Stadium School reports were exaggeratedYour recent...


April 22, 1997

Stadium School reports were exaggerated

Your recent articles and editorial regarding the Stadium School program audit report did not portray the intent of the audit.

The purpose of the audit was to review the progress of the school -- identify its strengths and make recommendations for continued growth to help ensure that the school does achieve its established goals.

Your headlines, "Low test scores may shut school run by parents," and "Stadium school at risk," were exaggerated, misleading and not an accurate representation of the information in the report.

Nowhere in the report does it say that the Stadium School may be closed "prematurely." It is unfortunate that you chose to present the information in such a negative way.

You have done a disservice to the Stadium School, the school system and the families that have children in the school.

Ellen D. Gonzales


The writer is the northern area assistant superintendent for Baltimore City Public Schools.

City needs urban homesteaders

Any darn fool can see the answer to Baltimore's housing problems is urban homesteading.

It's time to reinstitute our highly successful and renowned Dollar House program.

Dan Van Allen


Columnist needs a reality check

Anyone reading Gregory Kane's April 13 column denigrating Jackie Robinson's breaking into the major leagues has to conclude: Mr. Kane must be living on another planet, one in which poverty has been abolished and sin is nonexistent.

Rather than an insult, Robinson's admission into the big leagues was a tribute to his demeanor and ability, as well as to Branch Rickey's courage in facing the bitter hostility of other club owners.

And had Robinson responded in kind to the boos and jeers of inimical fans and players, his departure would have been quicker than his debut.

Yes, discrimination prevented such talented black performers as Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, Cool Papa Bell and Leon Day from breaking the color line.

But as unfair as it seems from a current, somewhat more enlightened, viewpoint, that was the tenor of the times even though such teams as the Homestead Grays, the Kansas City Monarchs and the Baltimore Elite Giants would have been competitive in the "biggies."

As for the major leagues admitting entire Negro teams, as Mr. Kane suggests, financial considerations would have been prohibitive.

The clubs played in stadiums far below those of major league caliber, both in dimensions and seating capacity.

Buses not known for luxury or reliability were the mode of travel. Pay was skimpy and sometimes postponed but the players persevered because of their love for the game.

Mr. Kane's protestations have to be far out in orbit, somewhere in the vicinity of the imaginary flying saucer trailing the Hale-Bopp comet.

Abner Kaplan


Negative flip side of welfare reform

The headline on Peter Sabonis' excellent April 16 opinion article, "Intended consequences: peeling the welfare onion," completely distorted his point.

The text message was a positive one:

Welfare reform will help meet the needs presented by the projected growth of low-skilled, low-paying service jobs.

The article showed clearly the negative effects of welfare reform. "The resulting oversupply of low-skilled workers will keep wages stagnant and workers insecure," was Mr. Sabonis' next sentence.

I hope your readers looked beyond the bold type to gain this disturbing insight.

Marilyn Hunter


Claim of overstaffing at fire department not factual

While Douglas Munro's April 5 letter is correct in observing the decrease in Baltimore City's population, it missed the ball entirely with unexplainable statistics regarding the fire department. To say our department is 50 percent overstaffed is ludicrous.

Who exactly is he comparing the department to?

He fails to list the six cities involved in the study. As to the Indianapolis idea of Yellow Pages for public safety, I pose this question: If your house is on fire, a loved one is having a heart attack or someone just mugged you, are you seriously going to grab the Yellow Pages to call for help? I don't think so.

Privatization is not an answer. The public safety sector of Baltimore City has very dedicated individuals, especially in the fire and police departments. One just needs to see the numerous employees who are third and fourth generation fire and police employees. We take pride in what we do and are very good at it.

In recent years the fire department has gone from 1,900 firefighters and paramedics to just about 1,200. Suppression units have been disbanded, battalions dissolved (from 11 to only seven) and fire protection spread dangerously thin.

Where does the 50 percent overstaffing occur? Maybe Mr. Munro is referring to the civilian population of our department, i.e., secretaries and other office workers. He certainly can't mean the professionals who are out there every day protecting life and property.

Mary T. McElroy


The writer is a city fire department paramedic.

Pub Date: 4/22/97

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