No reliefAs if the deaths of Mary and Walter Loch are not...

the FORUM

August 25, 1994

No relief

As if the deaths of Mary and Walter Loch are not tragic enough -- allegedly murdered by their own grandson -- their family also must suffer through the insensitive statements made by people interviewed in the Aug. 19 Sun, saying that they were "relieved" that the murderer was not black.

Where is our humanity?

I would find no "relief" to learn that the person who did harm to a loved one was not black, white, male, female, old, young or even mentally incompetent.

Loss of a loved one is painful, no matter what the description of the perpetrator.

People who appoint themselves spokespersons for an entire segment of our society need to stop making sweeping statements . . . They can't possibly know what everybody thinks.

In the tragic deaths of the Lochs, there are some of us who simply thought that a very bad person did a very bad thing.

Marie Cilemi

Severn

No character

I am greatly disturbed by many of the reviews I've heard of Tom Clancy's movie "Clear and Present Danger." It seems that many want to label the character, Jack Ryan, as a "Boy Scout" who is "too honest to be believed." Why?

Has society declined to the point that people generally consider honesty and integrity unbelievable? I think that this potential conclusion is a sad but true statement on American society in the 1990s.

I have always thought of myself as a "normal" person. Although I have my faults, I would not consider ever willfully breaking the law.

Having recently seen the movie, I can honestly say that I would have done the same things this fictional character was being criticized for. Is this wrong? Is it that far from the mainstream?

I guess I can answer that question when I look at my commander-in-chief, President Bill Clinton.

I must have been sleeping when mainstream America decided that traits such as honesty and integrity didn't apply anymore. I wish there was some way I could convince people that these things do matter.

I can find some comfort in all of this. I can hold my head up, stick my chest out and say "I missed the boat" when America was gutted of its character.

!Daniel W. Sullivan Jr.

Fort Meade

Kids and drinking

A new academic year is here, introducing our children to new classmates, friends and teachers, and perhaps even new schools and colleges.

Along with the excitement will be many new situations that will undoubtedly challenge them and their ability to make the right decisions.

One of the best insurance policies that we as parents can provide for their safety is open, respectful and regular communication about the challenges they may confront -- including the issue of illegal underage drinking.

To help, we at the Winner Distributing Company offer "Family Talk About Drinking," a set of guidebooks and video available free of charge to those who call (410) 282-1600 or 1-800-359-TALK.

Developed by authorities in alcohol research, education and family counseling, "Family Talk About Drinking" gives parents helpful advice on discussing expectations, peer pressure and respect for the law. The guidebooks are also available in Spanish.

Whether we're sending our children off to school in the morning or off to college for the year, let's remember the key role we as parents play in helping them learn to make responsible and healthy decisions.

eorge J. Acton

Baltimore

The writer is the director of marketing for the Winner Distributing Company.

Trash talk

It breaks my heart when I look about the neighborhoods of suburban Baltimore City and surrounding Baltimore County and see how we are literally trashing these areas.

I understand that all cities are going through financial hardships and many services have to be cut, and our fair city is no exception.

But we all can help restore and maintain the beauty for which Baltimore has long been known and loved (more so than as "The City That Reads").

We can hold on to our convenience store disposables until we reach a receptacle. When my kids were little, they stuffed tissue and gum wrappers in the tops of their socks until they could dispose of them.

Where city and county do not provide house-to-house bulk pick-ups, be leery of those who offer to do the job for a fee. They often dump on neighboring property, along the roads, in our parks.

I often walk or ride my bike through my neighborhood and pick up trash, and my nice neighbors thank me.

Don't thank me, join me. Stop littering our streets.

We may possess all manner of misfortune -- poverty, lack of education, ill health -- but we don't have to live with filth and trash. We have control over this.

Carolyn Bowman Brown

Woodlawn

Loving it

I am writing this letter after a recent trip I took to Baltimore to watch the game between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Baltimore CFL team.

In Canada, we are told how all large American cities are dirty and very dangerous. I was pleasantly surprised from what I saw in your beautiful city.

Your downtown is bright and exciting, the harbor is fantastic and your museums are plentiful and varied.

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