Welcome VisitorEditor: Stephen Wigler's Sept. 9 comment...


October 15, 1990

Welcome Visitor

Editor: Stephen Wigler's Sept. 9 comment that ''Baltimore's a good-enough place -- but it's no St. Louis'' was particularly pleasing to the residents of University City, Mo., the St. Louis suburb in which the amenities he described are located.

His perception that ''On Delmar Street (known locally as the Delmar Loop because the streetcars used to turn around there before heading back to downtown St. Louis) there were people who seemed engaged in what they were doing; ideas seemed to overflow with life . . .'' is absolutely correct.

The enmity that occurs in many college communities does not exist here. This is due to an ongoing partnership between Washington University and University City. The students, faculty and staff (more than 1,500 of whom live in University City) help keep this an exciting and progressive city. It is a continuing challenge to balance the needs of all facets of the city's population but well worth it. The presence of Washington University generates an enthusiasm that makes University City a special place to live.

As mayor of University City, I thank Mr. Wigler for his kind words and hope he will visit again. He has barely scratched the surface.

Janet Majerus.

University City, Mo.

Fighting Crime

Editor: While I appreciate the attempt made by Hal Riedl (Oct. 5) to describe my concerns regarding the state's attorney's budget, I fear his comments resulted in increased confusion rather than clarification of an extremely complex subject.

Mr. Riedl's article suggested that the City of Baltimore and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke give low priority to fighting crime and funding the Office of State's Attorney. Such a conclusion is incorrect. Mr. Riedl misinterpreted the two basic issues. The first issue concerns a communication problem. Several weeks ago, this office requested a postponement in several cases pending in the Juvenile Court of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. The specific reason for the postponement request was the failure by several bureaucrats to respond promptly to my request to process papers so that I could promptly fill vacant positions.

The second issue is this office's overall funding problem. I have repeatedly stated that the City of Baltimore has consistently regarded this office as an important aspect of public safety and has funded this office to the best of its ability. However, its inability to meet our most important funding aspects, both present and future, is not the result of the city's lack of desire to do so, but more a consequence of its declining resources versus extraordinary expenses. Moreover, I still maintain that costs, all in part for this office, or all in part for court-related expenses, should be borne by the state. Such a situation exists in Michigan and New York.

In summary, the funding problems of our criminal justice system were not invented by Mayor Schmoke nor the City of Baltimore. These problems exist because in Maryland we have not developed a comprehensive plan to meet all aspects of the rising cost of law enforcement. I have pledged to the mayor, I have pledged to elected officials at all levels, and I have pledged to the citizens of Baltimore that I will continue to try to bring attention to this need so that we can correct this deficiency.

Stuart Simms.


The writer is state's attorney for Baltimore City.

Our Southern Heritage

Editor: Why is it that The Sun never misses an opportunity to take a cheap shot at Southerners and their heritage?

On Sept. 23, in your editorial ''Atlanta Olympiad'' discussing the awarding of the 1996 Olympics to that city, you stated, ''It's not Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone With the Wind' Atlanta being honored, but Martin Luther King's.'' I would suggest that the entire history and heritage of all the people of Atlanta are being honored; from its founding in the early Nineteenth Century, to its gallant defense by the Confederate Army against Sherman's vandals, to its present day status as a commercial center in the South of the 1990s.

In addition, in Gallimaufry Oct. 1, you stated in reference to the PBS Civil War series, ''the script writers didn't rub our faces with R. B. Taney and J. W. Booth.'' ''Our'' I assume being the people of the State of Maryland.

You should be advised that Roger Brooke Taney was one of the most respected Marylanders of the Nineteenth Century. He served as secretary of the treasury under President Andrew Jackson and then as a distinguished justice of the U.S. Supreme Court for 28 years from 1836 until his death in 1864. Monuments to Justice Taney may be found at Mount Vernon Place and on the grounds of the State House.

As to John Wilkes Booth, the PBS series also didn't remind the viewers that the Lincoln administration sanctioned a military raid on Richmond led by Ulric Dahlgren with the express purpose of murdering President Jefferson Davis.

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