City's golf links operated well by local groupSince 1985...

the Forum

October 27, 1994

City's golf links operated well by local group

Since 1985 the city municipal golf courses have been intensely investigated. Every known golf association was invited discuss and make recommendations needed for the improvement of city municipal courses.

This resulted in the development of the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation, which consists of a volunteer board of governors. It manages golf courses better than any other corporation currently in existence.

Rounds played have doubled since 1985, and green fees are less than any other golf program in the United States. Meanwhile the courses are groomed and conditioned to match or exceed the best country clubs in America. Weed covered fairways are now weed-free, broken water systems have been repaired, old power carts have been replaced with new, club houses have been renovated or replaced.

Teeing areas have been expanded and cart paths installed, eliminating erosion and permitting handicapped golfers access throughout most of the year.

On an individual level, inner-city children's programs are funded and provided. Senior and women's golf leagues and tournaments are supported and encouraged.

The BMGC also hosts the Maryland Amateur Stroke Play Championship, which attracts the finest amateur golfers from across the state.

The lesson to be learned here is that responsible, dedicated and talented employees and volunteers, city and county residents, men and women, black and white, are all working for a common goal and demanding the best.

William F. O'Donnell

Towson

Poppy seeds show tests are poppycock

Kudos to Dan Rodricks for highlighting Oct. 19 the poppy seed imbroglio that denied a registered nurse a job because her bagel-loving ways led to a positive urine test for morphine.

American industry's passionate but misguided embrace of drug testing is costing millions in return for a laughably false sense of security.

What's wrong with workplace urine drug testing? Plenty.

It's inaccurate (witness our nurse friend), degrading (ever had to urinate in front of watchful eyes?), costly (currently a $600 million dollar drain on American industry), and an infringement of civil liberty (should our employers dictate what we put into our bodies off hours, if it doesn't affect our work performance?).

It is also discriminatory (that puff of marijuana -- the safest recreational drug currently available -- at a Saturday party will show up in the urine of even the most conscientious worker months later), deficient (a urine test is designed to detect illicit drug use, it does not identify alcohol -- the most widely abused drug in the work place -- or over-the-counter prescription drugs that can affect performance) and totally useless (since it gives absolutely no information about whether an employee is under the influence of a drug at any time other than the time of the urine testing).

To guarantee a productive, drug-free work place, what's an employer to do? Performance testing has proven to be a simple, cost-effective and timely means to determine an employee's fitness to work.

Satisfactory performance on a video "game" requiring proper reflexes and judgment before punching in on a time card guarantees a worker isn't currently under the influence of any drug or hangover that could affect job performance.

Unlike urine drug tests, performance testing gives useful information about here and now.

Does our nurse friend have any legal recourse? I fear it will take some one more indignant, more angry and with much deeper pockets to challenge the impropriety of urine testing. But if this woman wants to pursue it, my checkbook is open to help out.

Terry Dalton Hadley

Towson

People, not guns

First they banned "Saturday night specials," which were labeled the weapons most used by criminals. Then they banned assault weapons, labeled most-used by criminals. Now Toys-R-Us is banning toy guns, claiming toy guns teach violence and turn children into criminals.

Again, it's not the guns. It's the people behind them.

I grew up playing with toy guns. My role models were persons like Audie Murphy, most decorated soldier in World War II, and John Wayne, for portraying famous war personalities ranging from World War II to Vietnam.

I grew up not wanting to use guns to kill citizens or commit crimes but to protect my rights and my country.

I grew up loving my country and looking up to my country's heroes who fought for my rights in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

I always had a toy gun, as did most of my friends. We often played war (even though my father told me that war was a very horrible thing), always winning against the evil empire and marching through the neighborhood with the American flag waving proudly.

Toy guns don't make children violent; lack of leadership, values, role models and family guidance makes children violent.

If we are going to start blaming toys for our social problems, maybe we should ban little girls' baby dolls. Don't they promote unwanted pregnancies?

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