Face the real truth on drugsIt appears that George N...

the Forum

August 10, 1993

Face the real truth on drugs

It appears that George N. Buntin Jr. of the NAACP may have the keen vision to see that the so called "war" on drugs is not working and perhaps another avenue for this problem should be explored (news article, July 31).

A huge amount of courage will be needed to continue along this line of thinking.

It is a view not shared by Michael Gimbel, director of the Baltimore County Office of Substance Abuse, whose comment on the subject is "[it] would only create a larger population of addicts commiting more crime." I wonder if being addicted is a crime? He further ponders whether decriminalization would affect African-American communities more than others. I suspect that addiction has no race barriers!

For an experienced man such as Mr. Gimbel to not want to at least entertain the thought of an educational/rehab type policy instead of further criminal prosecution effort confuses me. Has he lost sight of where the war is raged? It's not in the courts of law or the streets. It's in the home and in schools.

Don't tell lies anymore. Face the real truth. Drugs are here and man will use them. What do we do differently from what we are doing now is something I would like to hear more about.

I want to have another choice other than the one being currently offered. Let's hear what they (the NAACP and Mayor Kurt Schmoke) have to say.

We certainly can go back to what we have been doing if we don't like what we hear.

Everybody is frustrated by the current situation. Don't give up, but open up. Let's think this out a little further together.

T. Guy Cook

Baltimore

No greater love

The Evening Sun on last Nov. 10 carried a front page story about "a Naval Academy grad, a B-29 navigator from Easton, [who] was shot down in 1952."

I am the widow of that flier. Our daughter Sue was six weeks old when her father was shot down.

On July 27, Korean War Veterans held a beautiful ceremony to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Korean War cease fire at the amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. Gen. Matthew Ridgway, just deceased, was honored by a moment of silence.

For my daughter and me, the highlight of that day was a "No Greater Love" tribute and luncheon remembering those who died in the Korean War and honoring the families they left behind.

For men veterans present, it was just another ceremony honoring their and their dead relatives' sacrifice. For Gold Star children and their mothers it was the very first time their sacrifices were recognized. We are, along with veterans, POW/MIAs, the forgotten of the Forgotten War.

A young medic in Vietnam wanted us to be remembered. Seeing 40 of his buddies killed in a battle, he entreated Carmella LaSpada to "do something so his buddies and their families would never be forgotten." She did.

Now these beautiful, tasteful ceremonies help in healing hurting families. All because a young man cared, took responsibility to intercede for his dead comrades-in-arms and their families, and a woman accepted the charge.

The impressive board of No Greater Love advisers includes such names as Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Cal Ripken, Jr. -- past national presidents -- as well as senators, other famous ball players and well known people.

It is supported by the following unions: Iron Workers, Painters and Allied Trades, Sheet Metal Workers, Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO and Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association plus private donations.

Mary Dunham Nichols

Baltimore

Not a contract

The Evening Sun in a recent editorial is misinformed in its commentary on the state's and the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company's recently announced distance learning network.

Your editorial "Tied in knots" (August 5) promotes the basic premise that this initiative is a contract and is thus subject to Maryland's procurement laws. That is simply and absolutely wrong.

There is no contract between C&P and the state. Just as C&P Telephone provides other services to the public under tariffs filed with the state Public Service Commission, C&P has offered to provide distance learning to the public as well.

The offer to provide that service does not constitute a contract. There is absolutely no obligation on anyone's part to buy it.

C&P's distance learning service is available to those who want it at a price set by public tariff. And it's a competitive offering; there are other providers of such services.

What that means is that the risk -- that C&P might lose money on this initiative -- is borne solely by our investors, that is, our shareowners. Ratepayers do not, and will not, subsidize or otherwise pay for this service through their basic rates.

John W. Dillon

Baltimore

The writer is vice president for external affairs of C&P.

We do need government regulations

In his July 28 Other Voices article on the evils of government regulation over the "past few decades", Daniel Oliver, a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, states that "there's one thing that those regulations have in common: They've failed."

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