Gadfly for Mayor
Editor: Sen. Julian L. Lapides is considering running for mayor of Baltimore City. Although some may view the senator from Bolton Hill as a legislative gadfly and not a serious candidate, the people of Baltimore should pay close attention to what the senator has to say.
As a member of the House of Delegates from 1963 to 1967 and a member of the Senate since 1967, Senator Lapides is one politician who has the expertise to address Baltimore City's budget problems because he knows how to talk dollars and sense.
Editor: So you think Superintendent Ray Keech's budget for the Harford County Schools is ''unrealistic?''
Our children try to work in classrooms where there are 27, 30, even 36 students for every teacher. The elementary schools lack any formal art curriculum or qualified specialists to teach it.
The problems engendered by this void are clearly evident by the time children attend middle school. Outdated climate controls force children to study in classrooms whose temperatures routinely rise to 100 degrees and higher in late spring.
Those underpaid, experienced teachers lauded for their production of high-achievers under such circumstances are being forced to apply to schools with adequate salary structures, because those teachers are also breadwinners.
Those same experienced teachers with each passing day spend less time teaching and more time mediating social, medical, economic and disciplinary crises. And the fact that Harford County can expect an enormous influx of new students over the next few years makes the future look grim indeed.
Harford County residents, politicians and administrators have prided themselves on their frugality in such matters in the past. Their approach has obviously been penny wise and pound foolish.
You are correct to point out that Harford County has a narrow tax base and inadequate commercial revenues. The county can look forward to nothing better if the community thinks it will attract new businesses, investments and wealthy residents with overcrowded, understaffed schools that teach outdated curricula with inadequate materials in rotting physical plants.
Dr. Keech, the teachers, the students and the parents of Harford County are not ''unrealistic.'' We know what the future will demand.
The Sun is being wildly unrealistic if it thinks that we can continue sacrificing our children and their educations to political exigencies.
Ellen B. Cutler.
Priorities at Home
Editor: I am one of the minority that doesn't support the war in the Middle East. President Bush's policy is specious at best, and ignores the reality that war has never solved a problem or led to lasting peace.
If liberating people from oppression is such a priority for George Bush, why doesn't he put a half a million people to work in the inner cities to liberate the homeless and drug-oppressed of this country? Their plight presents a much more clear and present threat to this nation's security and prosperity. And resolving those domestic crises stands a much better chance of achieving peace than sending armies into the Middle East.
Eve B. Scheffenacker.
Editor: I am deeply concerned about all the negative attitudes toward anti-war protesters.
I am not yet a protester, though I am vehemently opposed to this and most wars. I support the men and women we have stationed overseas. I pray for their safety every day.
On the other hand I do not blindly support the commander-in-chief in this endeavor. I feel he committed the United States to a situation with consequences he did not completely fathom.
My heart is with the troops. I support the troops, but not the war. Remember it is possible to be pro-American and anti-war.
Joshua B. Taylor.
Editor: Referring to the letter of Donald Klein published in The Sun on Feb. 1, it seems to me that we Americans cannot afford to be too self-righteous.
It is true that the Germans supplied Iraq with chemicals with which to make weapons, but it also true that the United States supplied Iraq with other forms of military technology and that Saddam Hussein was considered an ally during the war between Iraq and Iran.
Instead of venting our anger at others we must begin to discuss globally how to prevent this sort of thing in the future. Military sales should be outlawed. Every day that this war continues makes it more obvious that we must all learn to live together.
I hope Mr. Klein will reconsider his decision not to purchase anything made in Germany. (Would that, by the way, include the music of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms?)
Ignoring Air and Land Tactics
Editor: Peter D. Zimmerman's bleak scenarios of massive Iraqi air strikes on allied forces in the event of a land attack into Iraq and Kuwait ("The Case of the Missing Air Force," Jan. 23) demonstrates a profound ignorance of modern air and land tactics.