The Life and Death of Harold E. BrooksI write in response...

LETTERS TI THE EDITOR

April 25, 1993

The Life and Death of Harold E. Brooks

I write in response to your March 17 article on the life and untimely death of Harold E. Brooks Jr. [Mr. Brooks, a former weightlifter and nuclear health technician, was found dead in his Glen Burnie apartment March 16, the day he was to have gone on trial on drug charges.]

Readers should know that, although paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair, Harry continued to gather friends in Anne Arundel; in New York, where he was raised, and in Miami-Ft. Pierce, where his parents now reside. . . . Over the years Harry was confined to his wheelchair, he assisted numerous recovering alcoholics and addicts. . . .

It is a shameful indictment of our health care system that Harold Brooks and others in like circumstances have access to quality medical services for emergency inpatient care only. Other assistance Harry needed to live a reasonably happy, independent and productive life had been cut to shreds . . . by zealous federal, state and county budget cutters, who protect their own government perks by preying on the disabled and defenseless. . . .

Edward L. Riley

Annapolis

Learning Center

The staff of the Learning Center would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the concerned citizens of Anne Arundel County who contributed cash register receipts from Giant and Safeway to help us acquire new computers and other hardware. Without this community effort, we would not have been able to achieve the success that we did. . . .

James Lyons

Annapolis

The writer is principal of the Anne Arundel County Learning Center.

Frederick Douglass

On behalf of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education and the Banneker-Douglass Museum Foun dation Inc., we would like to thank all of the people who assisted the recent performance by Fred Morselle, "Meet Mr. Frederick Douglass."

First, we would like to thank Principal Laura Webb of Annapolis High School for the use of the auditorium for the school performances.

Second, hats off to social studies department chairman Al Stevenson; drama coach Chuck Dick; music instructor Bob Svec, and the rest of the teachers and students who assisted at Annapolis High School.

Third, we would like to thank the Anne Arundel County Teachers Association and its Minority Affairs Committee for co-sponsoring the evening performance and reception with special thanks to Beverly Giles and Bill Jones.

Dr. James F. Adomanis

Barbara Jackson Nash

Annapolis

The writers, respectively, are with the Anne Arundel County public schools and Banneker-Douglass Foundation, Inc.

Substance Abuse

Recently, I received a letter from the governor advising me that the Board of Public Works has approved funding in the amount of $90,682 for the construction of the new "Substance Abuse Treatment Facility" to be build at 2620 Riva Road.

This is a project being undertaken by Anne Arundel General Treatment Services Inc. and is welcome news to the residents of Anne Arundel County. . . . We owe a debt of thanks to County Executive Robert Neall and to Gov. William Donald Schaefer for their efforts to accomplish this project. . . .

Del. John Gary

Annapolis

The writer represents District 33 in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Unfair To Commuters

I am writing to object to the harsh treatment due to a minor parking violation by the Anne Arundel County police against Washington and Baltimore commuters.

The incident occurred on March 17 at the MARC train station in Odenton. The train station is located in a rural residential community, served by two-lane country roads with little provision for street parking.

The streets immediately surrounding the train station have "No Parking at Any Time" signs. The train station has a parking lot which, even under ideal conditions, is inadequate to meet the commuters' needs. Even though parking is very tight, the commuters make every attempt to avoid street parking.

The days following the March 13 blizzard were a commuter's nightmare. The available parking on the lot was reduced because of piles of snow, making it necessary for the commuters use street parking. On March 17, I arrived in Odenton around 5:50 p.m. I saw two police cars, four police officers, and two tow trucks, all involved in towing cars parked in the no-parking areas. (My car was not involved.)

I spoke to a tow truck driver and was told they had been towing for about two hours. I spoke to the officers and pointed out that the owners of these cars were law-abiding citizens just trying to earn a living. I thought the weather conditions and resultant commuting problems warranted leniency in enforcing the parking law. Ticketing the offending cars was punishment enough; towing the cars was overkill.

On my way home, I stopped by the police station. The officer on duty told me: "People are dying because you are parking on the street." When I asked him to explain that remark, he said the streets were blocked and that emergency vehicles could not get through. Had this been true, I would agree that towing was the proper action. In reality, the cars were parked as far off the street as they could get and were, at most, blocking a quarter of one lane, leaving adequate room for any emergency vehicle. . . .

In difficult times, average law-abiding citizens deserve support, not harassment, from their local law enforcement agencies, and towing these cars without warning was harassment. Actions of this type hinder harmonious relations between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. . . .

The long-term solution to this problem must be dealt with by MARC in providing adequate parking spaces for their Odenton commuters.

Kathryn Mead

Crownsville

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