Live and Let LiveLetters to the editor with regard to...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 14, 1993

Live and Let Live

Letters to the editor with regard to smoking are just more evidence of how intolerant our society has become. I am a smoker, and from my experience, the letters you print are from a very small group of individuals.

I have never experienced the intolerance purported by these people. Yet The Sun at every turn continues to perpetuate intolerance and small-mindedness. Most of the people I know believe in some sort of personal liberty, which is the foundation of our country. I am respectful to them, and they of me.

For the one who said you were mixing apples and oranges when comparing smokers and overweight people, I totally disagree. The main argument and the huge taxes contemplated are strictly for health reasons.

Heart disease is still the number one killer, not lung disease, and heart disease is not exclusive to smokers. People who are overweight are at greater risk of heart disease and strokes. Being overweight generally is caused from putting too much food in your mouth.

I at least hope these intolerant people do recognize personal responsibility. The health cost of being overweight is every bit as expensive, if not more, than any smoking related disease.

As for polluting your air, it is your responsibility to run from the smoke if you are that concerned. We are not allowed to smoke in many places, and we sincerely hope that you will have the common courtesy to stay way from us where it is still legal to smoke.

I don't know too many people who live to be 97 and die in their sleep, although George Burns, with cigar in mouth, is making a good go of it.

Who are these people going to blame for their bad health when smoking is banned everywhere? Will it be the meat industry next? Who will be the next group of people to control the lives of all Americans?

I would like to thank The Sun for doing our country a total disservice by perpetuating small-mindedness and intolerance. Keep up the good work. We will all be living in a totalitarian society soon.

Jean Walker

Severn

School Wrecking

How to wreck a good Baltimore County school system:

1. Hire a superintendent whose contract elsewhere was not renewed. In Frederick County, a system of 45 schools and 25,000 students, a former president of the Frederick County Teachers Association described Dr. Stuart Berger's leadership as "intimidating" and "iron-fisted."

Dr. Berger then went on to the Wichita, Kan., school system of 104 schools and about 43,000 pupils. He left after three years to come to Baltimore County, one of the largest school systems in the United States, with over 145 schools and approximately 93,000 students spread over a large metropolitan and rural area.

2. Demoralize the staff with unreasonable replacement and transfer policies. He failed to replace experienced supervisors (mainly leaders in curriculum development in subject matter fields in secondary schools); furthermore, he moved personnel from jobs in which they had years of expertise to jobs where they had little experience.

As this relates to school-based evaluation of teachers, it should be understood that central staff supervisors were not the primary personnel for teacher evaluation. This was a cooperative effort of principal, staff supervisor and, in secondary school, subject department chairmen.

3. Discard nationally praised curriculum guides developed by teachers representing all county schools. These programs offer diversification for students of varying interests and abilities and opportunities for teachers' choice of options.

4. Gather together an administrative staff more interested in catering to any new superintendent than in keeping their self respect and the respect of both parents and teachers by occasionally voicing an idea of their own or of insisting on maintaining aspects of the former system that worked.

5. Kow-tow to the whims of certain school board members who disliked the former superintendent, Dr. Robert Dubel, enough to find and hire the present incumbent.

Building a good school system takes years; dismantling it can be done quickly.

Before changes are made, policies should be developed through cooperative decisions.

Jean C. Sisk

Towson

Good Gun Policy

The decision by management of The Sun to discontinue gun and gun show advertisements in its classified sections demonstrates insightful leadership, sensitivity and a keen awareness of the scope of the problems of the unregulated sale of handguns, rifles and shotguns.

Stuart O. Simms

Baltimore

E7

The writer is State's Attorney for Baltimore City.

Bombay Stocks

Your May 9 story on emerging stock markets was very informative, but it unfortunately omitted mention of the Bombay Stock Exchange in India.

The BSE, founded in 1875, is the oldest market in Asia -- three years older than Tokyo's.

While decades of colonial rule followed by 40 years of socialist governments slowed down development of its stock markets, India already has 25 million shareholders, compared with 50 million in the U.S.

Daily trading volumes are equal to those on the New York Stock Exchange, though the value of individual trades is much smaller. With a capitalization of over $70 billion, the BSE is already larger than the smaller exchanges in Southeast Asia and continues to be one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

As part of the liberalization of the Indian economy, the stock markets were recently opened up to overseas institutional investors.

Computerization of all Indian exchanges should be complete by 1994, and laws governing stock and securities trading were recently strengthened.

These changes, combined with India's market economy and the enormous potential of 860 million people, should accelerate the influx of overseas investors.

A.V. Aiyengar

Baltimore

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