Makes no difference whether Lotto or slots,...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Makes no difference whether Lotto or slots, gambling's gambling

I have to disagree with the Rev. Frank M. Reid III when he says our governor was right to take a stand against gambling ("Glendening was right to make a stand against gambling," June 23, letters).

Every year, millions of dollars go out of the state. They go to Atlantic City casinos and to the slot machines at race tracks in Delaware. This makes sense?

Maryland has the Lotto, numbers game, scratch-off tickets and more. What does the reverend call this? The answer is -- gambling.

Bob Crooks

Baltimore

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Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, the governor of New Jersey, visits Ellen Sauerbrey with support and money. Ms. Whitman wants to keep those Maryland millions coming into Atlantic City and doesn't want Maryland race tracks to have slots.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening used the lottery to build the Ravens stadium but now says no slots for the race tracks, although racing has been here for a long time.

Thank goodness for Eileen Rehrmann, who understands that the race tracks in Maryland need to survive.

Jacques Hager

Hagerstown

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Maryland currently allows gambling in many forms throughout the state. Voters should be reminded that Maryland allows the state lotteries (daily numbers, Lotto, Keno, Big Game and numerous scratch-off games) horse betting and bingo. There also are video poker machines in bars and restaurants.

Whether we add slot machines or casinos to our already huge list of available forms of legalized gambling in Maryland seems to be a hypocritical election issue.

Either Maryland supports legalized gambling in any form or it should bar all forms of gambling.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening's stand against slot machines and casinos may sound politically correct to the temperance folks, but the fact remains that Maryland allows legalized gambling today in many forms throughout the state.

Harvey Woolf

Reisterstown

All-Mozart concert review was unfair, mean-spirited

The first thought that came to me and my companions on hearing the far from "yawnsome" recent concert was that Pinchas Zukerman should be praised for putting together an all-Mozart concert that was not full of the usual Mozart war horses ("All-Mozart concert plays lesser works," June 22). Beautiful though the usual may be, Mr. Zukerman's selections were a welcome change.

The second thought was that the ensemble playing in the beautiful (although concededly long) string trio was exceptional -- sensational, perhaps. It certainly ranked among the best I have heard in many years. Your critic must have been too busy dreaming up pithy potshots to aim at the performers' wardrobes to notice their playing.

Critic Judith Green's review was the most mean-spirited music review in my memory. There are times when I disagree strongly with Stephen Wigler, but I never question the fact that he knows and appreciates music.

How you can permit someone who confesses to being bored by two hours and 45 minutes of beautifully performed Mozart pretend to be a music reviewer will forever be beyond my ken.

Evelyn W. Pasquier

Baltimore

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Your critic's review of the MusicFest concert was an immature evaluation of Mozart's work. The divertimento in E-flat, K. 563, has been described as one of Mozart's "greatest masterpieces, musically profound and architecturally pristine."

No, it is not his most popular work, but popularity has nothing to do with integrity or innovative construction. Listen again, and your critic, Judith Green, might even begin to like it.

Also, if the performers' clothing upsets the sensibilities, I might suggest closing one's eyes.

Merle Sturm

Baltimore

Christian gun shop owner fails to preach gun safety

I question whether the Christian gun shop owner in your article ("Where religion, guns mix," June 20) really does run his shop on true Christian principles.

A true Christian soldier would preach the gospel of firearm safety. He should never waste an opportunity to advocate gun safety. He would constantly be preaching themes such as these: Keep your guns locked in a secure gun box, never put a gun away without a trigger lock and don't expose children by locating gun shops near schools or churches.

In your article, the only proof Rob Shifflet gave of his Christianity was to say that he is a "born-again Christian" and that his pastor liked the idea of naming his shop Christian Soldier. It's nice to beseech people to use common-sense when they handle guns. How else are we going to make progress toward reducing senseless gun violence in our world?

Why don't people like Mr. Shifflet do something positive to help prevent tragedies from happening? Something that might prevent a kid from stealing a gun from his grandfather's cabinet and using it to solve a school problem. Mr. Shifflet had a golden opportunity to advocate safety in The Sun article.

I am a Christian and a member of the vestry of a church. I'm also a founder and board member of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse. I am proud that MAHA's members want to make our streets safer by encouraging people of all faiths and creeds who want to help end the carnage on our streets and in our schools.

Matt Fenton IV

Lutherville The membership of the Harford County Board of Education is not the same group that hired Jeffrey Grotsky two years ago. It is not the group that spurned the local, yet brilliant talents of Al Seymour, Carl Roberts and Jon Andes.

The fact that the current board of education had the uncommon good sense to dump Dr. Grotsky and name Jacqueline Haas as superintendent was a tremendous relief to us all. It was worth every nickel they paid.

Dr. Grotsky was a politician who terrorized employees, parents and board members. Ms. Haas is an educator with both political and budgetary savvy.

When the board hired Ms. Haas, it did the right thing. A doctorate degree no more makes a good superintendent than a teaching degree alone makes a good teacher. It takes more than that.

We watched as Stuart Berger destroyed the Baltimore County School System in a mere 18 months. To our horror, the same thing was happening here in Harford County. The current board brought that to a screeching halt when it changed the leadership. It was the right move and the board gets all the credit.

Fran Mathews

Whiteford

Judges should not preside over any familiar disputes

At a recent House of Representatives oversight hearing by the Court and Intellectual Property subcommittee on the Judiciary, considerable time was devoted to the failure of judges to recuse themselves from cases in which there are obvious conflicts of interest, such as stock investments and family holdings.

Subcommittee Chairman Howard Coble, a Virginia Republican, instructed top officers of the Judicial Conference of the United States, the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts and the Federal Judicial Center to take necessary steps to alert judges to their failures in this regard and to advise them to change their ways.

I would propose another group of conflicts: No judge should sit in judgment on a case if he or she has been involved in a similar dispute on a personal matter.

For example, no male judge who has been through a bitter divorce should ever sit on a divorce proceeding because he will never give the woman a fair break. Vice versa, if a female judge is in a similar situation, the husband will never get a break. This could also apply if a family member has been involved in a felony or any similar difficulty.

I suggest that this pledge of recusal should become part of the platform of judicial candidates for re-election in jurisdictions throughout Maryland.

Helen Delich Bentley

Lutherville

The writer is a former U.S. congresswoman.

Pub Date: 6/29/98

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