Mediate when hard to love thy neighborJay Apperson's Feb...


February 18, 1997

Mediate when hard to love thy neighbor

Jay Apperson's Feb. 9 article, "When it's hard to love thy neighbor," was well written and discussed excellent applications of community mediation. Those of us who work in the field of alternative dispute resolution have long advocated the benefits of all forms of mediation (including family).

Community mediation presents the best opportunity for parties to peaceably work out their differences without resorting to violence or the court system.

I am a member of the Harford County Community Mediation Commission. Formed in 1996 by County Executive Eileen Rehrmann, the commission's goal is to develop a county-wide mediation process. It is hoped that before the end of this year, a comprehensive, convenient and effective program will be in place for Harford countians.

David J. Smith

Bel Air

The writer is an assistant professor at Harford Community College.

Special education has many successes

After reading the article on the success story of the young man who was mainstreamed from a special education program to Baltimore Polytechnic Institute's college preparatory program, I was compelled to share another success story.

I am an eighth-grade special education teacher at Westport School in South Baltimore. I have been here for less than two years, and I have worked with a ''highly focused'' and determined student who struggled through adverse peer pressure and her own problems to raise herself up and out of ''special ed.''

The process really does work when everyone involved is committed and caring enough to help young people achieve their true potential, as is the case at Westport.

Thomas E. Proveaux Sr.


Article attacked as disrespectful

I am writing this letter in response to Joe Mathews' Feb. 5 article, "They still miss Mildred."

I found this article to be both disrespectful and insulting to the Sharp-Leadenhall community. Sharp-Leadenhall has a community organization that meets monthly to address issues that plague our community. We are not the only community with decayed housing, drugs and sanitation problems in this city. In fact, these problems are nationwide . . . requiring both community and government working together for solution.

Since Mildred Moon's death, the community has made its share of mistakes. The biggest two were hiring the wrong applicant to succeed her and trusting the wrong people, including the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland.

Yes, we still miss Mildred, but we no longer mourn her. We have our memories and the legacy she left us.

Angela Wheatley


Many Americans show ignorance about world

I want to applaud William Pfaff for the Jan. 20 article , "Why our allies are at war with us." I'm an exchange student from Germany. This is the first article about this subject I have seen that seems both honest and open-minded.

Evidenced by the fact that I have lived here for four years, I like the United States and the people who live here. However, I still object to the belittling of other countries in the world and the magnification of American achievement by media and politics.

The "we are the champions" attitude is deeply rooted in American culture (and in some respect rightfully so). And so is the ignorance about other countries. I have been told numerous times that Americans invented the automobile. Sorry, but that was Carl Benz, a German.

I was also asked several times if I'm a Nazi. Since neo-Nazi related stories constitute much of news coverage about my home country, it is often assumed that every German has to be a Nazi.

However, violent neo-Nazis constitute less than 0.2 percent of the German population.

Peter Hoffmann


Save the rockfish, buy out the fishermen

I enjoyed Peter Jay's Feb. 13 column on rockfish. For too long, the Department of Natural Resources has seen itself strictly in the role of deciding which interest group gets to devour which position of the rockfish pie.

Its policies insure that the pie gets devoured. Its only question is by whom. This has led to unseemly table manners by the competing commercial, sports-fishing and charter boat diners.

The mentality of the user groups also has become focused solely on the size of their slice, not the preservation of the pie.

The time has come for the department to take two bold (for it) steps to preserve our valuable resource.

First, eliminate commercial fishing. This would initially create the usual cries of unfairness. This time, protect the commercial waterman. Buy out their rights.

Expensive, you say? Not so. Pay each one according to the net income shown on his income tax return.

My educated guess after 24 years of trying alimony and child support cases concerning watermen is that virtually every one of their tax returns will show little or no net income.

This measure would cost the taxpayer very little, save millions of rockfish and fairly pay the waterman for his losses based on his own income information, about which he could hardly complain.

Second, stop the ''catch and eat sport-fishing, trophy tournament, limited season, better get yours now'' mentality in the DNR. Start a serious effort to promote a catch and release policy.

Offer prizes for the biggest released fish. Specify catch methods designed to reduce mortality.

The continuation of commercial fishing makes no sense from an economic standpoint. Excuse them from the table. The sports fisherman can stay because economics and quality of life justify their presence.

Our host, DNR, must insist upon good table manners for the remaining guests.

After all, the object is to have fun and have some pie tomorrow and every day in the future. Or is it?

Denis P. Casey


Pub Date: 2/18/97

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