Hard Rock Cafe shows city's prioritiesWith the...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Hard Rock Cafe shows city's priorities

With the opening of Hard Rock Cafe, maybe we should change the mayor's slogan from the "City that Reads" to the "City that Rocks."

Rose Ferrandi

Baltimore

Cunanan crime isn't homosexuality

I am disturbed by a section of Mary Corey's July 18 article, "2nd slaying in Fla. taps into fears of Cunanan."

A fear of suspected serial killer Andrew Phillip Cunanan is justified, but increased homophobia because of the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace most certainly is not.

What troubled me is a quote from an individual who was disgusting enough to say Versace "got what he deserved because he lived a homosexual lifestyle."

Regardless of some distorted outlooks on the lives of gay people, how can anyone say a man "deserved" to be shot point-blank in the head because he is gay?

This is the sickest belief I can imagine. If captured and convicted, Cunanan might deserve to be executed for his crimes, but not for his sexual orientation.

Ryan R. Sanderson

Baltimore

Conventioneers to find Baltimore's hot streets

Think of how much enthusiasm will be generated by convention-goers as they stroll from the new Paterakis hotel to the Baltimore Convention Center in weather like we have had the last few weeks.

It should guarantee lots of bookings.

Allen E. Holmes

Columbia

Dogs and humans owe firefighters gratitude

The photograph in the July 16 Maryland section showing a firefighter reviving a small dog reminds us that our emergency workers do not receive the thanks, praise or wages they deserve. Day after day they risk their lives for others -- and do it without heroics. They work long, hard hours and deserve public support and monetary recognition by our local and state governments for their efforts.

These folks daily encounter horrors we only read about. They suffer along with the victims of tragedies, and they continue to serve the public in a dedicated, professional manner.

I know we could do more to ensure the welfare of these fine men and women.

Susan Garde

Marriottsville

Challenge of running city public schools

I am honored to serve the new Board of School Commissioners as the interim chief executive officer of the Baltimore City Public Schools.

The new board has assumed an enormous task as unpaid volunteers for the city and the schools. I have worked with many boards at the district and state levels throughout my 26-year career, and I am very impressed with this group of individuals.

In a very short period I have realized that these are the most dedicated and hard-working members of any school board with which I have had the pleasure to work.

My purpose is to assist the board in accomplishing its dual mission of raising the academic achievement of all students and of improving the management and administration of the schools.

We firmly believe that all of the children in our schools not only can but will achieve at significantly higher levels. We assure you that all schools, all employees and the system itself will perform at higher levels of effectiveness. We will make the school system highly accountable to residents of Baltimore City and we will make it fiscally prudent and efficient.

However, we cannot do this work alone. For the schools to be successful, we need assistance. I ask the following:

1. That the 12,000 city school employees rededicate themselves to our stated mission and to their service to the children and residents of Baltimore City.

2. That Baltimore's business community and retirees step forward to offer their time and energy, not money, to help our teachers raise our children's achievement levels. Volunteers may call their neighborhood school or the schools' Partnership Office at 410-396-8991.

3. That parents and families become full partners with the schools in educating their children and supporting our efforts. Remember, the parent is a child's first and foremost teacher as well as the most critical component of a child's positive development.

My family and I look forward to living in this wonderful city and to contributing to the quality of life of its children.

Although we will be staying only until the board appoints its permanent CEO, I will dedicate myself to making a positive difference for the children and for the Baltimore City public schools. On that, you have my word.

Robert E. Schiller

Baltimore

The writer is interim chief executive officer of the Baltimore City Public Schools.

Pub Date: 7/24/97

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