Community service shouldn't be requiredI am writing about...

LETTERS

April 05, 1996

Community service shouldn't be required

I am writing about the 75 hours of volunteer community service that students in the 11th grade and below must now obtain.

This new graduation requirement was put into effect a few years ago. My graduating class is the first to have this extra requirement. The people of the state school board claim that by making high school students do volunteer service hours it will teach the students responsibility and provide help to the community.

I feel as though many high school students have a hard enough time just maintaining good grades and doing well. The 75 hours of community service should not be a graduation requirement. Graduating from school shows that one has reached some kind of academic achievement and that one has done well in school and learned something.

Now tell me, what does having 75 hours of service have to do with graduating?

Kristin Schmidt

Baltimore

Adult day care is here to stay

For the past several weeks I have been reading articles regarding the shutdown of the adult day care programs in Baltimore County. This is probably not going to happen.

The Department of Aging is in the process of attempting to privatize the operation of this service. The county is not going to just throw the people out on the street.

The privatizing of the adult day care programs in the county is a necessary alternative at this time. In the county's request for proposals, the priorities for a new provider are as follows:

1. Experience, organization, technical qualifications, skills and proficiency or the ability to obtain them.

2. A proven satisfactory record of past performance.

3. Provision of services to participants with low-to-moderate incomes who cannot afford to pay the full fee.

4. Compliance with the proposed time of delivery or performance schedule to include transition of the program and existing participants being considered.

5. Submission of a plan to employ county personnel currently employed at the adult day care centers.

6. Adequate financial resources for performance, or ability to obtain such resources.

7. Submission of a proposal for multiple sites.

I recently was at a meeting with other adult day care administrators and directors and this was a hot topic and it appears that many organizations have expressed interest in submitting a proposal. Many of the organizations that will be submitting a proposal have a great deal of experience.

Presently, I am the administrator of an adult day care program considering submitting a proposal for the operation of one of the centers. Our nonprofit organization has actively been providing service for more than 20 years to people of low-to-moderate incomes.

Bernard J. Feehley Jr.

Millersville

Johns Hopkins style protocol

As a former technical editor at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, I found staff writer David Folkenflik's article on the university's admissions process and the accompanying box on admissions do's and don'ts interesting. He pointed out omission of the "s" from the founder's first name as a common mistake.

Mr. Folkenflik, however, was not conversant enough with university protocol to note that the word "The" is part of the name and therefore is capitalized.

The rule applies to the university, the medical school, the hospital and, of course, the Applied Physics Laboratory, as I learned to my chagrin during my first week on the job.

Chuck Frainie

Woodlawn

Cartoon perpetuated a racial stereotype

It is our collective opinion that your editorial page cartoon of March 29, depicting city Comptroller Joan M. Pratt and her former campaign manager, Julius Henson, in the editorial offices of The Sun, was outrageous.

In addition, it missed the point entirely. The cartoon shed no light on the real difficulty posed by Ms. Pratt's appointment of Mr. Henson to a top administrative post in the comptroller's office.

While we may question her judgment on the matter, we believe the image portrayed in the cartoon only served to trivialize and demean relationships between African-American men and women.

Both Ms. Pratt and Mr. Henson are single adults. Their private relationship should not be a public matter to be ridiculed in a Sun editorial. The cartoon was offensive to most members of our community because it caters to the vile, yet persistent racial stereotypes of our society.

Never before have we seen an editorial cartoon so openly and mean-spiritedly degrade a public official. It was so despicable and irrelevant to the real issue that we question the editor's approval of this cartoon. The Sun owes Joan Pratt and Juliu Henson a public apology for its callousness and inappropriate actions.

Howard P. Rawlings

Baltimore

The writer and eight other signers of this letter are members of the Maryland House of Delegates.

Youth project started here

It was with great interest that we read Neal Peirce's April 1 column, "What's the matter with kids today?"

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