Twisted ValuesEditor: My job requires that I commute from...


December 30, 1990

Twisted Values

Editor: My job requires that I commute from my home daily to Baltimore. After 5 1/2 years of walking through a park on the way to my office, I still can't get over the number of these poor, homeless people.

Just the other day as I was walking up Light Street, a street woman was coming toward me dressed in rags, clutching a blanket around her, toting a trash bag. As I looked down, I saw she had no shoes on. Not even socks!

The tears just rolled down my face. Here we are building a new stadium when the present one still stands, and yet our fellow man goes without shelter, and what with winter coming on, need I say more?

I don't know how anyone else feels about it, but I say let's tear down the old stadium, build a shelter and get these people off the streets before we have to pick them up off of it. I can't think of anything sadder than not belonging to anyone. What's that old phrase, "There but for the grace of God go I"?

%Patricia A. Bernstein. Annapolis.

Credit Where Due

Editor: I read with interest your editorial entitled, ''Fine-Tuning Howard.'' While the title is appropriate, I think that the message contained in the editorial suggests other than fine-tuning.

I'm not suggesting that everything is perfect. We know that is not the case; this is not Utopia.

What we do know is that Howard County's problems are no less nor greater than any organization that has been thrust into very difficult financial times. Many large businesses are now coping with the same problems that Howard County faces.

Of particular concern to me are the many references to a police department with staggering problems and a reputation for insensitivity. Nothing could be further from actuality.

As a private citizen and through my endeavors with MADD, I can assure you that our police department and its leaders are 100 percent committed to maintaining law and order in our county and to do it while remaining aware of public needs and sensitivities.

Please focus some attention on the good the department has accomplished. Do not blow the negative out of proportion. Give credit where it is due, and acknowledge the positive that has been accomplished under the leadership of Chief Frederick Chaney.

Count our blessings that the department is handling the accusation of insensitivity in exemplary fashion and completely in the open. This action alone belies the accusation being leveled against the department.

$ Anthony J. Pung. Ellicott City.

Auto Insurance

Editor: I have recently returned to Baltimore after spending six years out of the states, with annual return visits.

I was stunned after checking with a number of insurers that in spite of having had a clean record since obtaining my license in Maryland 28 years ago and having no claim letters from my previous insurer here as well as from those abroad that I would have to pay $1,800 per year to insure my car. Probing the issue has resulted in what are to me amazing findings.

I am automatically put in a high risk category because:

1. I was not insured in Maryland for the 30 days prior to my return here.

2. My wife had only been licensed here six months before we moved back permanently.

3. Our home is about 100 yards inside the city. This fact doubles our rates.

Points one and three are utterly unfair forms of discrimination.

The premiums that we are paying have no relationship to our qualifications as drivers and too much to do with arbitrary and discriminatory policies.

Finally, $1,800 a year for car insurance (the best rate I could find) is a big dent in anyone's income. What are the implications for someone trying to break out of the poverty/welfare cycle? As many Sun readers are no doubt aware, public transportation anywhere in this country is not up to European standards. More and more, jobs -- even if low paying -- are to be found in suburbia. How is a poor inner city person to get to those jobs? The present insurance system intentionally or not seems to have replaced the share-cropping system of the rural South in ensuring one thing only -- continued urban poverty.

Paul Converse. Baltimore.

All-Male Bench?

Editor: I read with dismay the Sun column by Garland L. Thompson (Dec. 13). Mr. Thompson criticized Governor Schaefer for sending a signal that he might not appoint Judge Robert Bell to the Court of Appeals. The column properly was laudatory about Judge Bell's qualifications, which certainly are commensurate with those of Judge Harry Cole and the other men currently serving on that court. Judge Cole, a respected jurist, will be missed on the bench.

The column properly was concerned about the desirability of a black man's appointment to our high court, to take the seat of the only black man currently serving on the court. The column properly suggested that our state's diverse citizenship should be fairly reflected among the constituents of our appellate courts.

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