News or PuffEditor: Journalists and taxpayers alike have...


February 05, 1992

News or Puff

Editor: Journalists and taxpayers alike have reason to be concerned that Dennis Hill is being removed from his position as director of public information of the Baltimore Police Department.

For nearly two decades, Mr. Hill has served as a vital liaison between the media and the police. His background in broadcasting tempered him for the demands of such a visible position. He was available to the press 24 hours a day.

Regardless of the nature of the media inquiries, his information has always been the most accurate available. His responses have always been prompt. He quite simply is among the best in his profession.

Even more alarming is the explanation that Hill's removal is part of a reorganization brought about by a shift toward "community policing." Baltimore County's Neil Behan is a nationally recognized advocate of community policing. Implementing that program there caused no such shake-up in the public information office. Chief Behan rightly recognized the demand for accurate dissemination of public information would increase.

All of us need to be worried about the possibility that Mr. Hill's replacement will be a public-relations officer whose primary mission will be to cheerlead for the police department. If that is a goal of the reorganization, the public needs to ask itself if it will, in fact, be better served.

Mark S. Miller.


The writer is news director of WBAL Radio.


Editor: I thank The Sun for the excellent article by Richard O'Mara on European monarchies (Jan. 7). The case for constitutional monarchy in Eastern Europe is that it can serve as a unifying, stabilizing, and moderating force in divided societies.

King Michael of Romania saved thousands of Romanian Jews from the Holocaust in World War II. It was also King Michael who secretly renegotiated Romania's switch to the Allies, then ordered the arrest of dictator Ion Antonescu and called on the people of Romania to drive the Nazis out.

In fact, President Truman awarded King Michael a citation, the Legion of Merit, praising his boldness of action, high character and personal leadership. After a rigged referendum, King Michael was forced to abdicate in 1947.

Today there is a growing movement in Romania to restore King Michael. When the people of Romania learn the true story of King Michael, he will be restored as monarch.

Long live King Michael, King Simeon of Bulgaria, Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia, and the other future restored monarchs of Eastern Europe.

Walter L. Moore.

Ellicott City.

It Was Pierce

Editor: In a recent column on the New Hampshire presidential primary, Ernest B. Furgurson stated that the Granite State was the home of President Millard Fillmore. Mr. Furgurson has his states and presidents mixed up. Fillmore was a lifelong resident of New York. However, his successor, Franklin Pierce, was a native of New Hampshire, which casts that state in even worse light than if it really had given the nation Fillmore.

Alan B. Bromberg.


Pork Barrel

Editor: As usual, Maryland politicos raise their arrogant heads again. I am referring to the ''payback lessons'' expressed in your article, ''GOP renegades vote conscience, draw wrath of Assembly'' (Jan. 19).

This is exactly why Baltimore County voters elected Dels. Al Redmer and Jim Ports -- and also County Executive Roger Hayden. We want to see an end to pork barrel politics and a return to government by the people.

Our economy is at a point where we have to address needs before wants. Homeless people do not need decoy and airport museums. Starving people do not need an equestrian center.

Instead of politicians trying to line the pockets of special interest groups, perhaps they should try to put something in the pockets of their unemployed constituents.

Scott Lee.


Transfer the Books

Editor: I am a teacher in the Baltimore City school system. Economic times dictated that some of the public libraries be closed, a shameful situation for "The City That Reads." I propose that books from the libraries be transferred to public schools so that school children can still benefit from these resources. We shouldn't forget that our children are our future; reading skills are absolutely necessary tools to help them develop into productive members of society.

We should call our city and school officials and insist that we truly want this to be "The City That Reads."

We can make our school libraries into lending libraries for the children that attend our schools. Children could borrow and return books before and after school. Our children would benefit and so would their parents.

Ellen Soltz.


Save Gas

Editor: Gov. William Donald Schaefer's proposal to increase Maryland's fuel tax by five cents may serve more than one purpose if approved.

Recent budget cuts have thinned the wallets of many Maryland employees. Penny-saving drivers may turn away from the higher priced gasoline.

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