Political behavior shows no mannersWhat a sad commentary...

LETTERS

February 01, 1996

Political behavior shows no manners

What a sad commentary on the manners and mores of our times that some new members of Congress had to be given lessons in decorum, courtesy and etiquette before the president's State of the Union address.

This, after all, was not a political electioneering speech but a report to U.S. citizens by the president, who followed a precedent set by George Washington.

At the very least, it behooves everyone to acknowledge respect for the office, despite any personal animosity toward the individual. It seems a reflection of the times that respect and courtesy toward others have all but disappeared.

Those qualities can often smooth the way toward greater understanding between individuals and perhaps lessen tensions among those with conflicting opinions.

Dorothea T. Apgar

Baltimore

Blacks represented by whites on council

I am dismayed that Councilman Melvin L. Stukes, leader of the African-American Coalition, would convene only a portion of the Baltimore City Council to discuss how politicians can better assist the black community.

As a candidate for City Council last year in the First District, I was prepared to serve all constituents of the district and the city, regardless of race.

The First District has a large number of African-American residents and businesses and that number is growing. When issues of the black community are discussed, the discussion should include all the politicians that represent them.

This retreat will work against the African Americans living in the First District because all of their council members are white and were not allowed to attend the retreat. Is this how we go about helping the black community in Baltimore? This retreat does not help, it only hurts.

In November, city voters chose a council that would work together to tackle issues affecting all city residents and businesses. I would like to remind Councilman Stukes of that fact.

Kelly Ray

Baltimore

No tax is temporary, even if snow is

Walter Boyd's Jan. 18 letter about a temporary gasoline tax to pay for snow removal sounds like a very good idea, except that the state of Maryland does not know what the word temporary means.

When the piggyback tax was enacted, it was to be temporary. It has out-lasted many of us since its enactment and is still going strong.

We do not need any more temporary taxes to eventually become permanent. Gov. Parris Glendening can use some of the stadium money to pay for snow removal.

Gabriel Quetel

Shady Side

Public school systems need the arts

There has been speculation that many school systems will drop arts programs (including music) to balance their budgets. My eternal thanks go to Baltimore County Commissioner C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger III and Superintendent of Baltimore County Schools Anthony Marchione for their decision to keep the arts as an integral part of their curriculum.

I was privileged to attend the Baltimore County All-County High School Band, Chorus and Orchestra Concert at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Jan. 22.

Some 350 talented young musicians, selected at auditions at all Baltimore County high schools, were truly inspiring. Their dedication to their craft was obvious.

It is encouraging to know we have these dedicated young people who someday will lead our country. . . . These are teen-agers whose days are filled with exciting and satisfying projects and who always find time to be involved in interesting school projects.

I hope other school systems will take note of how important the arts are in keeping our young people interested and fulfilled.

It might also interest our Congress to know that reducing budgets vicariously is not the answer to our problem.

Anything concerning the welfare of young people should not be a part of any political agenda.

Beverly R. Leventhal

Pikesville

Slum landlord proves oversight breakdown

The story about a city housing inspector who is a slum landlord, with visible violations, brings to mind the quotation, "Who will watch over those who watch over us?"

McNair Taylor

Baltimore

Pasta is not at fault but overeating is

I read with interest Susan Reimer's Jan. 14 column, ''A confirmed spaghetti addict finds the latest in food facts is hard to swallow,'' and hope my comments can help clear up some of her misconceptions about pasta and other complex carbohydrates.

Scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in support of a diet high in complex carbohydrates, the type of carbohydrate found in pasta and other grain-based foods. Populations around the world that eat diets high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat enjoy far less obesity and lower rates of heart disease and cancer than we do in this country.

Our weight gain over the past decade has several causes. However, eating pasta is not one of them. Eating any food in excess -- whether carbohydrate, protein or fat -- can cause weight gain.

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