Callous DisregardJudge Edward Angeletti's sentencing of a...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 16, 1995

Callous Disregard

Judge Edward Angeletti's sentencing of a 65-year-old breast cancer victim to several hours in the courthouse lock-up for ignoring six jury notifications goes so far beyond the boundaries of common decency that I find it obscene.

Perhaps Judge Angeletti is one of the lucky people whose life has not been touched by breast cancer. He should understand that the physical pain and mental anguish that come with a mastectomy do not disappear after five months or five years. A doctor's release from any physical limitations does not change the horrifying experience that these women go through.

To put a woman who has gone through this trauma into a cell that is intended for rapists, murders and drug dealers is inexcusable. In a case such as this, a fine would have been adequate.

This type of callous disregard of human dignity is another example of why I hold our legal system in such contempt . . .

Philip N. Forshlager

Pikesville

Right Direction

As a real estate appraiser and one who estimates the value of property rights every day, I read with great interest your April 8 editorial comments on a U.S. House committee's actions regarding revisions of the Clean Water Act.

It seems you are objecting to the idea Republicans are espousing that the federal government should pay compensation for lost property values. You claim that it is "an insult to the environment" and quoted one congressman as calling these revisions a "polluter's bill of rights."

However, Republican actions are based on a different bill of rights, the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This

amendment clearly states that no private property shall "be taken for public use without just compensation."

A recent Supreme Court decision bolstered the power of the "takings" clause in a case between a plumbing supply store and the city of Tigard, Ore. In the Tigard case, the court limited government's power to take away property rights as a condition for allowing development. Moreover, the court stated that the government had to "quantify its findings to support" the restrictions and, if that was not done, the owners should be compensated for the loss of property value.

If the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers want to arbitrarily declare a puddle in someone's backyard a "wetland," so be it, just as long as they are compelled to pay just compensation to the adversely affected property owner. In the proposed congressional legislation, the loss in value would have to be 20 percent before there would even be compensation. In cases where there was more than a 50 percent loss, the government will be compelled to purchase the property.

This is only fair. In fact, it's done every day and in every state. Local and state governments honor the "takings" clause every time it invokes the right of eminent domain and takes property from an individual in order to build a highway which has been deemed necessary and in the greater public interest.

I believe that the Republican actions are a step in the right direction. The proposed law would dampen the ambition of an overly zealous bureaucracy attempting to trample rough-shod over an individual's constitutionally protected rights. To do otherwise would be an insult, not to the environment, but to the U.S. Constitution.

Dominic C. Corson

Bel Air

Going, Going, Gone

Peter Jay's column of March 30 regarding Mayor Kurt Schmoke's lack of interest in Baltimore rang true.

The Baltimore I first met in 1975 is disappearing. The excitement, the fun, the adventure is going, going, gone. Baltimore is being dragged down by poor management, poor judgment and overall neglect.

Hot flashes of interest in the "garbage problem" or the "drug problem" do nothing for the long term. And seven years of interest in the school system has had very little positive effect.

I was bemoaning the loss of Mayor William Donald Schaefer, wondering if he would consider returning to guide the city into the 21st century with the same enthusiasm as the 1970s and 1980s.

Then I heard Mary Pat Clarke speak at a neighborhood function. Here is that enthusiasm of old. Here is the "Yes, we can do it" attitude.

Bring back the festivals! Hey, here is the fun! It can be fun to live in Baltimore again.

People don't have to move, to run away. There is someone to bring the life back to the city. Sit up and take notice. Positive action in government can return.

Beverly Fink

Baltimore

Check Harassment

The Sun on April 5 had an article about alleged harassment of women in the military academies.

I do not condone such activities, but I wish an inquiry were made into harassment at the University of Maryland, Princeton or other colleges. I believe the level of harassment would be worse than that in the military academies.

Furthermore, there would be many cases of unmarried couples openly living together, which has not been noted at the academies.

V. Havard

Cockeysville

G; The writer is a retired rear admiral of the U. S. Navy.

Staying in Belair-Edison

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