existing honorees is a stroke of genius. This way we could also represent Asian, Jewish, Hispanic and other ethnic Americans by replacing the existing great names with new ones based on race rather than accomplishment.
Thanks again for opening my eyes to this horrible injustice to American humanity.
Protest harassment or forever forget it
We do not know what the story is between the president and Paula Jones, that is, what really happened.
But I truly believe in this case and every other sexual misconduct case, they should speak up when the incident happens, not two or three years later.
There should be a time limit on harassment cases. Speak up now or forever forget it.
City doesn't lack grocery store choices
It must be perception, or maybe I just don't understand.
I just visited the eight supermarkets that make up our company, Super Pride Markets. Many of the more than 400 employees were on duty.
The largest of our stores is 29,000 square feet in size. Each store has a full assortment of dry grocery products, a complete line of frozen food and dairy, a service deli department, a fresh produce department, a massive array of meats -- fresh, frozen, packaged and smoked -- a fresh bakery in six of the stores and a fresh seafood department in each store that is second to none in the city.
Also, two friends of mine operate 15 other supermarkets of similar design.
But, according to your May 30 editorial, none of these supermarkets fill the "retail vacuum" in the city. It must be perception.
Or maybe the writer should visit our eight stores, one of which is about to be doubled in size, and just maybe his perception might change and that could be conveyed to the citizens of our city.
Quincy C. Mason
The writer is executive vice president of Super Pride Markets.
Young rape victims need accessible help
I am a high school student at Carver Center for Arts and Technology. I am concerned about the lack of telephone hot lines for young women who are raped.
One in three girls ages 13 to 19 can expect to be sexually assaulted by a relative, acquaintance or someone they thought they could trust. I fall in this category. It is a very harsh, frightening reality that we are reminded of every day. We are told we should not be ashamed and that we should seek help and counseling, but we are not given any names or numbers with which to do so.
Fewer than half of date rapes are reported. I credit this to a lack of accessible help lines where the victims don't feel they are being judged.
A woman who has been assaulted feels ashamed, embarrassed, even guilty. It's hard enough to admit that they should seek help. It shouldn't be difficult to find it.
Memories of hospital work in wartime
The interesting profile on Vivien Thomas by Fred Rasmussen in his May 27 column, "Remember When," brought back many memories.
Early in 1945, I applied for a job at the Harriet Lane Home of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. I knew that the demands of the Red Cross and other relief agencies had caused a big shortage in the hospital's trained social service personnel.
My resume was not impressive, but I was hired on the spot and was soon caught up in the bustling, sometimes hectic, routine of the cardiac clinic headed by Dr. Helen Taussig. The amazing results of the first "blue baby" operations had just been released. No one could have foreseen the public response to this hopeful news. For some time the hospital had been harassed by posters denouncing the use of laboratory animals. With the "blue baby" announcement, this unjustified threat was immediately quashed.
In the article, Vivien Thomas is quoted as saying, "Patients were coming out of the walls." This was an apt description. Every few days an exhausted young mother would get off the bus at Monument Street after a long trip hastily arranged by her sympathetic townspeople. Nobody expected her. She brought no medical records. And she was cradling a sick infant often suffering from some problem not even related to a heart defect.
With an already overworked house staff, who would attend this child? Where would we lodge the mother? This was wartime. The rooming houses in the area were packed with migrant ship and aircraft workers sharing space for day and night shifts.
The outpatient clinics were always jammed with rheumatic fever patients seeking treatment with strange new antibiotics being produced. I remember an admirable staff coping with frustration and sometimes grief. It was a rare privilege to have been even a small part in this momentous time of medical history.
Rosalie S. Sauber
Why prisoners don't get parole
Two questions after Nathaniel Johnson Jr.'s Opinion Commentary, "A bitter vengeance," June 3.
Should the process of determining whether a prisoner is still a threat to society or has paid enough for inflicting pain and suffering cause us to lose sight of the fact that these people are convicted violent criminals?
Does it rankle that he couldn't snow the parole board with his progress and award-winning skills as a communicator?
Leakin Park is experiencing renaissance
It was with great interest and concern that we read the "Intrepid Commuter" column on Monday, May 19.
While we appreciate your columnist's attention to the poor road conditions in the village of Franklintown, we were disturbed by the characterization of Leakin Park as "once beautiful" and a "royal mess."
There are many nonprofit and citizens groups currently working with the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks to preserve and improve the Gwynns Falls stream valley and Leakin park, one of the largest urban wilderness lands in the country.
The park's century-old stands of trees are unparalleled in the Baltimore area, and it is to the credit of the citizens and local government that this resource has managed to survive in the midst of constant urban development.
Leakin Park is now experiencing a renaissance through the development of the Gwynns Falls Trail, a 14-mile hiking and biking path connecting West, Southwest and South Baltimore neighborhoods to the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River, the Inner Harbor and regional trails in surrounding counties.
The Gwynns Falls Trail is a project of the city of Baltimore, the Trust for Public Land, the Parks & People Foundation and the state of Maryland.
The Department of Public Works is working to include several small neighborhood streets in its resurfacing program and has included Franklintown Road in its capital budget.
Soon these roads will be used by hikers, joggers, roller-bladers and bicyclists to enjoy the scenic views of plant and wildlife in the park.
The writer represents the Trust for Public Land.
Put wives on list of hazardous materials
Your lead sentence in a May 30 news article piqued my interest, to say the least.
It read: "A city Circuit Court jury has awarded $3.5 million to a retired Bethlehem Steel Corp. worker who was exposed to asbestos and his wife."
My questions: How much did this unlucky fellow receive due to exposure to asbestos, and how much because of exposure to his wife?
William H. Engelman
Wetlands serve as the coast's kidney
If the Maryland Builders Association (letter, May 31) wants to expedite the wetlands review process by regulatory agencies, it shouldn't build in them.
Historically, on the lower Eastern Shore, development of Ocean City, Ocean Pines and West Ocean City accounted for the loss of hundreds of acres of tidal wetlands. Farm drainage in Worcester County resulted in the conversion of thousands of acres of primarily forested nontidal wetlands to farmland. These wetlands were vitally important in slowing runoff and absorbing nutrients.
Tidal and nontidal wetlands continue to be lost now to development. Tidal wetlands cannot move inland to adjust to sea level rise due to hardening of the shoreline (by bulkhead or riprap). The present law still allows people to build in flood hazard zones at the edge of wetlands, provided they have flood insurance. These periodically flooded areas would have become wetlands to accommodate the relentless rise in sea level.
Water quality in the coastal and Chesapeake Bay is constantly being compromised because the kidney function that wetlands afford is slowly being lost. With the loss of wetlands, the habitat they provide for wildlife is slowly being lost. With the loss of wetlands the habitat they provide for wildlife and plants disappears.
The Nontidal Wetlands Law requires that development avoids wetlands, or mitigates for their loss -- that is, to create new wetlands.
It is hard to duplicate the organic and inorganic functions of established wetlands. Ideally, mitigation should occur in the same watershed and be successfully accomplished before development begins. It is seldom that this occurs.
Ilia J. Fehrer
The writer is chairman of the Worcester Environmental Trust.
Henson's plan helps those who help selves
Bonnie Gillette's June 2 letter criticizing Housing Commissioner Dan Henson for his intention to steer public housing to the working poor, bypassing the lowest levels of poverty, is typical of someone who doesn't understand the problem.
She thinks the city taxpayers, i.e., homeowners, should pay for the renovation of all the dilapidated houses that the city now owns because the previous owners stopped paying the taxes, and then financially assist the working poor to buy them.
Then we can give the public housing to those who won't be eligible under Mr. Henson's new plan.
The people cut from the rolls of public housing will be those who have sunk into a dysfunctional lifestyle, becoming homeless or totally dependent on social services and charities for everything.
A person who is struggling to provide for his own and his children's basic needs is not necessarily capable of additionally keeping a house maintained, free of vermin, heated in the winter, keeping the exterior repaired, fixing problems such as plumbing and electrical, and staying current with the mortgage, taxes and insurance.
Mr. Henson is doing something to help people who are trying to help themselves, who show promise that if society gives them a hand up they won't just trash the opportunity, but build on it and make their lives and the lives of their children better for it.
Should bring statue of Columbus to Baltimore
I have been watching and reading the debate surrounding the statue of Columbus. Interestingly enough, I recently read a book about the Statute of Liberty and there are a lot of parallels to be drawn, for there was a lot of opposition and no money to bring her to New York.
School children saved their pennies and made a dream reality. The Statue of Liberty is quite an attraction, and the Columbus statue also could be.
Either Fort Carroll or the Allied Chemical land would be a viable location. I believe we would see a real tourist attraction born. I feel we should go forward with the project.
The writer is director of sales/customer service for Safe Harbors Business Travel Group Inc.
All things considered, Baltimore's fine
There are more than 300 murders in Baltimore each year. A widely watched NBC television show set in Baltimore is called "Homicide." These facts were pretty frightening when I moved here just nine months ago.
Almost every night I heard police sirens from behind my living room doors. I heard people say, "Don't drive through there at night." I heard many stories about people who were mugged at work or while going to the parking lot.
But all stereotypes must be tested. Baltimore is not as bad as it seems, from what I can tell. So long as you keep an eye open, you will be fine. And most of the time you do not need to keep that extra eye open.
I am glad I moved to Baltimore. Many of the people here are good people. They are very nice and helpful much of the time.
No place is perfect. I have met a few unpleasant people, but they are few, from what I have seen. I doubt that I have met the worst of the worst. I doubt that I ever will. But, for the time being, I am quite satisfied with my new home.
Thanks to policeman for off-duty heroism
Kudos and sincere citizen thanks to Prince George's County police detective John Hipps.
Your headline on the June 1 article read, "Suspect killed in mall was carrying jewelry." It should have read "Off-duty police officer is hero."
Police work is a demanding, dangerous and emotionally draining job. However, in spite of the fact that he was "off duty" at the time, Detective Hipps did what he swore to do when he became a cop . . . he put his own life in harm's way to protect the citizenry and to uphold the law. Detective Hipps took a criminal life so the law-abiding majority of us could continue to live in peace and safety.
I don't know John Hipps but I suspect that he is little different from most of us who are also hard-working, dedicated, family-oriented career professionals. The major difference is that he wears a badge and carries a gun.
Thank God he had the guts to do what he had to do. I hope Detective Hipps and his family know that the great majority of us appreciate their sacrifice.
William R. Ward
Hampden principal helps her children
Elaine Davis (May 31, "Hampden divided as principal makes books-for-billboard deal") should take a bow for her commitment to the students at Hampden Elementary School.
Ms. Davis is doing what the state has not, looking to see that city school children get what they come to school to earn, an education.
As a parent of a student attending this school, I support her efforts to obtain funds for books and other educational supplies for the students in her school.
I wonder if all those opposing this project have counted the number of billboards already near the proposed site, particularly along the Jones Falls Expressway.
Do any of these advertisers give to the schools?
The Hampden Village Merchants Association should reconsider its opposition, especially when one of its members, located a half block from the school, has a billboard on the side of its establishment.
Everyone hears the cries of our students suffering. When will the tears be dried?
Lori Ann Robinson
Daniels' article much ado about nothing
I was dismayed to read the article that Sun staff writer Michael Dresser did on Baltimore County Circuit Judge Lawrence R. Daniels (June 2, "Judge faulted on gift taking"). While I have been tempted to write in the past, nothing has ever aroused my ire the way that article did.
Larry Daniels is a respected member of the community, father of four and a volunteer coach in the local recreation council. Larry's wife spends considerable time doing volunteer work at the church and school that their children attend. I would also point out that Larry and his family live in a very modest home, not some palatial mansion purchased with ill-gotten gains.
What I found most interesting about your article on Judge Daniels is that it occupied more space than the aggregate total of two stories about murders in the Maryland section as well as the story about the anticipated settlement of the Paula Jones/President Clinton lawsuit reported on the front page.
Come on, a few football tickets? Where are your priorities?
KAL cartoon reflects emotions
Whether you stare stonily, cheer, applaud, shake with sobs or weep silently, KAL's poignant monument to the Oklahoma bomb victims (June 3) was poetic.
Beatrice H. Badders
Pub Date: 6/07/97