Help TeachersAs a parent and professional in Baltimore...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 12, 1995

Help Teachers

As a parent and professional in Baltimore County, I want to know why the politicians, the media and the educators cannot seem to work together. I grew up in Baltimore County and attended the public schools, but I never dreamed that when my child entered the public education system I would have so many worries.

Shouldn't we as grown-ups be giving our children a positive example? How can we expect them to respect their educators and their education when the community does not? I am tired of picking up The Sun in the morning and reading about what is wrong with the education system. There is plenty that's right, why not report it?

Teachers have a job that I would not want and one that many professionals would not put up with. Many educators put in long hours. They do not receive overtime pay, "comp" time or any type of monetary recognition. Their reward is the individual benefit that they receive from educating our children. Would the professionals in our society accept this? I think not.

If we all channeled our negative energies into positives it could only make things better. I challenge the politicians and news media to reinforce the positive and work with the county's educators and not against.

Laura C. Hearn

White Marsh

Conservation

When Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.) says that a good bit of his concern for protecting the environment comes from his days in the northern Rockies (Aug. 20), I know where he's coming from.

And I hope he keeps going where he's going, pushing his fellow Republicans to live up to the legacy left by Theodore Roosevelt, a purebred conservationist.

We will need their help this fall. Among the bills moving forward are proposals to set up a national parks closure commission, open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's coastal plain (America's Serengeti) to oil drilling, and turn over public forests and canyonlands to the states -- or just sell them to private interests.

Polls show this is not what Americans want their representatives to do. By a 70-to-20 percent margin, for example, they oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge. But it is the special interests who are calling the shots; contributions to Congress for the first six months of the election are 38 percent higher than they were two years ago.

I hope more newspapers will shine their lights on members of Congress, who, like Gilchrest, are rejecting the old nostrum ''to get along, go along." We need more people on Capitol Hill with the courage of their convictions.

Michael D. Scott

Bozeman, Mont.

The writer is Northern Rockies regional director, The Wilderness Society.

Thanks to Knapp

I would like to report how many of us who saw Michael Knapp every day at the office saw a very different person than was ever reported in your paper. I have only known him since he became secretary of the Maryland Department of Personnel. This is not about the often unfortunate fates of political nominees and appointees. This is about the very significant person appointed to be the first secretary of personnel during the Glendening administration.

Mike Knapp during his tenure was one of the most effective and inspiring leaders I have encountered in my career. His grasp of problems and possible solutions, and his ability to communicate his thoughts, amazed me. He believed the problems were the system and not the people, and he communicated his belief in us to us. His energy and devotion to delivering the best possible services to our customers convinced us to re-look at so many previous conclusions and standards of performance. He re-energized so many of us.

His short tenure at the Department of Personnel was one of the most significant highlights of my long tenure here. Thanks for stopping by, Mike. You will not be forgotten.

Nelson L. Sutton III

Baltimore

Economic Balance

It is a fine trait in people to see something good in those who don't merit it. However, even this can be carried to the ridiculous.

Arthur L. Laupus' letter, ''Tobacco's Value," calls attention to the fact that it was ''the chief export of many colonies, like Maryland,'' that in the 1920s it was ''promoted as a form of weight control," that the industry employs directly and indirectly ''enormous numbers of people'' from the farmer all the way to those engaged in health careers, that it ''serves as a goodwill ambassador and helps balance the trade deficit.''

One can justify its use prior to the knowledge that it was a chronic killer without peers. The despicable thing is that the tobacco industry was aware of its ability to adversely affect the health of smokers but hid the evidence and denied it for years.

They have targeted children, though refusing to admit this fact, since they knew that the time to hook individuals was when they were most vulnerable. We are now learning that the suggestion was even entertained to produce a candy with nicotine to initiate the habit.

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