Absolute DisgraceEditor: I think it's an absolute disgrace...


January 19, 1991

Absolute Disgrace

Editor: I think it's an absolute disgrace to the state of Maryland and the country that Representatives Cardin, Hoyer, Mfume, and Morella did not give support to the president on his Persian Gulf policy.

Raymond Tabak Jr.


Nervous Jitters

Editor: I am very concerned about the intense television and radio coverage of the Persian Gulf crisis.

This is causing great stress and nervous jitters among the people and particularly the children. The reporters sound as if they were spoiling for a war to give them something exciting to report.

It is important that we be informed, but it has gone beyond that.

Joan Tapley.

Bel Air.

Media Guilt

Editor: Praise to film critic Stephen Hunter for his canny judgment ("Stone Killers," Jan. 8) that responsibility for the violence that young people inflict in certain measure belongs to film makers.

The same applies to television, and it should be said both media also exploit sexual freedom which, too often depicted as compulsive brute behavior, degrades human dignity.

How can we hold ourselves out to the rest of the world, Saddam Hussein included, as moral leaders when these media suggest the best we are is bestial?

Robert E. Hecht Sr.


Lida Lee Tall

Editor: I am not one of the angry parents facing the shutdown of Lida Lee Tall Learning Resources Center and, thanks to Gov. William Donald Schaefer and his educational advisers, now I will not have the opportunity to become one, either.

The governor is making a terrible mistake by closing this school. Proponents of the shutdown have stated that the school only exists as a research experiment for the state, and that some of the research done there has been meaningless.

Is it meaningless to provide quality, affordable education to a student body that reflects the racial and economic population of this state? Is it meaningless to assemble a dedicated, highly qualified and talented staff and an active, committed group of parents willing to fight the state to keep their school open?

This is one experiment in education, one school, that works and works well for everyone. Over the last eight years I have visited the school frequently and gotten to know the two previous principals and many of the staff. Lida Lee Tall has been an oasis for Baltimore area families who are unwilling to accept the public schools (as in the pathetic city school system) and unable to afford top private school tuitions (or possibly unhappy with the exclusive nature of expensive schools).

What happens now to these students who have gotten such a wonderful start at Lida Lee Tall? Their parents have vowed to find funding somehow and somewhere to keep this school open. I've been told the total annual budget is approximately $500,000, which is hardly a lot compared to other ''valuable'' state projects such as a new stadium, light-rail system, renovations to the governor's mansion, etc.

I'm sure that many people join me in wishing the families and staff of Lida Lee Tall the best of luck in their efforts. Perhaps they could ask the governor for a donation (from his latest pay raise). After all, he doesn't have to worry about school.

`Nancy Golombeck Lidard.


This Is Ethics?

Editor: I read your editorial of Jan. 10 regarding the federal government's new ethics law with great interest.

In January 1990, I wrote to Sens. Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski and to Rep. Tom McMillen to ask if the Government Ethics Reform Act of 1989 would prohibit lower level federal employees from receiving money for free-lance articles. In March, Senator Sarbanes' office contacted me to say that the new law was intended to apply only to members of Congress and high-level federal employees (Grade 16 or above). I was told that lower-level federal employees could continue to be paid for any writing they did.

In April, Representative McMillen wrote to say that the new law ''does mean that no federal employee (regardless of grade status) . . . may receive any compensation for any writing . . .'' I do not know what Senator Mikulski's views on the subject are as I never heard from her.

At the Library of Congress, where I am on the staff, the implications of the law have caused great distress. There are many free-lance writers on the library's staff. The library's general counsel has spent hours with library employees over the past year telling us that the provisions of the law are so strict we could be held in violation if we so much as submitted a $10 joke to Reader's Digest.

The Naval Academy, however, seems to be more liberal in its interpretation of the law. Faculty members, I'm told, have been instructed that they can continue to write for pay so long as they do it on their own time and use their own equipment.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.