Working mothers now have optionsKudos to Elise Armacost...


November 23, 1997

Working mothers now have options

Kudos to Elise Armacost for addressing the new backlash toward working mothers in her Nov. 16 column.

I am a working mother who works for the complex reasons Ms. Armacost mentions, including economic ones.

Working outside the home also gives me certain skills that are different from ones gained from staying at home.

I am frustrated by people judging the path I and other working mothers have chosen either by necessity or by interest.

It is important to remember that we live in a time when women have a choice. The women's movement opened doors for options. Staying home, when a woman has had children, is no longer seen as the most obvious option.

Today's reality is that more than 50 percent of women with children under the age of 3 work outside the home.

A woman is not necessarily a better mother if she stays home. Society must recognize that good child care is available and mothers can work and feel at peace about their children's care.

bigail Hoffman


Columnist accused of defeatist views

William Pfaff's Nov. 6 column on rogue regimes was quite troubling.

He wrote that our government demonizes these countries for its own obscure reasons and that all efforts to control and eliminate them are futile.

This type of thinking is so much of the Chamberlain-at-Munich school of diplomacy that I am amazed that Mr. Pfaff could possibly believe it.

The only way to treat Saddam Hussein and other of his ilk is through a policy of strength and toughness. It is no coincidence that the killing stopped in Bosnia when American troops entered, making the Serbs realize that we meant what we said.

Our mistake was, and continues to be, that we allow a thug like Saddam Hussein to remain in charge.

He and his cohorts are guilty of genocide against the Kurds and of war crimes against Kuwait. There will be no resolution of this situation until this criminal government is eliminated.



City 'educrats' cover their own reputations

I was amused by Sheila Kolman's apology (Nov. 8) for the

"less than satisfactory performance" of the Baltimore City schools.

Ms. Kolman, head of the principal's association, believes Erik Larson did the community a disservice by scrutinizing and reporting financial mismanagement of millions of dollars. Her response is that Baltimore "has similarities to urban districts across the nation."

Evidently her understanding is that need justifies bad administration and failure to be accountable.

Assuming a village mentally in which responsibility belongs to everyone else, Ms. Kolman goes on to write that city schools employ "some of the most committed and dedicated educators, administrators and teachers anywhere."

This may be true, but if so, how can these schools be educationally bankrupt, as the current superintendent says?

My reading of the article suggests that city schools are in trouble because of gross failure to administer special education and provide good instruction.

Also on Nov. 8, another letter writer provided what seems like a good description of the city schools: "a dysfunctional, dishonest . . . bureaucracy . . . filled . . . with inbred entrenched bureaucrats whose only concern is to protect [their] reputations."

Ms. Kolman's letter is a perfect example of this cover-your-reputation mentality.

Charles G. George


Landlords have to do too much

In response to the Nov. 4 article, "Bill would force landlords to dump evicted items," what is next?

The only reason my husband and I make a few dollars on our small rental property in the city is that we do all the painting, repairs and maintenance ourselves. When tenants are evicted they get to stay rent-free for four to six weeks before the landlord can get them out.

The city is not very landlord-friendly. We would never invest in another city property. I guess the city doesn't want any small landlords or any clean, low-cost apartments either.

We're keeping all future investments in the county.

Janet LeDoylen


Pub Date: 11/23/97

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