Virtue in tenacityEllen Sauerbrey has proven by her...

the Forum

January 31, 1995

Virtue in tenacity

Ellen Sauerbrey has proven by her actions that she does not fit the image of a governor.

However, there is a job for someone tenacious who wants to uncover fraud and dishonesty: She could probe into crime and drugs and find out why so little is being done to make the streets safe and rid the city of the drug problem.

I wonder if her volunteers would join her in such a worthwhile project?

helma Neubauer

Bel Air

Emissions test

I am writing this letter because I thought people should hear a different opinion on the new emissions testing program.

I have been in the vehicle repair industry for many years, and I have had a special interest in emission and computer systems since the early 1980s.

If people would just get past the fears of changing times and put some thought into this program, they might see it's not as bad as they think.

Paying $17 every two years is not going to break anyone who owns a vehicle. (If it will, then they can't afford the vehicle anyway).

The waiver fee of $250 this year ($350 the next and $450 after that) is the maximum amount needed to be spent, not the minimum. So if the repairs needed on your vehicle only cost $20, that's all you have to spend, not $250.

Besides, how many people go to these quick tune-up and oil-change places expecting to spend $9.95 or $39.95 and wind up spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on recommended repairs just because the mechanic says it should be done?

As for having to let the technician drive your vehicle, the same people complaining probably have used a valet service before. And who doesn't let a mechanic drive a vehicle to find out what is wrong with it and never think twice about it?

The old emissions test checks the vehicles at idle. How many vehicles do you know of that spend very much running time at idle?

So they came up with a test that checks emissions during normal driving conditions, and people still are not happy.

Vehicle emission is a definite problem that needs to be addressed and taken care of. Just ask any mechanic who can tell what to look for just by symptoms caused by the exhaust fumes (burning and watering eyes, scratchy throat, etc.)

Why do you think mechanics vent exhaust fumes to the outside, because we know what they can do?

I'm not saying that the new test is perfect; I'm still gathering information myself.

But I do believe that it is a step in the right direction, and it is much better suited for its purpose than the old test.

Hugh Scott


Prayer amendment

I am a Republican who is not a worshiper of Rep. Newt Gingrich. But somebody has to set Gerald Ben Shargel straight about his claim (Forum, Jan. 26) that the new House speaker prematurely advocated a constitutional amendment on school prayer.

There is no way I would agree to a constitutional amendment that mandates prayer in school, which is not what Mr. Gingrich advocates.

He advocates legislation that would permit (not mandate) prayer or moments of silence for public school students who wanted to participate.

Acts of Congress are vastly different from constitutional amendments. Many pieces of legislation have been repealed, but only one constitutional amendment (the 18th, creating Prohibition) has been repealed.

Repealing a law requires only a simple majority in both houses of Congress and the president's signature. A constitutional amendment can only be repealed by another amendment.

I defy Mr. Shargel to demonstrate any coercive aspect of Mr. Gingrich's proposal.

Had he watched closely, Mr. Shargel would have heard the speaker emphasize that no one could be required to participate in school prayer.

Perhaps if more parents taught their children about God, we wouldn't have anarchy on our streets.

Chuck Frainie


Make Eastern an Olympic training complex

It has been years since Eastern High School closed its doors, and if we did not have the CFL's, Memorial Stadium also would have fallen into disrepair and disuse.

We need an idea that unites these properties. My proposal is an East Coast Olympic training facility.

Eastern High School could be remodeled to include dormitory and apartment-like housing for aspiring Olympians, their coaches, trainers and families.

The school gymnasium could be used for gymnastics training, basketball and wrestling; other rooms could be remodeled into weight and other specialized training rooms. Classes on health, nutrition, international etiquette and foreign languages also could be conducted.

Memorial Stadium could be used for track and field training. The training rooms, locker rooms, banquet rooms and offices left from its days as a major league stadium could be used for training athletes on their way to major league stature.

Any major league sports training facility needs a major league sports medicine facility nearby. Union Memorial Hospital is just down the street.

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