For Valentine's Day, why not a fake fur?With year-end...

the Forum

January 19, 1993

For Valentine's Day, why not a fake fur?

With year-end sales and the approaching Valentine's Day season, many men are looking at shiny fur coats in store windows as possible gifts.

Well, perhaps they should look at the fate of Mano Swartz before they spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on them.

After over 100 years, Mano Swartz finally closed its Towson store. It blames the economy, but perhaps people are just more aware today of the cruelty that goes into making a fur coat.

That information alone would certainly make a fur coat less appealing.

Today we have such a variety of materials and technology that warmth can certainly be achieved without resorting to the killing of animals. Fur coats are now truly much more a sign of vanity than the functional necessity they once may have been. It really makes me wonder how appealing a fur coat would be to women if they saw the coat's production from the very beginning.

Katie Gonzalez

Lutherville

Why parents choose private schools

You have on numerous occasions noted that improvement is needed in the public schools. I agree American education needs overhaul. The rapid change in technology alone warrants it. The trick is how to overhaul education and get positive results.

More money to pay teachers better certainly would help. However, that alone will not do the trick. More discipline in the schools is needed -- not only the type that requires respect and order, but discipline so that students will be able to complete assigned tasks.

Many problems continue to perplex public schools: students not wanting to be there, the use of drugs and alcohol and the breakdown in discipline.

It will be no easy task to overhaul an educational system when the system must compete with television, rock music and other distractions our society offers. Education will improve only when our schools are supported by parents, and the public becomes fully committed to change so that more students upon graduation will be literate and capable of dealing with the realities of life.

Improvement in education will require that parents insist that their youngsters be in school every day with their work completed, when parents limit the amount of time they allow their children to spend watching television and talking countless hours on the phone -- time that could be devoted to study and improvement of the mind.

The recent decision by Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and now President-elect Bill Clinton to place their children in private schools should signal to one and all that we must work harder to make the public schools a place where parents would be proud to place their children -- regardless of income.

John A. Micklos

Baltimore

Sarah's House

Deidre McCabe's article (Dec. 27) on Sarah's House, the Anne Arundel shelter for the homeless, should more appropriately have been published in the National Enquirer.

Gripes from nameless employees "afraid for their jobs" and anonymous "former employees" set the tone and theme of the article.

The small space allotted to defenses of Sarah's House (all by persons willing to admit their names) seemed grudgingly allowed into the article by a reporter eager to stuff the story into a pre-cast "scandal" mold.

Is The Evening Sun no more adept at journalism than this?

Andrew J. Tomlinson

Baltimore

MTA reforms

As the Mass Transit Administration prepares to raise fares and reduce service once again, the time has come to say in public what I have been saying at bus stops.

* The requirement that half the revenues come from the fare box should be eliminated. It is stupid, effectively limiting the service that can be provided.

* Funds for mass transit should be increased by a tax on the revenues of parking garages. This would have the added benefit of encouraging car-pooling and use of mass transit, helping to limit the traffic congestion that is a growing regional problem.

* MTA executives should be required to ride the MTA to and from work. This would give them badly needed insight into the operation of the system and the needs of its users and a strong motive for making it work better.

Since the needs of thousands of citizens are not being met adequately, I hope the legislature will consider these matters soon. Failure to deal with them aggressively would be irresponsible and would certainly lead to worse problems.

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam

Baltimore

Recycling needed

I am a seventh grader living in Baltimore County. In the last few years, recycling and taking care of the environment have been big issues. I think that everyone should recycle and help to do his part to take care of the environment.

Until recently, my family didn't recycle. That's because nobody had the time to drive out to the recycling center every two weeks. Now, we recycle, but it is still hard to find the time to take everything to the center.

I'm sure that there are many people in Baltimore County who want to recycle but don't have the time.

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