Cuts in city's job training office deploredWe view with...

the Forum

October 24, 1994

Cuts in city's job training office deplored

We view with deep alarm the Oct. 6 article on cuts to the staff of the city's Office of Employment Development.

"Sixty-nine staffers at the agency that coordinates Baltimore's employment and job training efforts are now looking for work," according to this report.

This happens in a metropolitan area that has employed half of all Maryland workers and has lost the most jobs since 1990 #F statewide.

These cuts seem to come at a time when we should be doubling our efforts instead of cutting them back.

These cuts also come at a time when corporate America is renewing its commitment to economic community development issues.

An article in a September issue of Business Week reports on how some businesses are linking hands with the inner cities because it is understood that "the only fundamental, lasting solution to inner-city problems has to be built on the residents."

While these renewed insights take on new meaning nationally, Baltimore is moving to a weakened position for developing these kinds of partnerships.

Although the article in The Evening Sun reported that these cutbacks would have no effect on program services, we are not so sure.

One of the key problems with the Office of Employment Development is its dependence mostly on outside dollars from the state and federal governments.

This funding pattern might be shortsighted in the long term if Baltimore hopes to be able to train and empower its citizens for today's economic climate.

If indeed the only way to economic vitality is a re-tooled work force, we need to find more local resources to invest in the lives of our citizens. We need to spend less time "hoping" for the best and more time doing for the best.

Rev. Edward Heim


The writer is the chair of the city Development Commission's Economic Policy Committee.

Saving money

I believe Edd Doerr doth err in his convoluted logic.

He criticized gubernatorial candidate Ellen Sauerbrey on her proposal to provide $2,000 per student tax credit for private school tuition.

His theory is that this will cost taxpayers $232,000,000 per year, since there are currently 116,000 students in private schools in Maryland.

What he fails to acknowledge is that these students are currently saving the taxpayers more than twice that amount, since it costs over $4,000 per student to provide a seat in the public schools on the average.

And if such a tax credit were available, there would probably be more than twice as many students transferring to private schools in a very short time.

Thus the net effect would be that the state will spend far less on public schools, and will actually come out spending less overall by giving the tax credit.

He also implies that this mass exodus would wreck the public schools. Well, he need not fear, since the public schools have been damaged far more severely by the current focus on social engineering rather than on education.

However, just as in business, competition is a good thing, and this may be just the shock the public school administrators need.

Then maybe they will stop thinking they know what is best for our children and start listening to parents.

John McClure


Black Confederates

I do hope, when the proposed Black Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to those brave black soldiers and sailors who fought and died so bravely in the War between the States, and those names are inscribed, it will also include the known 10 black men who fought for and maybe gave their lives for the Confederacy.

Those men, as listed in "The Civil War Book of Lists," include Old Dick, private, 18th Virginia Infantry; Jaques Esclavan, trooper, corporal, Texas Calvary; Jean Baptiste Pierre August, private, 29th Louisiana Infantry; Charles Lutz, private, 8th Louisiana Infantry; Lufray Pierre August, private, 16th Louisiana Infantry; Levin Graham and Gabriel Groppe, 6th Louisiana Infantry; and ++ Tom, Peter and Overton Ventres, privates, 6th Kentucky Infantry. These men were all voluntary enlistees and not forced into service.

Even though these 10 brave "defenders of the lost cause" are the only known black veterans of the Confederacy, there were, I am sure, other black men in the Confederate service who were "passing" before the war, but their names remain -- so far -- unknown.

Owens L. Pomeroy


Defend yourself

As a subscriber to The Baltimore Sun, I am often amused at the anti-self-defense articles and editorials that appear in your paper.

For example, the anti-self-defense lobby wants us to believe that it is dangerous to resist crimes like rape and assault, using a gun. In reality, using a gun is actually safer than not resisting or resisting with less powerful means.

You might be amused to know that defense with a gun results in fewer injuries (17 percent) than resisting with less powerful means (knives, 40 percent; other weapon, 22 percent; physical force, 51 percent; evasion, 35 percent, etc.) and in fewer injuries than not resisting at all (25 percent).

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