U.S. and IsraelEditor: I have to confess that sometimes I...


March 06, 1992

U.S. and Israel

Editor: I have to confess that sometimes I do not understand the relationship between our country and Israel. Your editorial, ''Getting Tough with Israel,'' touched on this confusion.

I had difficulty in forming an opinion on your editorial, because I didn't understand the logic in your first sentence, ''The U.S. has an obligation to former Soviet Jews who resettle penniless in Israel, because the U.S. for years pressured Moscow to let them go.''

Do we really? I don't feel it. In fact, I thought they would be obliged to us for helping them obtain freedom.

I can't help but have questions. What is the extent of this obligation you perceive? How does it affect our ability to carry out our foreign policy? Will these loan guarantees satisfy our obligation, and how much will it cost the American people to secure $10 billion in loans from banks?

The premise that because we were outspoken against offenses to basic human liberty we are obliged to secure and provide an alternative seems to be a leap in logic. Should we not likewise be obliged to provide for the South Africans, because we pressured the government to end apartheid?

Michael T. Hargadon.


Realtors OK

Editor: In regard to the column published Feb. 23, "How to Save on Real Estate Commissions," by Jane Bryant Quinn, I would like to know why Ms. Quinn feels Realtors are overpaid and not entitled to their full commission upon successfully bringing a ready, willing and able buyer to a seller. I wonder if Ms. Quinn has ever had the experience of selling a home on her own. The expertise a Realtor brings to a transaction can be the difference between seeing your home proceed to settlement or not.

Ms. Quinn's advice as to how and when to approach a Realtor regarding the fee is completely out of order. She says, "Before listing a home ask for a reduced commission." When you go to a lawyer or a doctor, do you ask for a reduced fee? Why is it that Ms. Quinn feels that Realtors can and should be approached regarding their income? I wonder if she would reduce her salary if asked.

Additionally, Ms. Quinn states that many Realtors will hold listings for a few days and try to sell them themselves before running them through the Multiple Listing Service. This is completely untrue. As members of the Multiple Listing Service, Realtors are required to put listings into the MLS within 24 hours of receipt.

Joan Solomon.



The writer is vice president of Prudential Preferred Properties.

Instilling Fear

Editor: As a member of the Baltimore Police Department for almost 32 years, I am absolutely shocked and dismayed at the deplorable tactics being considered by the Fraternal Order of Police that could result in billboards being placed throughout the dTC city warning people that if they enter the city it will be at their own risk.

The last several years have witnessed difficult economic times for us all. Warning potential visitors and residents of the city in such an inflammatory manner only contributes to the dilemma of the struggling business community and dissuades potential home buyers from purchasing properties in our city. These kinds of dogmatic assertions negatively impact on all of us, including the members of the lodge their misguided campaign is attempting to help.

The city of Baltimore experiences little more crime today than it did years ago.

This is a time when we should all pull together. This is certainly not a time to instill fear in and betray the confidence the citizens of Baltimore have in the many fine men and women of the Baltimore Police Department and our ability to maintain order.

Harwood W. Burritt.



The writer is deputy police commissioner.

Joint Purchasing

Editor: I recently became aware of an editorial in the Jan. 5 Sun about "Regional Togetherness." The statement, "Joint purchasing agreements could save millions," caught our attention.

The public purchasing professionals in the region are aware that their efforts to save taxpayers' dollars for the most part go unnoticed by the masses. We accept that. However, we are pleased to let you know that joint cooperative purchasing is alive and well in Maryland.

The Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee (BRCPC) has been in the business of joint purchasing for many years now.

The present group includes the city, surrounding counties and the state purchasing officials. We have formed cooperative agreements for a diverse range of items from office furniture to automotive tires and batteries.

The agreements represent thousands of dollars saved through cooperative bids. As an example, the city, state and several counties are in the process of awarding a contract for road surface glass beads. This cooperative bidding effort will save taxpayers $75,000 over prices previously paid by the individual participants.

In another instance, the BRCPC estimates a saving of approximately $33,000 in 1991 for office facsimile machines for the various participating governments.

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