Editor: I'm delighted to see the RAISE program gain some recognition, because it is truly outstanding and offers a fine example of partnerships between city schools and other institutions, from churches to colleges and businesses.
In addition to T. Rowe Price, six other institutions participate in RAISE partnerships. At Goucher, we have worked with the current Harlem Park Middle School eighth-grade for the past three years.
About 40 Goucher mentors, including students, faculty and staff, spend several hours each week at Harlem Park acting as counselors and friends to the RAISE students. In addition to weekly activities, there is a monthly special program for the students. Every summer we host a week-long camp on the Goucher campus.
The Goucher mentors feel that they get from the RAISE program as much or more than they put in. A recent event offers an example. Juliet Forrest, associate professor of dance, and some Goucher dance students made several visits to Harlem Park to teach dance to interested students -- and to learn new dance steps from them. Both groups considered the exchange highly successful.
Judith Turner Phair.
Editor: As executive director of the Penn North Association, which borrows space from Urban Services Center No. 10 in the 1200 block of West North Avenue, I was distressed to read of the City Council's criticism of the Urban Services program. I am in no position to know about the workings of top management in the Urban Services program, but I am aware of the dedicated service performed in behalf of the poor at Center No. 10.
The director and his staff serve the poor in this community with humility, concern and empathy.
I have seen them distraught because of an inability to help someone in need, due to governmental regulations. I have seen them go the extra mile to help clients who do have the proper papers to obtain assistance. I have seen them handle with grace abusive persons who needed their assistance and who were too filled with despair to behave gracefully themselves.
The Urban Services program fills a great void in the provision of services to those most in need, and as a disinterested observer to at least one of the center operations, I must protest the blanket criticism rendered by our City Council representatives.
Perhaps they should spend a day in Center No. 10; I think it would add a broader and brighter perspective of some city employees who serve those most in need. Urban Services Center No. 10's civil servants can be applauded for giving so much of themselves in these times of misery for so many.
Stay at Home
Editor: The shallowness and complacency of the average American voter never ceases to amaze me. A statement I heard prompted me to write this letter. A lady stated that she would not vote for County Executive Dennis Rasmussen because when she went to the Baltimore County tax office to pay her tax bill, the clerk told her there would be a $1 charge for the photocopy she requested. She said that was too much and that she could get it cheaper elsewhere. She also said "yes" in answer to the question "Are you basing your decision to vote against Mr. Rasmussen solely on that incident?"
I don't claim to be the most knowledgeable person, but I do
know whom and what I am voting for when I enter the voting booth. I've been around a long time and I'm convinced, from the ZTC snippets of conversation I hear, that the average voter arbitrarily pulls a lever for a candidate or referendum based on something somebody told them that will make their lives more comfortable for the moment and won't cost them much money.
Believe me, we do have lots of bimbo politicians, but a voter with even a grain of sense should stop living in his own "what's in it for me" world, start opening his eyes to the real world. How can anyone be so simplistic and naive with our nation in such a state of instability. A person who votes without any perception can be very dangerous and would be better off staying at home.
Editor: I have been amazed that The Sun has so thoroughly embraced the spending policies of the Baltimore County executive.
Nowhere have I seen any editorial questioning why the county budget over the past three years has significantly exceeded inflation and population increases. Rather, your position has been one of trumpeting a scenario of disaster and doom, if the 2 percent revenue cap passes.
It's time for some realism. Property taxes make up less than a third of the county's revenue sources. At best, the cap will cut about 1 percent off a $1 billion budget in the first year. The impact of subsequent years will not be massive or drastic. Furthermore, there is time to plan for reductions.