Dim view Of City's Neon BanAn article in The Sun (Aug. 10...


August 29, 1993

Dim view Of City's Neon Ban

An article in The Sun (Aug. 10) reported on the decision by the Annapolis City Council to prohibit the display of all interior neon business signs viewed from the streets of historic Annapolis.

What right does the Annapolis City Council have to dictate what should appear "inside" an establishment? Will wall paint or wallpaper be next?

My main beef is that this piece of legislation will demand that the 28-year-old Chick & Ruth's Delly, owned and personally operated by the Levitts, be stripped of its interior neon signs, which have been part of the establishment for some 25 years. The image of this deli is characterized not only by the personalities of its family owners and dedicated employees, but the decor and window "dressings," which include modest neon signs, the hand-lettered colored menu and lighted deli boards. This deli has become recognized as an institution in Annapolis.

An amendment deleting the "grandfather" clause, which would have protected Mr. Levitt's business, was introduced by Alderman Carl Snowden (Ward 5). Thus, the final vote taken was 8-1. I congratulate Alderman Samuel Gilmer (Ward 3) for having the intelligence and integrity to vote against such a "politically interwined" piece of legislation.

I would hope that anyone who shares a concern for what has happened here will call your alderman, as well as Mayor Al Hopkins, and urge a reconsideration.

Lois Banscher


Public Pensions

The Neall Administration, no matter how long the odds might appear, should seek court action against the 52 benefactors who are draining the county elected and appointed pension fund dry.

Clearly given the exorbitant price tag this pension plan presents to county taxpayers, the attempt should be make to cut back, if not rescind, these benefits. Throughout our nation's history, legal definitions have been broadened and contracted to support ground breaking judicial rulings.

I do not concur with the view expressed by some elected officials in The Sun (July 8) that only the government's contribution should be disclosed in state legislation to be introduced next year to make public the pension benefits of elected and appointed officials. The public has a right to know if an official is able to make a small personal contribution and, in so doing, leverage a relatively large public contribution. That cost-benefit ratio should be public information, and I favor full, not partial, disclosure.

John R. Leopold


G; The writer is a former state delegate from District 31.

Media Trial

Carl Rowan is right on target with his "Trial by Media Circus" column (Aug. 18.)

I'm puzzled, though, as to why he cannot apply the same sound logic and clear reasoning to his espoused position on the Clarence Thomas issue, which falls into precisely the same category of character assassination and preconception of guilt by the media. . . .

Alfred P. Di Censo


The Most Heinous of Crimes

I devoutly believe in the basic precept of our criminal justice system -- that a person is innocent of a crime until proved to be guilty. So, I'll refrain from using the names of certain individuals who have recently been arrested for various sex offenses with children entrusted to their care.

I'm referring to the teachers in an Anne Arundel County school who have been charged with sexually molesting students on the grounds and even in the classrooms of this particular school.

Few crimes are more heinous than one of this nature. We, as parents, turn over our children to people who, putatively, fill the role of surrogates. . . .

Nothing is more obscene and loathsome than to have these people not only betray the trust and confidence we place in them, but to also have them act in a manner which conveys a completely contrary message to our children than the one which they are bound by their profession to teach -- namely, ethical behavior. And when this is done out of nothing but sheer lustful behavior, these acts, and the people who perform them, become even more reprehensible. . . .

These people who prey on our children must be weeded out from those who perform in an admirable manner. And they must be punished to the full extent of the law when convicted of this crime.

Louis P. Boeri


The case of Ronald Price impacts all of us -- parents, children, teachers -- strongly, and could be a case that tests the limits of sexual abuse and how it is dealt with in the criminal justice system.

We who watch with dismay as psychiatrists and psychologists influence courts dealing with pedophiles and ephebophiles (molesters of teen-age children) are especially anxious about how the print media and television news people report cases of child sexual abuse.

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