Henson criticized for missing pointsHousing Commissioner...


April 15, 1997

Henson criticized for missing points

Housing Commissioner Daniel P. Henson III has stepped directly from a Franz Kafka novel.

Here is a man who, because he has followed the bureaucratic guidelines he has been given, can see nothing wrong in the harm zTC the guidelines create. He has no compassion for the citizens of Baltimore being ground down by the policies. He shows no concern beyond the scope of the removal of dilapidated houses.

If he did not see the point of The Sun's series on what he has been doing, he does not possess the necessary tools to complete the tasks for which he has been hired.

There must be someone qualified to do his job. It certainly is not him.

Michael Meehan


The series describing the "haphazard city approach" to the abandoned housing dilemma should have been distressing to everyone, but especially so for those of us who are still owner-occupants.

Commissioner David Henson's comments shed some light on why we are upset: "If there is a point to the series, I don't know what it is," and, "If it raised some issues, I missed them."

He has been missing the point ever since he was appointed housing commissioner. It appears that neither the commissioner, nor anyone else in Baltimore City government, knows what all of the issues are, much less how to resolve them.

The housing agency's "policies" and the mayor's reluctance to address them are forcing more and more owner-occupants to leave the city. The tax base is further eroded and those of us who choose to remain are forced to make up the difference by paying increased fees and taxes.

If the city doesn't soon adopt some comprehensive, coordinated housing policies, it will have what no other city has yet: No housing stock, no tax base and no population.

Sandra Castagna


Kudos for coverage of Federal Hill robbery

I salute Dan Rodricks and his decision not only to write in great detail about the Federal Hill holdup but to keep the story alive. As a resident of a city neighborhood with like problems, I know that it is not easy to read stories such as this one, but I also know that only reportage of these crimes will turn the shrugs at City Hall into the action we need.

Robin Coblentz


Home-schooling better for children

Does Hal Piper (April 5, "People who need people") really believe that home-schooling will lead to a more violent society? I believe exactly the opposite.

From my point of view, if children are provided with the love and comfort of learning with their families in a non-competitive environment they will be able to concentrate more on their studies and build self-esteem.

It seems to me that this is going to accomplish just what Hal Piper says it won't: Provide children with a solid foundation that will help them embrace other people and cultures. After all, aren't people who commit violence acting on their low self-esteem and inadequacies?

Learning ''in a 'homogeneous' environment'' doesn't have to mean perpetuating ignorance through generations. Home-schoolers aren't people who lock themselves away from the world.

A term I heard recently, ''life-schoolers,'' more accurately describes the home-schoolers that I know.

Most are involved in a variety of activities with all types of people, not just children of the same age, as in most schools.

K. Modesto


Pub Date: 4/15/97

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