Governor singled out unfairly on gamblingMichael Olesker...

Letters

November 30, 1997

Governor singled out unfairly on gambling

Michael Olesker states in his Nov. 16 column that Gov. Parris N. Glendening had "already taken illegal money from the race tracks." This inaccuracy continues to be repeated The Sun.

The Sun reported that race track owner Joe DeFrancis made illegal donations to the Helen Delich Bentley, Ellen Sauerbrey and Glendening campaigns. However, because of the statute of limitations only the Glendening donations were prosecuted. This did not make the others less illegal.

The prosecutor made it clear at the time that neither the principals nor their campaign staffs were aware of the true nature of these donations. To report that Mr. Glendening was involved in illegal activity while excluding mention of the others is dishonest.

The question is whether Maryland will help finance income tax rate reduction with income from slot machine and casino gambling. Governor Glendening says no; Mrs. Sauerbrey is TC non-committal but has been given large donations by gambling interests. Eileen Rehrmann is aided by Larry Gibson, a strong advocate of casino gambling for Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, and has received the most money from gambling interests. Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker reiterates vague innuendos against the governor on the matter but is also noncommittal.

The gambling issue may be the one that really makes a difference in the governorship campaign, unless it is reported inaccurately or buried in "horse race" trivia.

Ronald P. Bowers

Lutherville

Leon's story may not have happened

I am troubled by your Nov. 23 feature, "Leon's story." Leon Tillage's stories of growing up in the segregated South are valuable as oral history, but the tale of his father's death in an automobile accident appears questionable.

It is wrong for illustrator Susan Roth, the book's publisher, and the Park School literati to leave the children with the notion that it was great sport in 1950s North Carolina for drunken white boys to deliberately run down African Americans.

Enough injustice was visited upon rural blacks in those years. However, the record shows the driver involved in the death of Ivory Tillage was, indeed, convicted of manslaughter and ordered to pay restitution to the family.

The story of Mr. Tillage's life should not be built on an untruth or, at best, an exaggeration. I think he deserves better.

Harry R. Shriver

Pikesville While recently driving with my parents, I overheard a conversation about the new taxes on cigarettes.

My father, a smoker himself, was saying the new tax would raise cigarette prices to almost $7 or $8 a pack. To which my mother, a non-smoker, replied that that was ludicrous even if the government was trying to stop underage smoking.

I agree with my mother. As much as I would like for my father to quit smoking, raising the tax isn't the answer.

If the government wants to limit underage smoking, then it should put tighter restrictions on the sales of cigarettes rather than robbing my family of money to support a habit my father has tried unsuccessfully to kick numerous times.

Katie McPherson

Grade 10, Dundalk High School

Students require personal attention

I have been a teacher for 18 years and have taught learning disabled/dyslexic students for the past 10 years. I must take issue with the comment in your "Reading by 9" series, "How can you have an entire industry like Sylvan Learning Systems and say schools are doing their job?"

Sylvan works because there is one-to-one teacher-student ratio for 45 minutes to an hour.

One person just cannot reach every student every day with a class of 26, 28 or even 30 students, each with his or her own set of strengths and needs.

The key to reading achievement is not the method. It is class size. This is why private schools and private tutoring are so successful.

Parents are paying for smaller student-teacher ratios.

Katherine LoCurto

Olney

The good teacher uses both phonetics and whole-language. Teaching reading is like cooking without a recipe. You use some of this and some of that but you must know how to balance the two procedures.

Reading is not just decoding words; comprehension must also be taught.

It is of utmost importance that colleges and universities give more in-depth training in the teaching of reading as well as provide a practical teaching situation that does a thorough job of applying what is taught in the college classroom.

The school system should demand that teachers attend weekly workshops and update their post-graduate courses in the teaching of reading.

Lola J. Massey

Baltimore

Pub Date: 11/30/97

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