He was firedIt was reported June 28 in Dan Rodrick's...

the Forum

July 17, 1995

He was fired

It was reported June 28 in Dan Rodrick's column that WJHU radio gave Bill Spencer no notice that he was being terminated and that he was escorted out of the building.

I have heard of one other similar instance in the past year at another Baltimore institution.

I find it difficult to accept this lack of courtesy and civility. I wonder if such a practice is becoming prevalent among Baltimore institutions, businesses, etc.

Margaret Bright


Keep it clean

We're in big trouble. Our country's environmental, health and safety laws that have kept us clean, safe and life-promoting for the past 25 years are being torn apart.

The House recently voted to weaken the Clean Water Act, and some senators are now promoting a "risk assessment" bill to protect industry from health and safety laws.

This bill is supported by a big business coalition called Project Relief, but relief is not guaranteed with the enactment of this bill. It will hinder agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency so that they cannot enforce the laws that protect us.

Even if we defeat the "dirty water" bill that just passed the House, the "risk assessment" bill could effectively repeal laws such as the Clean Water Act because it would replace health-based standards in our consumer and environmental laws with cost-benefit analysis.

Two years ago, 103 Americans died and 400,000 got sick in Milwaukee because of dangerous parasites in their drinking water.

Since then, an estimated 900 have died across the country and almost 1 million have been contaminated.

The "risk assessment" bill makes it impossible for citizens to defend health and safety laws, and it provides industry lawyers with dozens of new "judicial review" opportunities to stop or delay a proposed or existing regulation.

The bills will make new regulations cost more (millions per regulation) and take longer to enact (more than 700 days longer for an average regulation).

Our citizens' health and safety laws are at risk and our environment is in trouble. Let's hope that Senators Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski can help defeat this dangerous measure.

Jahari Adjiri


The writer is an intern with the Maryland Public Interest Research Group.

Another Pressman

Baltimore voters ought to be peacock-proud knowing one of their better-known politicians, a retired state senator serving his Bolton Hill district for 32 years, has decided to run for the city's second highest position, that of the comptroller.

Not always a political muckraker, but not a slouch either, Julian Lapides nevertheless fully qualifies for the job.

He is a good man, sincere and honest as day is long. An ideal person to restore the public trust so badly devastated by former comptroller, Jacqueline McLean.

Assuring the voters that by virtue of his many years of fiscal experience, he can "cut wasteful spending and invest wisely" may not be all that easy, however.

Under the antiquated City Charter, the comptroller is one of five individuals serving on the Board of Estimates. The other "elected" members are the mayor and the president of the City Council who by custom heads the board.

The power of the board rests with the mayor and his two appointees, the city solicitor and the director of public works. The trio holds all the trump cards.

The comptroller and the president of the council seldom have opportunity to sit at the head of the table, and their votes are worth about as much as a bucket-full of warm spit.

Only the highly principled and feisty Hyman Pressman, well known and published poet, overcame this medieval and totally obsolete municipal arrangement . . .

Mr. Lapides' honorable political career qualifies him to be our next comptroller. Who knows, if he likes parades and writes poems, he may just become another Pressman.

Frank Novak


Are we at war?

I recently spent some vacation time at our Inner Harbor. Although I have lived in Baltimore my whole life, I had a new perspective -- the view of the city that tourists get. It was a very positive one.

The marinas, the hotels, the concerts and the crowds of tourists and locals gave the impression of a healthy vital city.

I was so relaxed that I read the paper at breakfast. Ironically, that morning (July 1) The Sun reported the death of Terrell Forbes, a 12-year-old who was shot two days earlier in his own home by a 14-year-old friend.

Something is very wrong in this city of contrasts. We are not at war. These children and their families don't deserve to live in a combat zone.

I only hope that whoever becomes the next mayor will focus some attention on the issue of guns, teen-agers and how many kids are getting shot, many of them younger than Terrell.

Barbara Cohen


Baltimore Colts era has ended

When Jim Speros brought professional football back to Baltimore last year, football fans were exuberant at the prospect of the team being named Colts.

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