Providing ValuesThe Dec. 15 commentary in The Sun by...


December 25, 1992

Providing Values

The Dec. 15 commentary in The Sun by Austin Gisriel, who opposes high school students' community service requirement, appears misplaced.

While I sense that Mr. Gisriel is a dedicated teacher, many may debate whether or not Robert E. Lee is the best choice of role model for the students in Maryland. More important, however, is the fact that community service does help to shape character and education.

My own high school experience of working in a community service project providing assistance to patients and staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital helped to shape my attitudes toward giving and humility. I have also observed how mandated community service through clinical legal projects has reinforced the sense of community service and spirit of recent graduates of the University of Maryland School of Law.

Our criminal justice system is presently overwhelmed with youngsters and young adults who have not learned through their schools or families that community service can reinforce academic skills and values.

An important aspect of the educational and ethical future of this country can be addressed through the development of a community service ethic among our youth.

tuart O. Simms


The writer is state's attorney for Baltimore City.

Conflicting Facts

Contrary to the assertions of the president of Trout Unlimited, the Clean Water Act is not the issue concerning the prosecution Bill Ellen, who is now serving time in a federal penitentiary for moving dirt.

Meanwhile his wife is still rescuing injured and orphaned wildlife, trying to make ends meet with no bread winner, learning how to be a single parent and fighting the loneliness and tears while playing Mrs. Santa to their two- and four-year-old boys who wonder if their Daddy abandoned them.

If the "greener than thou" people had read the trial's transcripts, they would know their "facts" are blatant fabrications.

The Clean Water Act is a regulatory nightmare masquerading as a federal wetlands policy. In fact, Congress has never passed a law regulating wetlands.

Although 208 members of the 102nd Congress co-sponsored a bill (HR 1330) to define and regulate wetlands, it was vehemently opposed by the radical environmental community.

Although Trout Unlimited and the Corps of Engineers claimed that Mr. Ellen "destroyed" 86 acres, one of the top wetlands delineators in the nation documented that Bill had actually added 45 acres of wetlands.

argaret Reigle


The writer is the chair of the Fairness to Land OwnerCommittee.

Special Interest Law

I read with alarm the Dec. 2 article, "Comcast targets cable theft," whereby the attorneys for the cable company were allowed to draft a law concerning the thievery that plagues it.

What is the purpose of our state legislative body, where the responsibilities for the writing of laws should be accomplished?

What are we paying those we elected into office to do, just sit around and let some corporate lawyer write laws which, you can rest assured, would be slanted for the good of the corporation only? Are the people of Maryland going to allow this sort of thing to get a toe hold?

If our legislative body cannot handle the task of writing new, fair laws to protect everyone, members should step down from their heavenly thrones and turn the job over to somebody who has the interest of the citizens at heart.

Comcast is hard-pressed to service their customers' complaints.

It is very exasperating to be watching an interesting program when all of a sudden the screen goes blank and all one can see is white lines streaking across the tube, and static that would raise the dead.

I have yet to see Comcast reimburse customers for interrupted programming that stems from their equipment.

When I purchased Comcast, I was led to expect uninterrupted TV viewing, and all I get is re-runs that are passed off as the latest offerings to come out of Hollywood.

To top it off, try to complete a phone call to 252-1000. That is the biggest laugh of all. When someone does answer the phone, they are sometimes rude, discourteous and give the feeling that we have interrupted their siesta.

I, for one, am most unhappy with Comcast, and its mightier than thou attitude. There ought to be a law making Comcast accountable to customers for every minute of dead air time.

John F. Thomas


Myths of Racism

In his interview, "Hatred learned from parents, TV" (Dec. 15), Howard Ehrlich delivered to readers many of the usual sociological old wives' tales about racism.

The claim by Mr. Ehrlich that racism is learned mainly from parents does not hold up under the scrutiny of common sense questioning. Why do some non-racist parents have problems with racist children?

If prejudice is "mastered" at age three, then why are many people able to overcome it? And if parents, society and other environmental factors are responsible for racism, then from what source (it certainly wasn't from television) did the first people learn bigotry?

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