Closing another fire stationIt is utterly ironic that The...

LETTERS

December 23, 1997

Closing another fire station

It is utterly ironic that The Sun would print a letter on Dec. 18, decrying the city Fire Department's abysmal habit of closing fire stations in extremely busy areas of our city.

The letter appeared less than 24 hours following an announcement of plans to close yet another city fire station.

There was no press conference, no fanfare, no advance warning the community that will be affected or the department personnel who will be displaced.

The on-shift, day and night chief officers were informed in a typically vacuous manner on Dec. 17 that a decision had been made to close yet another fire station in mid-January as well as the elimination of four battalion chiefs currently staffing one of our eight battalions.

There is no question that further reduction in fire protection is wanton disregard of public safety, so looking for reason in the unrea-sonable would be as futile as looking for help that might not be there.

Stephen G. Fugate

Baltimore

The writer is captain of Truck Company 10 and president of the Baltimore Fire Officers Union, Local 964.

Christmas excursion for railroaders

I would like to thank all of those from the B&O Railroad and CSX for the operation of the special 10-car train that carried 600 people to the lighting of the B&O holly tree by the tracks at Jackson, Md., on Saturday, Dec. 6.

We enjoyed the program that preceded the turning-on of the lights. This was the first time that this well-known tree had been lighted in many years, thanks to the arrangements made by CSX in honor of the B&O.

All this made for a night to remember the nostalgic train ride and the time to see old and new friends, all lovers of railroading. It meant much to view once again the splendor of that lighted tree.

I'm sure that everyone aboard that train would wish to join me in expressing thanks to those responsible.

Virginia Tanner

Stevenson

Right principal makes a difference

I commend you for placing the article by Liz Bowie, "Taking back a school," on the front page of the Dec. 3 issue. I have had the privilege of previously working with Rose Backus-Davis at another Baltimore City school and can say she is an exemplary educator, one of the best I have met in a career that spans 40 years.

She is definitely fearless, as Ms. Bowie describes her, but free of aggressiveness and hostility. Her fearlessness springs from a genuine warmth and trust of all people. She gives everyone unconditional respect and positive regard -- children as well as adults. Each one senses this immediately and responds in kind.

Would that every Baltimore, nay, American school could have a leader such as her. The problems so prominent on our nation's front pages would soon vanish.

Properly prepared professionals with adequate resources and support from the community are what are absent in our public schools.

The youngsters who come to American schools today are fundamentally the same sorts of people who have been there since the beginning. The system has changed, not human nature.

Let us stop blaming parents, pupils and other supposed influences. Rose Backus-Davis and her staff at Douglass High School are proof that it's what happens inside the school building that steers the education process.

More attention to that process will solve today's schooling problems, not finger-pointing and legislated measures that have political motivations rather than scientifically supportable rationales.

Herbert Garber

Baltimore

Pub Date: 12/23/97

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