Sauerbrey comments praised and pannedHurrah for...

SATURDAY MAIL BOX

December 06, 1997

Sauerbrey comments praised and panned

Hurrah for gubernatorial candidate. Ellen R. Sauerbrey. She calls for withholding state education aid to local schools if they fail to crack down on disruptive students.

I would go one step further. Parents of disruptive students should be fined or made to pay extra local or state taxes. After all, every time a teacher takes time away from teaching students who want to learn, taxpayer money is wasted.

Students can't learn in a disruptive classroom. To handle troublesome, interrupting youngsters takes plenty of individual or small-group supervision or counseling and that costs the taxpayer money, money, money.

This week over National Public Radio, a violent, angry student was taped having a hot confrontation with the vice-principal of Northern High School, for all nationwide listeners to hear. No wonder there were so many suspensions at Northern. This nasty-mouthed student should have been suspended on the spot.

Unfortunately, there are far too many Baltimore City schools that are a shameful blight on our fair city. Thank goodness, we can be proud of our Baltimore Symphony, our Orioles and our beautiful Inner Harbor.

Ruth Von Bramer

Randallstown

On Nov. 26, gubernatorial candidate Ellen Sauerbrey said she would seek authority to withhold state education aid from local systems that fail to crack down on disruptive students.

Most of her 19-point agenda dealt with discipline issues along with some phonics instruction. Sounds great, but all this only treats the symptoms of anti-social behavior.

Ms. Sauerbrey totally ignores the fact that one third of the kids in Baltimore City grow up in poverty. Is she aware of the rage and despair that deprived kids feel when they see no light at the end of their tunnel? When they are bombarded by TV plugging stuff they can never afford? When there are no safety nets to catch them when the obscene welfare "reform" package bounces them into the streets?

How can a child pay attention in school when he is kept up all the previous night in a homeless shelter? Children in homeless shelters cannot afford morals.

Poverty breeds bad behavior. What is the excuse for the behavior of Ms. Sauerbrey when she never speaks about economic justice, decent jobs that pay living wages, affordable day care, affordable housing, universal health care and state-operated drug rehabilitation programs and recreation centers?

If Ellen Sauerbrey makes it to Annapolis, don't hold your breath.

Gerald Ben Shargel

Reisterstown

Race track would benefit the county

Maryland governments provided millions of dollars for roads and support for three sports stadiums that brought the state back to where it was roughly in 1983. But with the opportunity to be a part of the growth sport of the 1990s, big time oval-track racing, the various governments are little more than passive observers.

Every study has shown that the proposed Maryland track would be the most accessible in the country. It would bring in real jobs, money and international awareness to the area.

Race track aside, Route 43 should have been extended years ago. It will open a section of the county that needs to participate in growth. Extending 43 will ease congestion on other roads.

There is concern about noise from a track. Personally, I would rather hear the occasional excitement of the sport than the present silence of an area dying of governmental apathy.

J. A. Martin

Baltimore

Railroad monuments are worth preserving

Your Nov. 27 editorial on railroad preservation in Maryland, while focusing on memorabilia, suggests a need to preserve important structures as well.

Museums based on historic sites, such as Mt. Clare, home of Baltimore's B&O Railroad Museum and the Ellicott City Station, afford the opportunity to admire the "package" as well as the "gifts" inside.

There is another type of structure equally deserving of recognition and preservation -- the engineering masterpieces of the B&O's contribution to the American industrial revolution. The Patapsco Heritage Greenway Committee, with support from CSX Corp., is developing an interpretive "park" to view the 1835 Thomas Viaduct in Relay.

This bridge is a testament to the ingenuity and faith of architect Benjamin H. Latrobe Jr. and his B&O associates from the board of directors to the stonemasons and "common" (in name only) laborers.

As a matter of clarification, the Ellicott City Station was opened in 1831, not 1830. It still claims the distinction as America's oldest and the world's second oldest surviving railroad station. The Liverpool Road Station in Manchester, England, is thought to be the world's first.

The Ellicott City Station restoration mentioned in your editorial includes reconstruction of the origional engine repair facility (which will become a "working" shop), its doorway and the 1863 turntable platform.

aul S. Bridge

Ellicott City

Margarine has lowered fat

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