Deep in the Heart of TexasEditor: The Sun's editorial...


April 13, 1991

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Editor: The Sun's editorial about the demise of Texas, Baltimore County, was a real heartbreaker for me.

My roots go back to those first Irish settlers of Texas, the quarriers.

I remember my grandmother's pride in being an Irish Baltimorean born in Texas and her stories about her father's role in making St. Joseph's Church a reality. His name was Thomas Keating and I believe he's one of the Keatings in the graveyard at St. Joseph's.

I remember being mystified as a child when my own father (who before World War I was a reporter for The Sun and later The American before going on to other papers in other cities) would counter other peoples' travel stories by saying that he was one of the few who ''rode from Texas to Oregon and back in one day in a hay cart.''

In my mind's eye, I can picture the stone houses that the Keatings and O'Conors and Sheas and Fitzpatricks and Ahearns lived in along the railroad tracks, although I never actually saw them. I hope those are among the ''two other remaining buildings'' you mentioned and that I'll find time to see them before they go.

Since I was a big-city kid, who grew up in the suburbs of D.C., Chicago and Boston, Texas sounded like the most exotic of foreign lands to me. You provided some wonderful reading on a Saturday and sharpened my resolve to take a better look into my family's history.

Connie Godwin.

Chestertown. Editor: The media have a mandate to question the governor's actions; as of late he seems to have been unable to do anything right.

But it is reprehensible to exploit battered women who have been brutally victimized by their spouses and further abused by a society that does not punish the abuser. Did Bernadette Barnes' husband receive a jail term for shooting her?

Your March 17 article, ''Schaefer commutes sentences without all the facts,'' does not address that, but goes on to dismiss the likelihood that the battered spouse syndrome is a real psychological condition with any legal relevance in any of these cases.

If you want to go after Governor Schaefer, go ahead. But don't use these victims to do your dirty work. These women have been through enough already.

Joanna Beall.


Heritage Lost

Editor: I was dismayed to learn, from a March 14 Sun article, that the Episcopal diocese was auctioning off several significant Tiffany stained glass windows removed from its former headquarters in the Mt. Vernon area.

Once again -- remember the RCA Nipper? -- another fragment of Baltimore's architectural heritage is being sold down the river only to end up in some corporate executive's New York office, perhaps a far-away private residence or maybe even a restaurant in Chicago. Needless to say, these items will be forever lost to the citizens of Maryland.

Couldn't the diocese have explored donating the windows to the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Maryland Historical Society, or even installing them in its new headquarters? I guess the decision was purely economic. As an Episcopalian, I will be sure to make my own economic decision -- the next time the collection plate is passed my way.

James Edrington.


Unsafe Highways

Editor: After reading about the two recent fatal accidents on I-95 with eight people killed, I couldn't help but think about the entire family wiped out about a year ago on this same highway at White Marsh.

At that time there were calls for guardrails or ''Jersey'' wall barriers or anything to separate on-coming high speed traffic lanes. Maybe now, with eight more deaths someone will listen and take some action.

What about the other unsafe highways like the Baltimore beltway, I-70 West and I-83 North? Forget raising the speed limit to 65 mph. What we really need is to lower it because some Maryland highways are unsafe at any speed.

Herb Butler.

Perry Hall.

Too Difficult

Editor: Want me to recycle? Then why make it so difficult?

The requirements are onerous: rinse, remove labels, crush, separate, etc. There are more dos and don'ts than IRS regulations. Further, recycling centers are only open for three hours on alternate Saturdays and Sundays. And those hours are smack in the middle of the day. This kills the whole day if I want to go somewhere.

In small towns north and west of Chicago, each household is given a sturdy plastic laundry type container into which to put recyclables. Pick-up is once a week.

A similar system is in effect in North Miami Beach, Fla. Perhaps someone could be sent to the Chicago area for a day to see how they do it.

Want me to recycle? Make it easy to do it.

Kenneth Golberg. Baltimore. Editor: While you have roundly criticized Gov. William Donald Schaefer and representatives of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for their alleged lack of in-depth analysis of the battered spouse commutees, your own investigation into the issue leaves something to be desired.

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