Israeli GhettoHarry Polachek, in his May 2 letter to the...


May 14, 1994

Israeli Ghetto

Harry Polachek, in his May 2 letter to the editor, suggested exchanging the 125,000 Palestinians of East Jerusalem with the 125,000 Jewish settlers of Judea and Samaria to resolve two sticking points in the agreement between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Mr. Polachek claims both groups would be happier surrounded by large numbers of their brethren, and the Jews could be closer to the center of their cultural, artistic and religious activities.

Sounds almost like a medieval European ghetto, doesn't it? In fact, there is even a wall around part of it already. Is that why the State of Israel came into being -- for a sort of ghetto-away-from-the-ghetto for Jews homesick for the good old days?

Why ever would Mr. Polachek think the settlers would avail themselves of this "opportunity" to move to the center of Israeli culture, etc., when they voluntarily left it for the settlements in the first place?

This is just another example of naive Americans offering simplified, child-like solutions to complex problems they can not hope to understand, let alone solve.

J. M. Lepman


Blaming the Car

I read Jim Haner's article, May 6, concerning Ford Taurus police cars. I am a retired auto-truck-mechanic, in no way connected with Ford Motor Company or its agencies. I don't own a Ford product. However, I have 50 years of automotive hands-on experience.

Don't blame the vehicle, blame the operators.

These are light-weight, economy autos, which cannot be handled rough.

Since the government implemented mandatory requirements for emissions and then required fuel mileage to increase, the vehicles have been down-graded.

The theory is that it takes a certain amount of fuel to drive a certain amount of weight a certain distance. Weight is a factor. The entire weight of the vehicle is lightened.

Front wheel drive is a delicate thing on these vehicles. Front suspensions are frail. Brakes are tiny. Parts very expensive.

Preventive maintenance is not performed, mechanics are not qualified to stay ahead of unforeseen breakdowns. There is not enough qualified help to maintain these light-weights.

The agencies buy vehicles for a price. The vehicles of 18 to 20 years ago took the punishment and cost much less.

They required less maintenance and mechanical experience. They used more fuel, but were safer and dependable. Cost and vehicle downtime were the taxpayers' saving and law-enforcement's saving.

For example, Dodge and Plymouth 318 rear wheel drive police cars from Baltimore County and many other states and Chevrolet Biscayne, some 15 years of age, are still in service with hundreds of thousands of miles in this state.

Then they continue hard life as cabs with a million miles all over the country.

Students and lower income families in Northwest Baltimore own and drive these hand-me-downs, having very little problems.

We can't rely on a toy vehicle for tough jobs. All the other economy cars are the same, foreign or domestic. You can't send a boy out to do a man's job. You can send the operator out on the job with heavier rear wheel drives and chances are they will take the punishment and get the job done and save money and time.

I don't think Ford engineers or any other agency can modify the smaller vehicles.

Melvin Fried


A Miracle

It is positively a miracle to observe the total lack of confusioand traffic jams at the Baltimore Symphony Youth Concerts at the Joseph Meyerhoff Hall.

Aside from the main purpose of these delightful concerts, educating our youth through very entertaining and diversified music, the logistics of unloading and loading literally hundreds of our youth from all over the state with the parking of hundreds of yellow buses without some congestion is somewhat unbelievable.

I don't know the masterminds behind the planning of these most enjoyable concerts, which not only feature the Baltimore Symphony but also a narrator, sometimes a ballet and dancers, school choruses and solo singers, story tellers and even sometimes staging and scenery. They deserve many kudos.

Flocks of children enter the Meyerhoff Hall, sit quietly for 50 minutes and exit with little or no disorder. I have yet to see one totally disturbing kid dragged from the hall.

Let's thank our taxpayers and private donors which make these concerts possible. The children also pay a nominal fee.

Ruth Von Bramer


Enough Already!

It is high time to lay off President Clinton's pre-presidential sex life.

What useful purpose can be served by digging up this subject now? It is nothing but a cheap, mean shot at the president in an effort to harm and discredit him politically.

If Paula Jones was so upset about his alleged advances, why did she wait three years before filing a lawsuit?

Let the president get on with his work, and stop the malicious defamation. His prior sex life is the concern of no one but him and Mrs. Clinton. So far, she doesn't seem to be complaining.

Ruth H. Schaffer



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