Hammerman gives his side of accidentI write to set the...


November 03, 1997

Hammerman gives his side of accident

I write to set the record straight on the traffic incident I was involved in that was covered so prominently in The Sun.

In a letter supporting me, Thomas E. Bower stated that The Sun may be piqued because I publicly criticized the paper as not being as good as in former years. I made that comment only in a totally private gathering.

It should be understood that the only charge before the court was leaving the scene of an accident without identifying myself. The charge was not whether or not I caused a $77 accident.

There was no contact between the vehicles. Much is made of the officer's testimony that he saw damage to my car. How much damage could I have had on my car with $77 damage allegedly done to the other car?

Mr. Albom, the driver of the other car, immediately notified his insurance company.

Within two or three days of the incident, unbeknown to me, the insurance representative came downtown to where my car was parked, examined it, felt it, photographed it -- and found no damage. They denied Mr. Albom's claim for $77.

The one most essential element of all was never disputed at trial: that I never left the scene. The totally undisputed testimony was that if I had just continued on, Mr. Albom would never have known who I was.

The assistant state's attorney took me outside the courtroom and told me that if I would simply pay $77 to Mr. Albom, the case would be dropped. I refused and would refuse again today, even knowing the publicity that would come from a trial. To pay any sum would be an acknowledgment of culpability.

The judge in this case, Judge Garmer, is an honorable man. He was in a difficult situation. We had never met each other (and I would not be tried by any judge otherwise). He did the correct thing.

In several months I will be 70. From youth on, a proper sense of honor has been uppermost to me; and I have, from youth on, paid a heavy price for this.

I have devoted almost all of my life to the public sector in different arenas. The merit of my efforts is for others to judge. There are many more roads to travel. It is my definite intention to travel these roads in the same way for many, many years to come.

Robert I.H. Hammerman


The writer is chief judge of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.

Mayor having Disney spells

Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has endorsed John Paterakis' behemoth of a hotel and requested that city zoning restrictions be lifted to allow its construction.

Now he would like an elevated, automated ''people mover'' in an apparent effort to squash criticism of the one-mile distance between the proposed hotel and the Convention Center.

Public Works Director George G. Balog says this transportation system will ''bring that whole Disney World feel here.'' This is perhaps appropriate, as it has become obvious that the mayor of Baltimore City is Goofy.

S. Christy Wolfe


Hotel editorial provided answers

Thanks for your strong opinion on the Paterakis-Wyndham hotel sweetheart of a deal (editorial, Oct. 12).

You have given me all the information needed to make up my own mind. The answer is ''No'' to selling out the public trust, ''No'' to selling our light, our air and our space, ''No,'' Mr. Mayor, to Wyndham and ''No'' to John Paterakis.

I think it's time that all these players packed their bags.

Skip Pearre


Help parents become children's caregivers

Mona Charen hit the nail on the head in her column ''Child Care Mythmaking'' (Oct. 22). It is a seldom-articulated truth that parents want, first and foremost, options that enable them to care for their own children during the work day.

Forget about helping parents find quality child care. I can provide quality care to my child. In fact, researchers and experts are now substantiating what parents have known all along -- young children are best off in the care of their parents. Help me and my husband to do what is best for our child by providing tax breaks, competitive wages, flex time, work at home options, telecommuting and the like.

Washington needs to listen to parents and their own researchers and begin practical, necessary support. Only then will we achieve optimal outcomes for both parents and children.

Sheila Turybury


Baltimore fails to support Merriweather Post Pavilion

I read the Oct. 20 Merriweather Post article and the next day's editorial with interest.

I have been an entertainment consultant in the Baltimore market for over 25 years and had Merriweather Post as a client during its 1979 season. The problems reporter Dana Hedgpeth and the editorial bring up are valid, but not the real dilemma.

Since the beginning, Merriweather Post, by its geographical location, has been a facility for both Baltimore and Washington. Through the years, 70 percent of all ticket sales came from Washington and 30 percent from Baltimore. Now with the Washington ticket buyers having the option of a closer facility, those patrons are gone from the equation.

The real problem here is the Baltimore ticket-buying market does not support events.

The Nissan Pavilion is simply filling a need of its Washington market. If Baltimore showed a need, Merriweather Post could also be successful.

Bud Becker


Pub Date: 11/03/97

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