Likes Police KioskThis is to publicly congratulate Police...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 21, 1995

Likes Police Kiosk

This is to publicly congratulate Police Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier on the installation of the first "koban" (kiosk) police station at Market Center. This is a great way to bring the police to the people.

The Inner Harbor, Lexington Market and Mondawmin are all candidates for kobans.

The commissioner is doing more policing by being visible rather than just increasing the number of police. Common sense tells us that the kobans will be another effective tool in preventing crime and giving confidence to law-abiding citizens.

Richard H. Trainor

Baltimore

AARP's Finances

Before writing the April 11 letter to the editor, "AARP Grants," Rita A. Stemler would have been well advised to check her facts. Her letter is riddled with errors.

As part of its outreach efforts the American Association of Retired Persons administers nine grant-funded programs. Most of the funds finance two programs providing employment opportunities to older Americans.

Ninety percent of all federal dollars received by AARP in 1994 went to its Senior Community Service Employment Program ($49 million from the Department of Labor) and its Senior Environmental Employment Program ($23 million from the Environmental Protection Agency).

All grant money goes directly to cover the costs of the programs that AARP administers and does not directly benefit the association. In fact, AARP must contribute additional funds each year to cover the true costs of these programs.

AARP does not own its Washington headquarters building. It leases it, which, on my map of the District of Columbia, is 12 blocks from the Capitol, not two. Annual membership dues are $9, not $5.

Ms. Stemler's assertion that AARP executives receive inflated salaries is absurd. The association's policy has always been to remain within the middle range of compensation as compared with other national organizations.

AARP's officers and directors serve as volunteers without compensation and are reimbursed by AARP only for travel and subsistence costs incurred in carrying out their duties.

Edna Butcher

Baltimore

The writer is associate area vice president for AARP Area 3, which includes Maryland.

Brainy Films

Although I live in the Washington area, each week I look forward to reading Stephen Hunter's reviews in The Baltimore Sun. He is a very intelligent and disconcerting critic, but I feel compelled to correct some factual errors in his review of "Rob Roy."

First, Charles II was not the ruler of Great Britain at the time the events in the movie begin (1713), but rather his niece, Queen Anne. Presumably, George I of the House of Hanover succeeded Anne by the end of the movie.

Second, while I do not dispute that the Scottish Highlanders suffered under the English in the 18th Century, it is not true that England acquired Scotland by military force.

King James VI of Scotland succeeded Elizabeth I to the English throne in 1603. The kingdoms of England and Scotland were officially united in 1707 by joint acts of both the English and Scottish parliaments.

Finally, Tim Roth did not play gangsters in the Quentin Tarantino films "Reservoir Dogs" and "Pulp Fiction." In the former, Roth plays an undercover policeman, while in the latter, he plays a happily married stick-up artist who picks the worst possible moment to rob a pancake restaurant.

That being said, I whole-heartedly agree with Hunter about "Rob Roy." It is refreshing to finally see an exciting action-adventure movie that is so intelligently written, acted and directed.

I sincerely hope this film does very well at the box office. Too many Hollywood movies aim to pander to the lowest common denominator, and it would be terrific to prove to the major studios that you can still make a lot of money if you assume the audience has a brain.

Edward J. Cunningham

Silver Spring

Reggie Lewis was Smeared

I find your coverage last month regarding the death of Reggie Lewis utterly offensive. The irresponsible "journalism" that was published by your paper is appalling.

Reggie Lewis starred at East Baltimore's Dunbar High School and enjoyed a great career at Northeastern University. He found fame and fortune as captain of the Boston Celtics.

He was a fine role model both on and off the court. He graciously donated his time and money to various Boston and Baltimore charities. Inexplicably, The Sun has smeared our hometown hero's reputation.

On March 10, The Sun ran a front page story citing cocaine use as a possible cause of Mr. Lewis' death. Two Sun sports columnists also devoted their space to the story. The stories were almost entirely based on a March 9 Wall Street Journal story.

Unfortunately the article was based mostly on innuendo and unnamed sources. It was long on allegation and short on fact . . .

Meanwhile, there is no proof that I've seen or heard that Mr. Lewis used drugs. There were no drugs in his body when he died.

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