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Giant Food takeover can't ring up the...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Giant Food takeover can't ring up the end of Apples in 0) schools

Now that the Netherlands-based company, Royal Ahold NV, is in the process of buying the Giant Food Inc. chain with its promise of increasing profits, I think a word needs to be said about Apples for the Students Plus.

This long-established program has been a blessing to our schools -- public, parochial and private. Many people make a point of shopping at Giant for at least a portion of their food, household supplies and medications so that they can help the school programs of their choice.

It would be a shame for everybody if, in the profits shuffle, this program were discontinued.

I suggest that people communicate with Giant about the importance of keeping Apples for Students Plus. That way, Giant management will be able to present the interest and concern of their customers in a way that Royal Ahold will fully appreciate.

Patricia M. Williams

Baltimore

Rethink recycling's fast fix, but don't overlook benefits

The article on the failures of recycling ("Recycling hasn't lived up to hype," May 25) was one of the few occasions that I have found the media addressing how recycling has not solved our environmental problems. We rely too much on easy answers and quick solutions, particularly those that involve few, if any, sacrifices.

When we embraced recycling, we turned our backs on reducing waste and reusing products, a much more effective and less labor-intensive way to reduce waste. Much of the trash we produce each day could be avoided if we were to buy products that we could use several times rather than once and if we were to buy products with little packaging.

Simply writing on the backs of old envelopes or pieces of paper is one way to reuse products. If everyone would make a conscious effort to purchase reusable products and to reduce the amount of waste, we would make much more of a difference in trash reduction than recycling has up to this point.

Recycling is not without its benefits. We may have more landfill space than we once thought, as your article mentions, but landfill space is still finite. We will eventually run out of places to bury our trash. Any process that removes garbage from the waste stream helps.

Recycling could become more profitable if larger markets for recycled products existed. This will occur only if the public makes sacrifices and buys more expensive recycled products.

Ultimately, the lesson learned from recycling is that there is no panacea for our environmental problems; recycling alone is not enough. We must all make sacrifices if we want to make a difference.

Wade Shelton

Towson

Sauerbrey's image change won't fool Maryland voters

In your May 22 article "Sauerbrey is trying for a warmer, softer image," the word "trying" is appropriate. Trying and succeeding are two different things.

No matter how hard she tries to paint herself as a likable, I-feel-your-pain kind of person, it won't work. A thin coat of sympathetic whitewash can't cover up the person we remember all too well.

Ms. Sauerbrey is the rich, right-wing extremist who would have virtually gutted our schools and social programs to achieve a lofty 24-percent tax reduction. The sorest and worst loser in state election history, she filed useless and costly lawsuits to try to gain a side door into the governor's mansion.

I'm not sure who or what we need to run this state, but I can assure you it is not a woman who will stoop to any level to succeed. I am confident the turnout at the polls will be much greater this election. Many people who failed to vote last time will get out and vote now because she put a scare in them with her close call in the last election.

James Lorber

Baltimore

Sinatra first sang in town with the Harry James band

I must comment on the Carl Schoettler story pertaining to the history of Frank Sinatra's appearances through the years in the Baltimore area ("Sinatra's local shows tempered by his politics," May 16). Sinatra did not appear first with Tommy Dorsey at the Hippodrome as previously stated. He appeared there with the Harry James band in June 1939.

What is so noteworthy about this date is that this was the first appearance anywhere of Sinatra with James. This alone puts the Hippodrome on the historical map.

Sinatra then returned with Dorsey in March 1941 for a week at the Hipp and later for a dance at the Coliseum on Monroe Street. He appeared again in Baltimore at the Hipp with Tommy Dorsey in August 1942.

It wasn't until more than 20-odd years later that he passed through this area with his stops at the Baltimore Civic Center. Sinatra was here a few times more than the article led us to believe.

teve Liebowitz

Owings Mills

His fans may not like it, but Sinatra had a dark side

To many of the bleeding hearts who were offended by the Frank Sinatra cartoon in The Sun, it was regarded as a slap in the face to all Italians "and other fans." "America's most beloved troubadour," as one such whiner regarded him, was neither a stranger to controversy nor a choirboy.

His well-known and oft-documented ties to the underworld are a skeleton in his closet that will always have one foot hinged between the doorway and the baseboard to keep it propped open for all to see and remember.

Will he be made into a larger-than-life icon that pill-popping Elvis Presley has become? Let's hope not.

Perhaps those who seem so offended by the cartoon see it as a persistent but uncomfortably truthful reminder of the darker side that resides within each of us.

Grafton Gray

Baltimore

Worcester social services did well to add supervisor

Worcester County Department of Social Services will be getting an additional child protection supervisor. This was reported in The Sun ("Reports support social workers," May 15).

In all the articles regarding the Rita Fisher case, there were the usual remarks regarding more money, more workers. There were the usual comments about gaps in the system, flaws in the system, falling through the cracks.

Apparently, only Worcester County administration and staff have insight and powers of analysis. Tragedies happen, but good social work supervisors can cut the odds. Bravo to the Worcester County Department of Social Services.

ara Erica Haus

Reisterstown

Big expense for arts center to meet stiff ADA standards

Marilynn Phillips stated in "Clayworks building found not up to code" (May 13), that enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in Baltimore is "complaint driven."

If Ms. Phillips hadn't been so quick to complain when inquiring about a class at Baltimore Clayworks, she would have learned about the many positive programs that Clayworks has long provided for underserved populations throughout the Baltimore area. She might also have learned of the organization's efforts to see that its entire facility be made handicapped accessible.

To imply that these efforts are complaint driven does a great disservice to one of our city's most valuable art centers. From bringing ceramic artists into inner-city elementary schools and providing art classes and scholarships for at-risk teens to providing an artist-in-residence and a permanent mural at the Waxter Center for Senior Citizens (where Ms. Phillips chose not to attend an accessible class), Baltimore Clayworks has demonstrated its commitment to some of our city's most disadvantaged populations.

Clayworks has ensured that through art-making, these people are given a voice.

It is remarkable how much good Baltimore Clayworks accomplishes while operating on a shoestring. For years, Baltimore Clayworks has been engaged in fund-raising efforts to make the necessary remaining renovations to its facilities so that it meets ADA standards. But for a nonprofit organization with a tiny operating budget, the $30,000 it will take to do renovations, in addition to $30,000 lost in state funding, is a lot of money.

What a shame if Clayworks must eliminate some of these valuable programs to renovate its facilities.

Abigail Lattes

Baltimore

The writer is a Baltimore Clayworks board member.

Pub Date: 5/27/98

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