Amprey leadsI applaud the decision of School...

the Forum

August 03, 1994

Amprey leads

I applaud the decision of School Superintendent Walter Amprey to shake up Baltimore City's educational system by directing greater resources and authority to the schools themselves.

My children both attended Baltimore public schools. I was active because they were in public school and because through the International Visitors Center (the former name of the Maryland International Center) I initiated an international teacher exchange program in Baltimore.

My experiences on both fronts were unremittingly frustrating because of the fiefdoms in the school department's central administration.

My conclusion after many years of involvement was that central administration should be abolished and reconstituted to actually serve the schools rather than suck the life out of them.

I doubted that anyone could take on the unions, however, whose members appear to perceive a benefit in maintaining the status quo.

I fully support Mr. Amprey's efforts to redirect resources and power to the schools. I also would encourage citizens, parents and students who feel as I do to take the initiative and call or write letters of encouragement.

Mr. Amprey is acting like a real leader, one who cares deeply enough about our children to take action that puts his own career at risk. Let's give him our support.

Suzanne H. O'Hatnick

Baltimore

Tobacco ban

I have been a smoker for 28 years. Now the state wants to ban smoking in all workplaces and sue the tobacco companies because of the health risk. Yet somehow it's OK for the state to invest its funds in the tobacco industry.

Tobacco isn't the only health risk. If the state wants to sue the tobacco companies then why not also sue the food companies over the high cholesterol, sodium and fat content of their products, which is also a health risk?

Moreover, many pesticides used on fruits and vegetables are not even FDA approved. No matter how much you rinse fruit and vegetables it's still on them.

I don't see how the state can let something like that go by. If the state really does want to lower the risk of heart disease, etc., it should put a ban on all the other companies that endanger our health.

Olivia Morris

Baltimore

Party and nation

As a registered Democrat, I'm embarrassed by the actions taken by the Democrat-controlled House Banking Committee to stifle the inquiry relating to Madison-Whitewater. As an ordinary, middle-class, tax-paying citizen, I am outraged.

Common sense tells me that when a dozen White House aides contact Treasury Department and Resolution Trust Corporation officials on at least 20 different occasions regarding an RTC criminal referral to the Justice Department in a Whitewater-related investigation that involved the president, they certainly weren't making social calls.

I wish the members of my party who are more concerned about protecting the president than they are about protecting the presidency would remember that the nation is more important than the party.

Richard T. Seymour

Baltimore

Tax gambling

A possible funding source for universal health care for all Americans might be the billions of dollars generated by legalized gambling.

A tax of 1 percent, or even a half of 1 percent, on the profits of lotteries, casinos and games of chance would probably be more than sufficient.

This might qualify as a sin tax, but could also be considered an aspect of mental health, since gambling is addictive (case of Pete Rose).

The results are comparable to the cost and family losses due to nicotine addiction.

I hope this suggestion can receive serious consideration, so that the chance to achieve effective reform of our health care system will not be lost.

Marjorie Plitt

Cockeysville

Speeders beware

State police Superintendent Larry W. Tolliver and his troopers should be encouraged to enforce the speed laws in Maryland.

While many drivers gripe at the 55-mile-per-hour speed limit, complaining that it should be 60 or 65 miles per hour, the reality is that our highways are sufficiently congested that driving above 55 miles per hour is extremely dangerous.

Similarly, I would enjoy seeing the troopers giving citations to operators who drive 10 miles or more below the speed limit. Often these drivers have been drinking, which impairs their ability to gauge their speed.

Keep up the good work, Colonel Tolliver.

E. David Silverberg

Towson

Dollar diplomacy

In a recent column about Haiti, Georgie Anne Geyer suggested that some power "recolonize" the country (Other Voices, May 9).

What an amazing thing to say from a nation that considers colonialism as loathsome as communism and which pressured Europe's colonial powers to grant independence to their charges after World War II.

In a fast-changing world, that was like turning children out onto the streets to fend for themselves. The suddenness of freedom did not allow for the growth of political maturity under a benevolent administration.

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