Jenkins will be missed
With his retirement Dec. 31, Ray Jenkins, editor of the editorial pages of The Evening Sun, ended his 40 years o watching, evaluating and reporting on events of our time. I would like to make some observations as a reader of his column, one who in many cases gained insight into controversial events of our time.
Mr. Jenkins came to The Evening Sun from the South - where h had the opportunity to observe first-hand the changes in civil rights, economics and cultural diversity. As a result, he was able to give to readers his perspective as an eyewitness. Mr. Jenkins has been a thoughtful and persuasive writer on the subjects of government and citizen responsibility to the democratic process. Further, Mr. Jenkins brought to his readers an honesty and openness that others should emulate. He was not afraid to handle controversial topics. He accepted and did not retaliate against criticism by many who held special views. He was criticized by many talk-show hosts far less erudite than himself.
Mr. Jenkins leaves a legacy of honesty and dedication. His greatest contribution to The Evening Sun and his readers wa dTC that he was courageous in defending his views, even at the risk of being called un-American by many so-called super-patriots. I feel I speak for many when I say Mr. Jenkins is to be congratulated for his objectivity and honesty - especially in a time where many agree for the sake of agreement and their own aggrandizement. Mr. Jenkins, you will be missed by many thoughtful readers.
John A. Micklos
Save the lifesavers
I am alarmed that there may be plans to eliminate a portion of Baltimore County's Emergency Medical Services. I understand that an EMS captain position is being dropped, four paramedic positions will be eliminated from the county's marine unit and two EMS supervisor vehicles will be eliminated, resulting in the reassignment of eight supervisors.
I know that we are facing a terrible monetary crisis and that drastic action must be taken if the county is to remain solvent. County Executive Hayden planned to schedule unpaid leaves for county employees in order to avoid layoffs. I endorse that action. I cannot, however, support action that will directly affect the safety of the county's citizens. Reducing the EMS services will surely do that.
According to the Baltimore County Fire Department Annual Report, EMS responded to over 50,000 calls in 1989. The average time from call to response is one minute. Response time is, of course, critical: by their nature, many calls are life-threatening. I personally experienced the effectiveness and professionalism of the EMS when I collapsed while being driven to St. Joseph's Hospital. Within two minutes a unit was at my side.
In recent weeks, county EMS units have responded to over 8,000 calls. The vast majority of the calls result in transporting a patient to a medical facility.
I am deeply concerned that a decision to reduce the EMS force may cost lives or result in citizens living with pain and injury that under present staffing could be avoided.
William E. Lamb Jr.
National standards for tests, preparing us to compete, are being discussed in connection with "education," a word presently taken to mean "preparation to hold a job."
Obviously, making a living is important. But should the primary objective of education be to make us better participants in the economy or to make us better participants in life? What has happened to our priorities? Our values?
The Security Council strongly condemned Israel's decision to deport 12 Arab "activists" and Muslim fundamentalists. Yet it failed to condemn the Arabs who murdered four Israelis since the peace conference began in Madrid. Is this not a double standard? At least the Arabs got off with their lives ` the Israelis, unfortunately, did not.
Last week, Admiral Zumwalt criticized America's failure to punish terrorism against the United States, and Col. William Higgins' widow warned that if we forgive them we are inviting them to kill again. As an American, I am sad that the Arabs and Iranians who tortured Terry Anderson, William Buckley and Colonel Higgins, shot down the aircraft over Lockerbie and killed 241 US Marines in Beirut have gotten off scot free.
In order to protest the deportations, the three Arab delegations are delaying their arrival at the Washington land-for-peace conference. Are they not cutting off their nose to spite their face? No one expects the Arabs to give an inch of their lands to Israel, but everyone expects Israel to give its tiny territory to the Arabs. I hope the Arabs stay on their high horse and delay their arrival forever.
Jeffrey P. Jarosz
It was soul-stirring to hear Yule carolers standing in Los Angeles' smog singing "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear." Now, I am concerned that as the toxic chemicals continue to fill our rivers and oceans, Joe Six-Pack may be able to walk on water.
As long as Congress remains a subsidiary of big business, air pollution will be a problem that each of us has to pay for through the nose.