Let's be honest about crime and povertyI was struck by the...

the Forum

June 07, 1994

Let's be honest about crime and poverty

I was struck by the comments of Councilman Carl Stokes in your article about the two recent murders in the Oakenshawe neighborhood ("Slayer of lawyer rattles an already nervous city," June 1).

On the one hand Mr. Stokes says, "We're just not dealing honestly in this city with the issues of poverty and violence." On the other, "The media doesn't help the situation when they print the daily deaths of African-American males on the inside pages under very small captions while putting other deaths on the front page."

I don't find myself defending the press very often, but in this

instance Mr. Stokes' remarks are so ludicrous that I will.

Any murder is travesty, but the murder of someone like William McClain, a retired Hopkins professor, gets more coverage than that of a drug dealer because he contributed more to the community and therefore the community as a whole has suffered a greater loss.

It's really pretty simple, and for Mr. Stokes to inject racism is not only an insult but a kind of intellectual dishonesty. He's right, we aren't dealing honestly with poverty and violence in the city -- and neither is he.

As a city resident who's sold his house and is on the way out, I'd like Mr. Stokes to know that the primary reason I'm leaving is because too many officials like himself, who should be honestly discussing the city's problems and seeking real solutions, choose instead to spend their time sloganeering and grandstanding for their constituents.

William Bowie


Big legal bill

In order to defend the president against Paula Jones and Whitewater, his attorney is charging about $475 an hour. The average citizen could not afford a lawyer at half this price.

If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the state will appoint one free of charge. Under these circumstances the odds are that you won't receive the best defense.

Therefore, we need some legal reform plan that would enable John and Jane Doe to defend themselves at a reasonable fee.

If Bill Clinton decides to establish a legal defense fund . . . he will receive up to $2 million from self-interest groups. You and I don't enjoy that privilege. We need universal health care and legal aid care.

Joseph Lerner


Clinton and D-Day

After reading about Bill Clinton attending the 50th anniversary of D-Day, I find it an embarrassment that we have a president representing the United States who dodged the draft during the Vietnam War and was never part of our armed forces.

Instead of having former vice presidents, congressmen, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other active and retired service personnel represent our country, we were represented by a draft dodger. This is very degrading to the families of the men and women who served and are still serving in the armed forces.

The past and present members of our armed forces served our country with great dignity, integrity and pride. They deserve to be recognized and honored.

Thomas A. Simms III


Unhappy with cable

As a former Marylander recently returned from Michigan, I subscribed to Comcast here in October. Since then seldom has a week gone by that we haven't had interrupted service.

Michigan's Comcast service and programming was superior to here. Baltimore County deserves a better system.

Comcast cuts in on Headline News programming at 25 minutes past each hour with so-called public service messages featuring Bob Gunther, Tracy Bagley and others promoting Baltimore County officials in preparation for future political campaigns.

Gunther interviewed County Executive Roger Hayden in an interview taped last November. It has been played so many times that, as a new resident, I thought he was mayor!

Give us a break. If Comcast can't produce let's have another cable system.

J. Gordon Kroenert


Perfect score

I commend you regarding the article, "Student on a streak" (June 2).

Carla Boggess' 13-year perfect school attendance record not only proves her to be dependable but also a most responsible young lady.

At 17 years of age, Carla has mastered two of the most important aspects of her journey through life -- responsibility and dependability.

ally Herendeen

Ellicott City

New incinerator

Your article, "New incinerator proposal tempts council members" (June 1), only touched on the unanswered questions being ignored as the city rushes to a decision.

Where's the trash going to come from? Your article says it might come from surrounding counties but that no commitments have been arranged.

Director of Public Works George Balog says the city is running out of landfill space. Yet building a new incinerator does not solve that particular problem.

Besides, are the surrounding jurisdictions that purportedly would supply trash willing to take back the potentially toxic incinerator ash?

The article suggested that property taxes to be paid by Mr. Hackerman's facility are still a point of negotiation.

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