Stand up, CalAmerica is about certain inalienable rights...

the Forum

September 22, 1994

Stand up, Cal

America is about certain inalienable rights, including the right to strike and the right to use collective bargaining.

But this country was founded on individualism. Americans came here because they wanted to protect the individual rights of citizens. The right to speak out is perhaps one of the greatest attributes of Americans.

We protect that right because we know how important it is. Orioles owner Peter Angelos demonstrates this when he does not go along with the herd and expresses himself to his own detriment. We thank you, Peter, for doing so.

In the player's group, however, collectivism takes precedent over individualism. We see this in Cal Ripken and others who collect huge salaries from their owners, yet seemingly show them no respect, accountability or appreciation.

This even extends to the fans, because they are the ones who help make professional baseball a success. Why is it that we can have owners speaking out but have well paid ball players muzzled?

It is un-American to protect one's collectivism at the expense of one's individualism.

We need Cal and others to speak up, because in that may lie the strategy needed to end this painful gridlock.

aymond D. Bahr

Ellicott City

Anti-stalking law protects women's rights

This letter is to commend the public servants working in the Montgomery County judicial system.

We read about cases all over the country of women being harassed, stalked and abused. I am especially appreciative of the protection afforded me by the county police, prosecutor, judge and their many colleagues behind the scenes.

I filed charges at the Germantown District Police Station in July against a relative who had been following me around and visiting my home despite clear communication from me that I wanted no contact. I made the decision to file charges after exploring all the options.

Among the people I talked to were Eric Johnson of the state's attorney's office, Mrs. Leibert at Adult Protective Services and Anthony Schmidt, a private attorney who volunteers one evening a month for the county.

Officer Chris Foreman patiently listened to my concerns and described how I could learn more about the laws of harassment and stalking.

Two months later, my case was brought before District Court Judge Thomas L. Craven by Assistant State's Attorney Alexander Foster.

A few days prior to the actual trial, the case was screened by Alex Marsico, who telephoned to ask if the matter had been settled privately. As a taxpayer, I appreciated this effort to avoid unnecessary expenditure of time by the courts.

Without delving into the details of the trial, I can describe the actions of the prosecutor as incisive. He under

stood my goal was to protect myself and defend my rights, not to retaliate against my relative.

The judge was able to understand the exact problem and, as a result, issued a decision and statement that were most satisfactory.

He applied the law as an effective deterrent against further harassment.

This case has been a perfect example of how the legal and judicial system can act to protect law-abiding citizens.

I wish to express my appreciation to all the people who were diligent about their work. They enabled me to attain the best possible outcome from an unpleasant situation.

L. Collette Nagy

Damascus

Benefits district

Are public funds being used to sway the outcome of a municipal election?

Greater Homewood Community Corp. has received $30,000 from the Baltimore Board of Estimates to conduct an election on the proposed ''Charles Village Community Benefits District'' (actually a ''tax district.'')

GHCC hired professional campaign strategists in an attempt to ensure the passage of the tax district proposal. If this is being done with money received from the city, there is obvious impropriety, just as there would be if a city official campaigned for re-election with public funds. As a Charles Villager opposed to the proposal, I am troubled by this.

I am opposed to the ''special tax district'' in principle. A benefits district would intensify the view of Charles Village as a white, upper-class enclave isolated from the surrounding neighborhoods.

Unofficial boundaries would become clearly defined and increase resentment. If we care about the quality of life in our city, we must fight for the improvement of all neighborhoods, not just those we think of as our own.

The benefits district proposal is short-sighted. If we have money to spend, let us spend it on social and cultural services that benefit us all -- for example our schools and libraries.

Further, I have raised questions about the mechanics of the election itself, particularly in regard to the way that ballots will be sent out. These issues need to be resolved before mail ballots go out as scheduled on Oct. 1.

Tom M. Padwa

Baltimore

City benches

In her Sept. 14 letter, Janet LeDoyen spoke of her right as a taxpayer to sit on city benches occupied by vagrants. While her intentions are justifiable, the reasoning she uses is silly and absurd.

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