Vandalism ruins parks for all usersFor two generations I...

the Forum

April 27, 1995

Vandalism ruins parks for all users

For two generations I have been using Burdick Park at Walther Boulevard and Glenmore Avenue in the northern section of Baltimore City.

As a child I enjoyed playing there, meeting people and using the facilities that either the city supplied or the community donated.

My four children have enjoyed the park the same as me. I hope their children can, also.

Being disabled and retired, I still try to take walks and exercise to the best of my ability. This winter I noticed new picnic tables, built by the city, with either taxpayers' money or contributions.

It has saddened and made me sick to my stomach to see what a few individuals with anti-social behavior have done to them.

First it was spray painting with words and designs that only a deviant mind can conceive. Recently I see some of the deviant writing gone for no other reason than that they were dismantling the tables.

Knowing that a park cannot be patrolled 24 hours a day, it saddens me to know that crimes of this nature are done under the cover of darkness and out of the presence of the majority opposed to this type of behavior.

This kind of crime attempts to destroy and take away from society the natural, inherent freedom of belonging and enjoyment. My ways of dealing with this behavior would go along with the consensus of speaking with the mothers and fathers who take their children to the park.

But as one irate mother said, who thought of a more stern way of dealing with them, there would be the few who make the most noise accusing us of infringing on the criminal's rights.

Albert J. Hata


Terrorist how-to

Regarding your article "Ingredients for bombs easy to get" (April 20), while I believe that the public has a right to know about events like the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma, I do not believe we need to know how to make a bomb.

Why is it necessary to print bomb-making "ingredients" in the newspaper?

I also would like to know why Anthony Feinberg from the federal Office of Technology Assessment in Washington feels the public needs to know how terrorists mix their explosives. Why do we need to know of such things?

If the experts could keep certain information to themselves, maybe poor innocent people would not get hurt. You could help by not printing this kind of information in the newspaper.

Tracey Foster


The real militia

I am most disturbed by the manner in which the press is branding the group of terrorists who destroyed the federal building in Oklahoma City, taking many lives.

I am of the opinion that these men are ruthless criminals of the most vile and odious sort.

Their cowardly bombing of a building full of innocent people, including many children, because that building represents to their twisted minds some form of authority with which they cannot reconcile, is simply horrendous.

Specifically, however, I am deeply concerned that the term "militia" is being repeatedly applied to this group of animals.

They are not militia. They are criminals. They are vigilantes. They are terrorists. They are extremists. They are not, however, militia.

Upon the wall of my club basement hangs a document signed by then Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Maj. Gen. James F. Fretterd, adjutant general of the military forces of the State of Maryland.

It is a commission, appointing me to the rank of second lieutenant in the Maryland defense force, the Maryland Militia.

It entrusts me with responsibility and authority to act, in times of emergency when called upon by proper authorities, to uphold and enforce the laws of Maryland, to protect the citizens of Maryland, to act as an officer, a gentleman and a representative of the rules by which decent people are governed.

To aid, comfort, assist, protect and rescue the people whom I have volunteered to guard with all that my flesh, blood and bone will endure, and if necessary with my life. I am the Militia.

I beseech the ladies and gentlemen of the press to choose the words with which they describe infamous criminals with far more care.

I express, I believe, the hurt felt by all my brethren across these United States who, through their actions and deeds, step forward and say, "I serve."

Alan C. Simkin

Ellicott City

The importance of newspapers

In his April 18 article, "Reflecting on the legendary years," retired editorial writer Gwinn Owens has given us an excellent and nostalgic look at The Evening Sun through the years.

It is his statement, "Today it is a sad fact that Americans have switched their evening loyalty to television, and this has made fearful inroads into the paper's readership," that I would like to address.

The decline in the number of newspaper subscribers and readers seems to be a barometer of our nation's inability to grasp the importance of keeping up with local, national and world events.

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