City's treatment of teacher a disgraceLet me see if I...


December 30, 1997

City's treatment of teacher a disgrace

Let me see if I understand what happened in the case of kindergarten teacher Sharon Weber:

A dedicated and talented teacher leaves the Baltimore City school system because that system will not guarantee that she will have basic school supplies for her kindergarten class.

The system tells her, unofficially, that, if she wants these supplies, she should buy them herself. She gets a job in a neighboring district where she is, apparently, hugely successful, admired, and loved. Baltimore City finds out and has two possible paths to follow:

It could try to find ways to prevent other wonderful and dedicated teachers from leaving in disgust in the future, or it could use its legal power to punish Ms. Weber.

Any boob knows that a system that is honestly trying to improve itself would choose the first option and eschew the second, which focuses on bureaucratic pettifoggery which seeks to punish disagreement and stifle open inquiry.

Those in the city school system who had anything to do with the decision to hound and harass Ms. Weber (and deprive her kindergarten students of their teacher) should be ashamed of themselves.

Any parent unfortunate enough to depend on such a school system for his or her child's education should be profoundly concerned.

Cliff Judge

Columbia In his Dec. 23 letter, fire union president Stephen G. Fugate wrote of the ironic coincidence between a published letter (Dec. 18), referencing prior fire station closings, and a supposed closing of another station in the near future. No such plan exists.

Contrary to Mr. Fugate's implication that Fire Department decision-making is conducted ''vacuously," it is my belief in participatory management that recently led me to convey some budgetary concerns to our department managers and to union officials.

The issues require our exploration of several cost-saving options, none of which have been finalized. At the appropriate time, solutions to these matters will be presented to the public in a responsible and appropriate manner.

Union officials have an obligation to protect their members from possible elimination of positions and to try to preserve membership levels, but these goals cannot be accomplished at the expense of the public's psyche.

To try to arouse public passions by yelling "fire'' in a public theater is totally irresponsible.

Herman Williams Jr.



The writer is chief of the Baltimore City Fire Dept.

No gas line involved in Annapolis fire

I am writing to correct erroneous information recently reported in your paper about the fire in the Annapolis historic district.

Specifically, I am referring to the unfounded report that a gas line ruptured and that this rupture fed the fire.

RTC BGE recovered and inspected the BGE gas piping and gas meters serving the buildings that were damaged or destroyed and found that equipment to be intact.

Additionally, an initial analysis of gas usage during the fire indicated that natural gas was not a contributing factor to the intensity of the blaze, and there is no evidence that the customers' gas lines ruptured, either.

rank O. Heintz


The writer is vice president of the Gas Division for the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

Miraculous arrival of state troopers

This is truly a season of miracles when suddenly 200 "extra" Maryland state troopers appear for duty. I wonder where they all come from. Better yet, where do they all go after the season is over?

John L. Grumbach


Pub Date: 12/30/97

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