Light Rail Crime: Some Reasons WhyLight rail crime on the...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 05, 1993

Light Rail Crime: Some Reasons Why

Light rail crime on the increase? No wonder.

It can be directly traced to the shoddy manner of fare collection. I have talked to people who regularly ride light rail and never pay for it. They tell me that they are not asked to show a ticket and therefore don't bother to get one. In recent months there are more light rail police in evidence so some board the train, sit up front in the first car and look for them to board. If they are recognized as enforcers, the "no pay" passenger gets off the train at that stop and waits for the next seven minutes for another "freebie." I don't know the answer to this problem but perhaps some type of turnstile operation similar to subway systems will have to be installed at high-crime stops.

There is another problem being experienced by businesses in Ferndale. Storekeepers tell me that many times light rail police "dump" unruly or drunken passengers at that station by escorting them to a bench and leaving them. Needless to say, people in that community are not thrilled by the system.

I know that the light rail was constructed in a hurry and that many of the bugs have not been worked out, but fare collection, it seems to me, is a high priority item for many obvious reasons.

alcolm E. Holt

Glen Burnie

Snowden Thanks

The Fifth Ward Inaugural Ball will be held on Monday, Dec. 6, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Loews Annapolis Hotel, 126 West St., Annapolis.

This event is being held to thank the voters of Ward 5 and my supporters for their overwhelming vote of confidence. I am proud of the turnout that we were able to achieve in the Annapolis general election.

Our voter registration drive and our message to the voters proved to be very successful. Not only did we register hundreds of new voters, but we were also able to get many first-time voters to the polls.

As I prepare for my third term on the city council, I want the voters of Ward 5 and the citizens of Annapolis to know that I intend to continue to be their voice at City Hall.

I take my oath of office very seriously. I want to continue to make the system responsible to all of its citizens. I want citizens to know and feel that City Hall is theirs. As elected representatives, our job is to make sure that the services are distributed equitably.

I look forward to seeing many of my supporters on Dec. 6, where I intend to thank each of them and to announce my goals for the next four years. May God continue to bless us as we move to improve and empower our communities.

A Luta Continua. The struggle continues.

arl O. Snowden

Annapolis

An Unsung Hero

We in Anne Arundel County just lost a remarkable human being in a tragic car accident on Belle Grove Road. This 30-year-old man was not a public leader or a professional athlete. He was what I like to refer to as a person who fell through the cracks. Society missed out on giving him a fair shot at life. He was passed from one foster family to another. He was a student at Marley Glen School from 1978 to 1982. This letter is not about passing blame but to recognize a real hero.

Fortunately, Ernest Sampson had a strong bond with his church which was the one big positive aspect in his life. He had little money, no job at times, no transportation and very few material possessions. He has always been involved in church activities as well as social activities such as the dances for our special population.

We became involved with Ernest two years ago when he discovered Special Olympics. He became very active in sports and participated throughout the year in our Special Olympics program. This became a wonderful outlet for him and it was something he would never miss. He would ride his bike for miles to participate in practice.

What made Ernest Sampson unique in our society and a real modern day hero was his remarkable attitude toward life and people in general. Here was a young man who had little consistency in his life. Yet he was always positive, smiling constantly and ready to say a kind word to everyone. He would never forget a name or face. He appreciated everything people did for him. He was polite, courteous and thoughtful. This young man had a gift to always make people glow and grin from ear to ear. He had this remarkable ability to bring out the best in others.

I wish we could bottle Ernest's attitude, character and disposition and give it to the rest of society. He was a remarkable person who should not be forgotten. He had all the traits we should adhere to -- kindness, sincerity, thoughtfulness, manners, warmth and love to give. All these things are something in the human spirit that has started to decline. Fortunately people like Ernest Sampson come along and make us feel like there is still a lot of good in this world.

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