World's an ash trayAs an adamant non-smoker, I try to stay...

the Forum

May 05, 1994

World's an ash tray

As an adamant non-smoker, I try to stay clear of those who smoke. It is indeed an individual's choice, and as long as they are not directly in my personal space, I will not lecture them on personal health (well, maybe sometimes).

Luckily, regulations on smoking in public places are becoming increasingly more strict (I smile with news of every new ban), so a non-smoker's environment is finally becoming more clear . . .

However, I was recently paused at a stop light and glanced down on the ground near a curb to notice several piles of cigarette butts.

Since then, I've noticed that butts are often strewn in areas where it is convenient for smoking drivers to empty their ash trays (such as parking lots).

At my apartment complex, the smoking tenants will drop their butts anywhere before they enter their own door.

Just this past weekend, I was at an airport and noticed a man emptying his pipe on the floor at the baggage claim as if it were his very own ash tray!

Okay, if smokers choose to pollute their own bodies, that is their prerogative -- but my patience wanes when they are so cavalier about littering our shared environment.

Donna M. Griffin


Female concerns

I must applaud the seven female senators who stood up to make a point about the retirement status of Adm. Frank B. Kelso II, former chief of naval operations.

Forty-three senators in all were persuaded to vote against an otherwise automatic approval of Admiral Kelso's retirement at full pension.

Some people tended to forget that a No vote didn't exactly put the ex-admiral out on the street. Rather, a rebuke would have reduced his generous government pension by about $1,125 per month.

So, too, the rebuke would have been a shot across the bow to the armed services that one of the jobs of high officers is to make certain that women cannot be (almost?) raped with impunity under their jurisdiction. Especially when the officer is in the building.

While we are on the subject, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but President Clinton would be well advised to appoint another female to the Supreme Court.

Even with another female, the boys will still enjoy a 2-to-1 advantage, so they should feel secure enough. How can a 7-to-2 ratio be justified with respect to 51 percent of the population? Was that the original intent of the Founding Fathers?

Richard Fulton


Able teachers

What makes teachers think they are God? Why do both the Maryland State Teachers Association and the Baltimore Teachers Union object to the removal of incompetent teachers?

How dare they equate firing a teacher for incompetence with a firing for criminal acts?

I and most other working people are required to perform our work at some level, or we risk being fired for non-performance. Why should teachers be handed a paycheck for showing up?

Anyone who works for a living is on "probationary status for the rest of their careers." This should include teachers.

Zev Griner


Drinking and driving don't go together

May is known as prom month across the state. High schools and universities celebrate graduation, parents are overjoyed with pride at the scholastic accomplishments of their children.

Unfortunately, these wonderful, once-in-a-lifetime events too often are marred by the tragic news that some young people were involved in a serious automobile accident because of making the mistake of drinking and driving on prom night.

When you think of the years young people spend acquiring an education and then take the risk of destroying everything because it's cool to be high, it's senseless.

Think of the pain, the suffering and the anguish. No one should wind up on a cold slab in the morgue the day after the big dance. Life is too precious.

As a responsible distributor of alcoholic beverages, we urge young people and the parents of these students to refrain from drinking on prom night.

If you are under 21 years of age, you are breaking the law if you drink alcohol.

If you are over 21 years of age, we urge you not to drink and drive.

We offer free booklets and videos in our in-house program, "Family Talk About Drinking," which covers

family rules, respect for the law and peer pressure.

Please contact us (410) 282-1600 for more information as to how you may acquire these materials.

eorge J. Acton


The writer is a vice president of the Winner Distributing Co.

Nixon and America

To say the least, The Evening Sun editorial page cartoon by Mike Lane April 26 was in poor taste.

The four living former presidents and the current occupant of that esteemed office gathered with thousands of American and foreign dignitaries, and many thousands more Americans in their homes, to pay tribute to the lifetime of accomplishments of a great American, Richard M. Nixon, who spent over 50 years, five-eighths of his lifetime, in service to our country.

Yet, The Evening Sun chose to ignore the positive accomplishments of this man to focus on unspecified "scandals" of the only two men since President Eisenhower to be elected twice to the presidency of the United States.

Did The Evening Sun feel that there was some useful purpose served by this display of poor taste? I cannot imagine any. This appears to be merely another example of editorial pettiness and meanness on the part of The Evening Sun.

Is there a slim hope that you will develop a better sense of propriety and, yes, respect, before the next former president leaves this world?

President Nixon liked to use sports metaphors. In that frame of reference, his life was major league, and The Evening Sun was bush league on this one.

Larry Spice


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