From: Sgt. Charles Nelson
Public information officer
County Sheriff's Office
My thanks to the Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Foundation Inc., or, more correctly, thanks to all the citizens who contributed to the Sheriff's Foundation.
Deputy Sheriff Thomas Kohlmann of Crofton will graduate No. 1 in his class from the Baltimore City Police Department Police Academy on April 24, 1992. Deputy Sheriffs Leroy Green and Michael Donoho will also be graduating atthis ceremony.
If it were not for the generosity of the people ofAnne Arundel County to the Sheriff's Foundation, these graduates would not be appropriately attired in a dress uniform for this formal and most important event. Every Anne Arundel County Police officer and every trooper in the State Police are issued a dress blouse, but due to years of under-funding and neglect of this office, it has not beenpossible to properly uniform the deputy sheriffs of our county.
The board of directors of the Anne Arundel County Sheriff's Foundationagreed with the sheriff at a recent meeting that the pride of these men's accomplishments, of the office, and the people of our county would be diminished if these graduates were not properly attired at this ceremony. Therefore, monies were appropriated from the Sheriff's Foundation for the purchase of dress blouses for the graduates.
In difficult times, innovative approaches must be found in order to do the job. The creation of the Sheriff's Foundation and the willing donations of many people is just such an example. Without the help of citizens such as Dan Dinko of Linthicum, whose generous contribution enabled the purchase of the Sheriff Office's only fax machine, we could not carry out our mission.
Again, I am personally indebted to the people of our county for the continued and much appreciated assistanceto their Sheriff's Office.
From: Fred Davis
Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse
I would like to comment on your recent articles about violence and carrying guns in county schools ("Fear of violence looms in county schools' hallways," Alook, a word, an attitude -- and another fight begins," "Race, classtensions underlie unease at Annapolis," and "A search for alternatives to the fist," March 29).
Through the efforts of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse (MAHA) and police organizations across the state, a Child Safety Bill was recently passed in the state legislature. This bill states that gun owners must secure weapons so children under 16 don't have unsupervised access to them. Violators could be fined upto $1,000.
Initially, the Maryland State Rifle and Pistol Association opposed the bill because of a requirement to use trigger locks, which are not recommended for loaded guns.
The final bill did not include this restriction but remains a strong bill. This was an excellent example of legislators attending to the views of both sides of the gun lobby and achieving a satisfactory result.
This bill sends a message to both parents and children about the consequences and dangers of unsafe use of guns.
However, the MAHA membership feels that an additional message that endangering the lives of other students by bringing a gun to school will not be tolerated.
Mandatory and stiffer criminal penalties must be implemented and enforced.
It's at the point where the state legislators and the school administratorsmust address the problem.
A BETRAYAL OF TRUST
From: Anne G. Klyman
Northeast Senior High School
On Tuesday, March 24, 1992, you were welcomed to Northeast Senior High School to interview one of our students. Your purpose was to meet Ernest Levroney and learn, first-hand, what made Ernie such "an outstanding young man, one who will make a difference in his world." On this day, I shared with you a hastily prepared draft written by a caring and sensitive educator about our Ernie.
Today, someone gave me a copy of The Anne Arundel County Sun "Dialogue" ("Department head has trouble with English") dated Wednesday, April 1, 1992. I was saddened that you failed so miserably to capture the essence of Ernie -- those who comein contact with him are better for it. You seemed to allow your baser instincts to surface as you unleashed your attack upon a teacher who dared to care.
Hopefully, you will recall that I asked Ernie if I could share with you some of the accolades others have heaped upon him. Ernie was eager to share the thoughtful and beautiful tribute that the chairperson (not chairwoman) of the English department had paid him previously. You betrayed the trust of a young man and abused the courtesy extended to you as a guest in our school.
When the article you wrote about Ernie was published the following Friday ("Biochemistry Wunderkind knows formula for success"), no one pointed an accusing finger signaling displeasure because you failed to properly identify him as a 12th-grader. Your perennial use of "nice, nicer" would have gone unnoticed.
It is a pity that you did not have the opportunity to speak to the chairperson of the English department at Northeast Senior High School. You missed the opportunity to shake hands, not with an instructor versed in the nuances of the English language but with an educator who inspires her students and drives them to excel.