Question of MeritsMany thanks to Bruce L. Bortz for...


November 08, 1993

Question of Merits

Many thanks to Bruce L. Bortz for pointing out in his Oct. 20 column, "The Shtetl Politician," that Sen. Paula Hollinger seems to use her religion as a political issue.

I, as a Jewish citizen from the 11th District, resent the fact that she throws her Jewishness around as an excuse as to why she has been slighted by Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

Although I haven't always agreed with the governor, I do not feel he is anti-Semitic. Yes, I agree that anti-Semitism continues in Maryland, but I do not feel it is the reason Ms. Hollinger does not have the support of the governor.

Moreover, the more she cries "anti-Semitism" the more she encourages it.

I, for one, will base my vote on a politician's merits and accomplishments, not on religious beliefs.

Maybe Senator Hollinger should resign herself to the fact that Governor Schaefer chose to support Sen. Janice Piccinini because of her merits and accomplishments. He obviously feels that Senator Piccinini is better for the people of the 11th District.

Judy Schwartz


Chaotic Station

To improve the level of service for our Baltimore passengers, Amtrak is currently undergoing a massive construction project at Penn Station. When completed in late 1994, there will be a parking garage for 550 automobiles and an attractive plaza welcoming visitors to your city.

Your Oct. 18 editorial, "Blockade around Penn Station," emphasizes the traffic problems that have resulted from the project.

Amtrak closely monitors the construction to minimize any inconvenience and insure safe traffic flow around the station.

A Baltimore City traffic officer has been assigned to control parking and traffic patterns during peak travel periods. The city has agreed to remove the parking meters on the west side of Charles Street and to convert those spaces to 10-minute parking only.

Similarly, the parking time on the east side of Charles Street has been reduced from 10 minutes to three minutes. Also, Amtrak is working to explore the possibility of relocating the MTA bus stop on the Charles Street bridge to provide additional parking spaces.

In order to prevent the chaos that can happen at an open cab stand, Amtrak has had an exclusive contract with Yellow Cab Service for over 16 years. We believe this contract enables us to provide better service to our passengers through the use of one cab company.

Amtrak apologizes for the inconvenience to our customers and the community. These temporary inconveniences will lead to a better level of service for everyone.

Howard W. Robertson


The writer is a public affairs officer for Amtrak.

Women's Guns

For years I have studied sexual assault and domestic violence due to its presence in my own family and in the lives of my friends. I have taken various self-defense classes, volunteered at two domestic abuse shelters and at a very comprehensive rape prevention and counseling program in Illinois.

In Roger Simon's Oct. 17 column on women and guns, Eleanor Holmes Norton, a congressional delegate from the District of Columbia, states, "Women are virgins when it comes to guns. The safest course is to remain that way."

Do you recall when it was a popular thought that women should not be well educated -- "for their own good," of course?

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., adds, "We're not down here to make women passive, but there are approaches other than guns.

"There is the Domestic Violence Act. There is better street lighting and better lighted parking lots. There are a whole lot of sensible things." These naive comments are from congresswomen who gathered to protest the National Rifle Association's marketing directed toward women.

Do these women realize that many rapes are committed in the home, where it is presumed with a flip of the switch "good lighting" is available? If a girlfriend of mine is savagely beaten by her husband should I give her a copy of the Domestic Violence Act and tell her to flip it out the next time he pulls a rifle on her? Is that possible?

These congresswomen are patronizing women, like myself, who want choice in how we keep ourselves safe.

They say the NRA's ads are exploiting fear to sell a product. Well, ladies, they are actually reminding us of what we already know. Due to their size, most women are simply more vulnerable than men when it comes to self defense.

A gun with proper training is a great equalizer. Or do these congresswomen think my brain is too small and weak to make a wise decision?

ary Gasparotto


Misplaced Nile, Ancestors

In his letter of Oct. 29 entitled "Black Egyptians", M. Olatunji Mwamba states that the ancient Egyptians were black.

In the course of citing authority for his convictions, he quotes a translation from an ancient Egyptian document: "We came from the sources of the two Niles (Hapi), at the foothills of the mountains of the moon, where the Attribute of God (Hapi) dwells."

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