School ViolenceThe recent shooting of Julie A. Lombardi, a...


February 28, 1994

School Violence

The recent shooting of Julie A. Lombardi, a teacher at the Malcolm X Elementary School in Baltimore, is an occasion for profound sadness and revulsion.

The shooting, to be sure, was totally senseless, dastardly and unconscionable. Our school district and Monumental City have been diminished to have Mrs. Lombardi, teacher of long standing, dedicated and able, immobilized and forced to endure a painful and long period of recovery.

In a recent telephone conversation with Mr. Lombardi, I was fortunate to have the opportunity, in the midst of his personal travail, anger and pain, to convey prayerful and heartfelt best wishes to him for a full recovery for Mrs. Lombardi and surcease for him and his family.

It is heartening that the Police Department has moved with alacrity and precision in identifying the alleged assailant.

The reign of terror and violence in and around schools and within the larger community must end in order to ensure the safety and comfort of Monumental City's most precious investment -- its children and youths.

Samuel L. Banks


The writer is director of compensatory education and funded programs for Baltimore schools.

City Scholarships

In response to the movement to eliminate city scholarships to the Maryland Institute, College of Art, I say: Don't throw out the baby with the bath-water.

From my childhood in the Thirties, at weekend and summer courses, through my teen years and later as a young mother and full time student at the institute, I was always on scholarships. We were never in position to pay even the modest fees required in these earlier years.

Thanks to the extensive training I was thus able to receive I have had a very rewarding life as an artist.

Now I am in position to help my grandson take many of those same courses, for which we gladly pay the fees.

However, some of his fellow students, very much in need of these courses, can only attend because of their city grants. As was my case half a century ago: No money, no school.

If something is wrong with the system, fix it, don't kill it.

Joan Erbe



As winter continues to grind forward, so does the consistently biased anti-hunting attitude of the Sunpapers. Heaven forbid that The Sun miss an opportunity to take another shot at hunters in order to ''sweeten'' their story. Your blood-thirsty approach to reporting about hunting-related themes never fails to end in sarcasm, ridicule and disfavor.

Your most recent shot came out of nowhere from your article about ''Honey,'' the dog who survived for 25 days without food and water after falling into a goose pit (Feb. 16). As an outdoorsman and pet owner, I read William Thompson's accounting of this story with sadness and concern. The training, companionship and time spent with our pets is evidence of how much hunters love their dogs. I'm sure that all pet owners felt the same relief about Honey's survival.

After a well-written documentation of the facts, the author then pulled the trigger. In quoting Cleveland Amory of the anti-hunting Fund for Animals, Inc., The Sun took its usual thoughtless and mis-aimed shot at the ''hearts of even the deadliest hunters.''

How would the rescue of a starving dog and the end of her awful experience not ''gladden the hearts'' of any pet owner?

What possible relevance does this added tidbit have to an otherwise well written article? If The Sun's attempt was to be fair, then how about getting a statement from Ducks Unlimited or the American Kennel Club? Both of these fine organizations would certainly comment on the remarkable will of Honey and how she was finally found by a hunter collecting goose decoys.

The loss of a pet is especially tragic to hunters whose dogs are often their best hunting companions. Had Honey not been an active and well-exercised pet, the story may have had a different ending. I'm sure that Roger Simon would have reported that the hunters had donated the meat to a soup kitchen.

Grant D. Soukup


Postal Trucks

A letter to The Sun (Feb. 7) compliments the newspaper deliverers for their successful perseverance during the recent "Ice Age," so opposed to the postal deliveries.

I second that comment, but do want to come to the defense of those mailmen who make their deliveries in those square mail trucks which have neither four-wheel drive or even front-wheel drive. In spite of the continued increase in the cost of postage to cover the improvement of equipment, I blame the U.S. Postal Service for the lack thereof . . .

Rebecca T. Orrick


Clarke as Culprit

I was more than a little taken aback to read Bruce Bortz's Feb. 9 analysis of the problems in the Baltimore City Police Department as revealed in the recent Sun series.

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