Teen MothersEditor: My reaction to Ken Hamblin's Nov. 16...


December 17, 1990

Teen Mothers

Editor: My reaction to Ken Hamblin's Nov. 16 column on teen mothers is that it is wrong because he has probably never been there.

I have been.

I was 16 years old when I had my son, and I did make it.

But I did have to quit school to be home with my son. Now I'm 21 years old and back in school, while my son is in school, too. And I think I'm proving that some teen-age mothers can make it.

Karen Baroch.


Lack of Trust

Editor: As a successful artist, Bennard B. Perlman is capable of painting pictures of both imagination and reality.

Knowing Mr. Perlman and his family as well as I do, I am not questioning the sincerity with which he expressed himself in the Nov. 22 Opinion * Commentary article, "Peace in an Arab Village." I would, however, like to make several observations.

As children from liberal Jewish American homes, both Dina and Jonathan Perlman have participated in various organizations in Israel in an effort to reach out and improve relationships between Israeli Arabs and Jews. So have my children who also live in Israel.

I, too, have had the experience of visiting Arab villages, and with my children and grandchildren I have attended a picnic where Arab families were invited friends.

Such efforts and friendships among Israelis are not isolated incidents.

There are sister communities in various parts of Israel as well as a kibbutz comprised of Arab and Jewish members. However, positive aspects of Israeli life are generally not newsworthy and rarely appear in American newspapers.

It simply isn't true that Israeli Jews fail to differentiate between Israeli Arabs and Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza.

Just walk into Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem or Soroka Hospital in Beer-sheva. Both hospitals are full of Arab patients who receive equal medical treatment as Israelis.

It isn't hostility or ignorance that grips the residents of Israel. It is a lack of trust, mixed with fear in the minds and hearts of Jewish Israelis when they hear Israeli Arabs voice support for Israel's enemies.

It isn't the sound of Arabic in the streets, radio or television that threatens anyone. Israelis have long been accustomed to foreign tongues.

It is acts of terrorism that instill distrust and fear.

Irene Siegel.


Japan vs. U.S.

Editor: This is really a letter to the readers of The Sun. I was curious as to how many were disturbed, as I was by two articles in the Nov. 28 Business section. One lamented the layoff of 300 General Motors workers in the Baltimore plant because of

continued depressed automobile sales, while an article immediately below it jubilantly announced the building of a new Toyota plant in Kentucky that could enable the Japanese company to displace Chrysler as the nation's No. 3 carmaker.

Why is our government letting foreign manufacturers slowly destroy another U.S. industry? Why are we Americans not screaming at the top of our lungs? We are being stripped of the very industries which once made this country great, and it's happening with hardly a whimper of protest from any of us. The American electronics industry has already been buried and our computer industry is retreating within the sights of foreign snipers. The blatant use of unfair trade practices by foreign manufacturers is largely responsible. Incredibly, these practices are actually initiated and supported by our own government.

Maybe if you and I impose a one-year moratorium on all imported products, someone in our government will get the message. I think most of us could go for a year without buying a new Toyota automobile, television, microwave oven, compact disk player, computer or fax machine.

Larry E. Sturgill.


Bring Back ''Pogo''

Editor: Where go ''Pogo?''

Bring him back, please. We really need him now.

Ruth E. Presser.


Rail Is for Keeps

Editor: In ''On the Right Track?,'' Nov. 4, Doug Birch calls Baltimore's light rail project ''puppy love,'' accuses the Maryland Department of Transportation of ''flirting'' with similar proposals and charges that a ''a score of cities are similarly smitten.''

This fondness for rail projects should be welcomed. After all, cities decide to build rail systems for many reasons.

Some, like Buffalo and Miami, use rail to spur private development; others, such as Portland, want its clean air benefits; some seek to speed travel time for commuters without adding to roadway congestion. All understand that the operating cost savings of rail transit -- per passenger mile -- are significant.

Mr. Birch bases most of his negative opinions toward rail projects on a widely discredited report by Don H. Pickrell for the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (UMTA). That report (as well as the two articles) cited only a select few projects, ones that conveniently appeared to fit the anti-rail argument.

Where are the numbers for San Francisco's popular BART, the successful Boston and Chicago extensions or the respected San Diego Trolley that recovers 90 percent of its operating costs from paying passengers?

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