Letters, calls and the roar of the crowd:
Thomas Jennings, Baltimore: So you think Gov. Schaefer's elevator has mechanical problems! Here's a man that has convinced people to spend money during a recession on lottery tickets at impossible odds to build not one, but two stadiums, one for a team that doesn't exist. Even Dorothy and Toto knew a wizard when they saw one.
If it weren't for those s - - - heads on the Eastern Shore, Schaefer could raze Easton, build another stadium and we would have a good chance at the Olympics.
COMMENT: Schaefer's alleged madness continues to grow as a national story. Both the St. Petersburg Times and the Miami Herald are working on stories on Schaefer's mental state.
And the reporter from St. Petersburg told me that Lt. Gov. Mickey Steinberg says he fears Nixon-like damage to the office of governor should Schaefer's behavior continue.
I guess that means the Schaefer may soon be observed on his knees praying to the portraits on the mansion walls. In any case, I have developed a quick response to phone calls asking me to comment on Schaefer's behavior: "I'm sorry I can't talk to you now, but the governor is holding the General Assembly hostage and is demanding passage of the Linowes Tax Plan and a lifetime pass to Disney World before he lets them go."
Randy A. Feehely, Baltimore: I am a member of the NRA and the owner of a few assault weapons. I am growing tired of people like yourself who seem to put down things that you do not understand but keep running your mouth about.
You, the rest of the media and some of our politicians are so narrow-minded that it is beyond belief. Your view on guns are foolish.
Who are you to tell me that I do not need a semiautomatic to target shoot or hunt with?
COMMENT: I really don't care if you use a semiautomatic weapon to target shoot or hunt. I do wonder, however, why you need a semiautomatic assault weapon to target shoot or hunt.
What's the difference? Well, according to Handgun Control Inc.:
Assault weapons can have large-capacity magazines, allowing the shooter to fire dozens of rounds at a time. Standard hunting rifles are usually limited to 3- or 4-shot magazines.
Assault weapons can have folding stocks and short barrel lengths to make them more easily concealed.
Assault weapons can have a pistol grip on rifles and shotguns to make it easier for the shooter to fire from the hip and spray-fire the weapon.
Assault weapons can have threaded barrels to accommodate a flash-suppressor so the shooter can remain concealed while firing at night. The threaded barrels can also accommodate silencers.
Assault weapons can have a barrel mount to accommodate a bayonet.
And, Randy, I can think of no animal or target so tough that you need all that to defeat it.
John A. Benson, Mansfield, Ohio: I saw you and a few of your colleagues on television talking about George Bush. My colleague and I recently wrote a letter to our president and have received no reply.
COMMENT: Isn't that typical? These politicians promise us the moon when they are running, but as soon as they get in office and get just a little bit busy, they forget all about us.
But I wouldn't worry. Your letter probably just got shoved under an old Field & Stream or a sandwich somewhere on the president's desk. He'll find it eventually. And I'm sure he'll get back to you right after he takes care of this Kurdish thing. And puts out the oil fires in Kuwait. And topples Saddam. And sees what happens to Gorbachev. And takes care of our economy. And reverses unemployment. And protects the spotted owl. And . . .
Jim Snyder, Baltimore: The real endangered species in Baltimore is the middle-class taxpayer. With the high crime rate, tax rate and car insurance, it would not take much to push the taxpayers over the edge and move out of the city leaving behind fond memories.
COMMENT: Unfortunately, thousands of middle-class taxpayers have done just that in the last 10 years. On the other hand, as Mayor Schmoke points out, one of the best things Baltimore now has going for it is worsening conditions in the suburbs. In other words, why move out of the city if things aren't going to be that much better anywhere else?
Lisa Buterakos, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii: The Hyatt Regency Maui is inviting guests to take the "lug out of luggage."
Step One: The guest calls the hotel bellstand 90 minutes before check-out to have luggage picked up.
Step Two: The resort will seal and protect luggage with a special shrink wrap plastic.
Step Three: Federal Express will pick up the bags from the hotel . . . the first piece of luggage will cost $39.95 to ship to any mainland location.
COMMENT: Forget the luggage. How much to shrink wrap and ship me?