School officials have undercut Stadium areaMayor Kurt...

the Forum

September 09, 1994

School officials have undercut Stadium area

Mayor Kurt Schmoke and President Phillip Farfel and the rest of the school board have abandoned the educational needs of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium residents.

They have promised and lied, connived and back-stabbed those city taxpayers who have entrusted these individuals and their agencies with the welfare of their school children.

The teachers and parents have spent more than three years and all summer preparing for the time when they could have had a school in their community. Was all this in vain? Do those with such power have the ability to destroy the dreams and hopes of an entire community?

Whose interests does Mayor Schmoke serve? What Machiavellian plan is Superintendent Walter Amprey following? What antiquated and moribund educational philosophy does Dr. Farfel's school board accept?

Change is coming, like it or not. If these leaders can't lead, then they should get out of the way.

Myles B. Hoening

Baltimore

Crime bill sham

Congress has passed another sham on the American public, and the media have failed to pursue it. The crime bill package, which will cost American taxpayers $30 billion, will come from new taxes.

True, at first we won't see it. They'll shuffle it around so it appears that the next tax increase was not caused by this so-called crime bill.

Adding more police will not deter crime. Cops are hesitant to arrest people in certain instances which could cause riots and unrest. Cops are hesitant to protect themselves for fear of brutality charges.

When cops do make arrests, what is the chance of conviction vs. plea bargaining, legal technicalities, probation, etc.?

Many cops don't feel risking their life is worth it when more and more criminals walk, thanks to lenient judges who are out of touch with the working man. How many criminals serve time once they're convicted? How many serve their entire sentence? Not many, and not enough to improve safety.

Prisons are like old home week for the criminals. Their friends, gang members, etc., are all there and run the prisons. The first thing a guard learns is that in order to survive, you've got to get along with the prisoners. What happened to hard time?

There is no real meat in this crime bill because Congress did not spend a great deal of time exposing it to the public and allowing sizable public input. The administration just wanted to boast of passing a crime bill in 1994.

For crime, we need all violent prison time to be hard time. Work them all day, six days a week, feed them three squares and

provide a place to sleep.

Take the sorority house atmosphere out of prison. The only ones who fear prison are the guards and the person who makes a mistake and is convicted first time out.

Second, do not vote for congressional incumbents. Get the professional politicians and lawyers out of Congress. They're not part of the solution, but part of the status quo protecting their re-election.

If we turn enough of them out, they'll get the message and respond to the vast majority of hard-working, tax-paying citizens instead of to lobbyists. We have a chance this year. Let's vote them out.

Ronald J. Proskey

Hanover

Get involved

If students are disruptive in class, it may be time to have security guards in the classroom.

Parents and interested citizens could act as volunteers in schools. Our schools and children should be important to those in Washington. We need good role models so our students can grow up to be good citizens. Money seems to be available -- but not for schools. Let's get involved.

Zelda Buccheri

Baltimore

Let victims arm

I think I know how Dan Rodricks (column, Aug. 31) must have felt gazing on the pile of empty shoes worn by the victims of handgun violence. I felt the same way listening to the speeches at the Second Amendment rally on Aug. 14.

Like the silent march being planned for Sept. 20, this event was organized without media coverage -- through word of mouth and the passing out of fliers. The main organization sponsoring the rally was not the National Rifle Association but Jews for the Preservation of Gun Owners' Rights.

Now they have ghosts. All afternoon we listened to the screams of the millions murdered in the Nazi death camps, in Bosnia and in Rwanda.

I remember being convulsed with grief when a lawyer stood up and simply read off the names of three or four of the 80 victims of the Waco massacre.

We listened to the ghosts, but we were not silent. We answered back. "We will not let this happen in our land," we pledged, "nor in our communities, nor in our homes."

In the past, I have been inclined to regard guns as dangerous and loathsome objects. Now Mr. Rodricks has me frightened.

With every essay like his, with every "Silent March," the well-intentioned but misguided movement to destroy the Second Amendment is building up into an irresistible force, while the ability of the Constitution as a whole to protect me gets weaker and weaker.

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