Dangerous CountryI feel the same outrage as the Japanese...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 08, 1993

Dangerous Country

I feel the same outrage as the Japanese over the acquittal of Rodney Peairs in Baton Rouge, La.

It is sad that in our country that a 17-year-old Japanese exchange student can't ask a stranger for the address of a Halloween party. Where was the so-called Southern hospitality? Has it disappeared?

Rodney Peairs does not deserve acquittal of manslaughter. If he is so intent on owning and using a gun for self-protection, he should suffer the consequences of accidental shooting or unjustified manslaughter.

Only police should carry handguns, for they are too dangerous for the average man or woman to handle.

The United States is fast becoming a very inhospitable and dangerous country.

Ruth Von Bramer

Randallstown

Tourist Requests

I was concerned to read Robert K. Odenheimer's May 18 letter to the editor about a survey of state travel offices by the New York Times which did not reflect well on Maryland's tourism promotion efforts.

As assistant secretary for tourism and promotion for the Maryland Department of Economic and Employment Development, it is my job to ensure that we aggressively promote the state for tourism.

Responding to requests for tourism information is a large and very important part of every state's tourism program. In Maryland, we process over 300,000 requests a year. Last year, we received only three letters complaining that requests for information were not answered within an adequate time.

We contacted the New York Times and requested the name and address on their inquiry to check our records and find out why a response had not been received within six weeks. However, we were not able to track the request since the New York Times would not divulge the name of their surveyor.

We readily admit that to save money (which has been reduced due to state budget cuts in recent years), we mail tourism information third class bulk rate, which costs 62 cents and takes four to six weeks to arrive at its destination.

However, beginning in late February, responding to a large number of requests from out of state for information for the summer tourism season, we began mailing this information third class at a cost of $1.79, thereby reducing the response time to seven to ten days. This will expedite our mail at this critical time of year.

In recent weeks, since the New York Times article appeared, several of our staff have asked friends or relatives from out of state to write or call and anonymously request Maryland travel kits. In all cases, the response time has been satisfactory, most often with material received in less than three weeks.

We appreciate Mr. Odenheimer's concern about Maryland's tourism promotion efforts, and we will continue to try to improve our timeliness. We invite your readers to call our toll-free number, 1-800-543-1036, for Maryland tourism information. We will be happy to respond promptly.

R. Dean Kenderdine

Baltimore

Annoyed

In response to the May 23 article, "Hopkins blacks frustrated by slow change," I offer the following:

The young man in question, Henry Boateng, knew when he enrolled at Hopkins that he was not enrolling at Morgan, Hampton, North Carolina A&T or Morehouse. If his goal was to be educated about blacks, he should have considered one of the aforementioned schools.

I am an African-American, but I'm becoming increasingly annoyed by the young blacks who constantly cause confusion on college campuses by demanding more black studies, black student unions, black faculty, black this, black that . . .

I have yet to see any Asians, Native Americans or other ethnic groups go through all of this foolishness.

Mr. Boateng and his like should get down to what they are supposed to be there for -- to get an education.

Garland L. Crosby

Baltimore

Job Loss

The Sun's editorial of May 18, "A Mexican Lesson for Bentley," asserts that Rep. Helen D. Bentley R-Md. and eight other congresswomen, all of them Democrats, went to Mexico "in order to buttress their case for opposing the North American Free Trade Agreement. They went to protect the jobs of their constituents."

This editorial condemns such action because it would subvert the net gain of 400,000 U.S. jobs produced by the trade surplus with Mexico, would "sour U.S. relations within the hemisphere, and would undercut U.S. leadership" in the GATT negotiation.

No concern is expressed or strategy offered for those Americans who lose their jobs when management decides to exploit the lower cost labor force and unregulated business practices in other countries.

How to reconcile business' need to maximize productivity and compete successfully in a global market with the work force's need to maintain employment at a decent wage and thereby preserve a healthy demand in this country for America's goods and services?

The Clinton administration seeks to resolve the dilemma by extending unemployment benefits and retraining workers for jobs in American industries that can compete successfully in a global market while rooted on U.S. soil.

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