Mini-LibraryIn response to Terry S. Capps' March 14 letter...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 31, 1993

Mini-Library

In response to Terry S. Capps' March 14 letter in particular, and library closings in general:

The Edgemere mini-library was a bargain for Baltimore County government.

Staffed mainly by volunteers, it provided valuable assistance to its patrons and had a direct telephone line to the North Point branch for requesting materials that were sent to Edgemere quickly.

While school libraries have the important goal of encouraging students to become lifelong readers, that goal is achieved most effectively when parents are readers and provide books in their homes either through a personal collection or by using the public library. It is really a team effort.

As a frequent user of the mini-library. I've seen many a child leave with an armload of books, and I suspect that statistics do not tell the whole story. I only hope that each and every former patron does indeed have regular access to a "high-use area library."

Several years ago, the mini-library was vandalized and considered valuable enough to be relocated in a more visible area and reopened. Certainly that value has not diminished.

In addition, I suspect that only a very few residents of Edgemere would feel that our lives have been enriched by the closing of this valuable asset.

Elaine L. Kimos

Edgemere

The writer is librarian at Golden Ring Middle School.

Agnew Virtues

Thank you for your editorial with regard to former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew. Unlike The Sunday Sun article March 8 by Dan Fesperman, you did not make any alleged insinuations about Mr. Agnew's character.

We who know Ted Agnew and his lovely wife, Judy, are not at all surprised at his present-day success and the many wonderful friends they have.

Across the 50 years of knowing Mr. Agnew, I have always found him to be gracious, kind, and very thoughtful of others.

I shall always remember the effort and time Mr. Agnew gave to helping a close friend of mine find his lost son who did not return from Vietnam when the war ended. Mr. Agnew felt that father's pain and found the young soldier and brought him home to his dad.

Ted Agnew is a person who is generous, courageous, faithful to a task, and ready to serve. When you meet him, you like him.

When you know him, you are ready to trust his judgment, outreach and service.

His friendly smile and humble manner have brought to him success and happiness out of an unforgettable tragedy.

lTC John P. Buchheister

Lutherville

Big Difference

I watched the debates in Congress March 18.

I also read your account of them in the morning and your gleeful report that President Clinton apparently got his way.

Mr. Clinton and the White House staff say the tax increases will only amount to a couple hundred dollars for people drawing Social Security. My wife and I could live with that.

However, I recalculated my 1992 federal tax return using the 85 percent amount subject to tax.

The difference is 35.8 percent increase over current law. A "couple hundred bucks" is OK, but a $1,242 difference is a bit much.

Harry T. Moreland

Baltimore

My Lai in History

The article by David Branco, "After 25 Years, Remembering My Lai," (Opinion * Commentary, March 16) should undoubtedly be considered opinion.

The approximate death count of the real My Lai massacre was 100, not 400 as Mr. Branco states. That is not to imply that the atrocity is diminished, but to point out Mr. Branco's apparent need to inaccurately represent historical fact.

Mr. Branco refers to the event at My Lai as one of "a regular stream of action by American combat soldiers in Vietnam," and again inaccurately represents known evidence of the events of the Vietnam War.

Lt. William L. Calley's renegade actions were reported by his comrades, he was duly charged, found guilty and sentenced for his participation in the killings. Other such events would surely not have escaped the watchful eye of the American conscience and there is no documented evidence that another event like My Lai occurred.

I wonder whether Mr. Branco took the opportunity on Jan. 31 to also celebrate the 25th anniversary of the massacre at Hue when Communist forces occupied that city during the Tet offensive and executed approximately 3,000 of its citizens.

The victims included those on death lists that were compiled five months before the assault. The victims' bodies were later discovered and documented in mass graves where it appeared that all had been either shot, beaten to death or buried alive.

This incident was very similar to the land reform movement in North Vietnam that occurred just before the General Agreement of 1954 when North Vietnam obtained sovereignty, 10 years before American military involvement.

Thousands of North Vietnam's citizens were executed by Communist cadres and thousands fled to South Vietnam, where they were granted political asylum. We will never accurately know the number of executions that occurred in either the land reform or the takeover of the south 20 years later, though we can be sure that My Lai pales in comparison.

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