Comparing CrimesAre we to believe that Jeffrey A. Hubbard...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 01, 1995

Comparing Crimes

Are we to believe that Jeffrey A. Hubbard equates carjacking with attempted theft of a vehicle? His March 20 letter suggests that police resources should be equally dedicated to his unfortunate situation as they were to a carjacking-kidnapping.

Kidnapping and carjacking are both very serious felonies. The police would be remiss not to devote every possible effort to apprehend the perpetrators in either case. Vehicle theft and other property crimes rightly take a back seat to violent crime.

Mr. Hubbard also complained about the reluctance of the police to hold suspects in his case, due to the lack of evidence. I applaud the action of the police, as the Constitution protects us from unreasonable search.

Mr. Hubbard suggests that a carjacking victim in West Baltimore would have been denied the same attention as the Roland Park residents. The fact is, the majority of police resources are expended in neighborhoods other than Roland Park.

I would like to see concrete proof that any police officer in Baltimore ever treated a victim as he suggests. I would suggest that police officers typically are empathetic toward victims in cases of violent crime.

Michael Horst

Baltimore

Utility Stock

The Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. proxy statement indicates that outside directors receive a pension benefit equal to 100 percent of their base compensation after just five years of service.

This contrasts with the employee pension benefit, which is 45 to 60 percent of compensation.

The company had to offer "early retirement" to employees in order to reduce expenses. The report to shareholders emphasizes cost awareness to keep the company competitively priced. The role of the outside director must be to protect both the shareholder and ultimately the consumer interest.

Have they accomplished this role? BGE underperformed the Dow Jones Utility Index for the past 5 years.

Joseph B. Herron

Timonium

English Only

What, again? The General Assembly has had several bills in the chute this session making English Maryland's official language.

This offensive waste of taxpayers' resources has been going on during every State House season since the mid-'80s. And somehow somebody with good sense has each year killed it.

Why is it back in 1995? Which of the part-time legislators collecting a full-time wage is re-doing this mischief?

Maybe there is a threat I'm not aware of. The Piscataway or the Lumbees could be insisting on information printed in their exotic languages at state government expense.

Perhaps the Ukrainians and Carpatho-Rusyns demand the right to plead their cases in court in their own tongue. Some school district, maybe, wants to replace its English literature classes with Latin and Greek classics.

In this era of adapting to the Republican Party's values, I don't understand these politicians' failure to see the best hope for maintaining English as the main mode of this society's communication in the market place. You don't know English? You can't work here till you do.

Imagine, English is everywhere becoming the language to learn, even in Uzbekistan, for Pete's sake. But here some few think it needs an official status to continue in its historic role.

!Matthew-Daniel Stremba

Baltimore

He Said, She Said

Whether it was done by design or by chance, the Mike Littwin column of March 6 and the Ellen Goodman column of March 7, both on the subject of Marcia Clark, make for what could be the best debate on a social issue The Sun has printed in quite a while. Nice work.

Richard Berman

Baltimore

Free for Adoption

A Sun article March 12 about a white woman's struggle to adopt three African-American children for whom she has been caring noted that leaders of the Maryland chapter of the NAACP, citing this case, criticized the way Social Services officials and the courts handle interracial adoptions.

They are asking Gov. Parris Glendening to investigate cases of interracial adoption.

At the same time, there are over 450 children in Maryland, the majority of whom are African-American, who are free for adoption but are waiting for adoptive homes.

Wouldn't it make more sense for the Maryland NAACP to work with its members to find homes for these children than to spend time investigating caring people who are willing to make a place in their home for a child?

After all, aren't we all fighting for the same thing, that all kids of all races have a permanent place to call home?

Susan P. Leviton

Baltimore

The writer is associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Good and Evil at Notre Dame

The reaction of a small but vocal group of parents, as noted in the March 21 article, "Notre Dame Prep parents protest explicit video," points to a much deeper precept: The moral values instilled by the families in their daughters are so weak, and the "traditional Christian values" themselves are so tenuous, that the values and morals can be seriously undermined by exposure to a one-hour video.

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