Blame system for problems, instead of YoungHarold A...


January 12, 1998

Blame system for problems, instead of Young

Harold A. Carter Sr., pastor of New Shiloh Baptist Church, Alfred C. D. Vaughn, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, senior leaders in the clergy community in this state and I journeyed to Annapolis to stand shoulder to shoulder with Sen. Larry Young during his appearance before the Senate Ethics Committee.

We held a prayer service and marched with him and 50 others to the Senate Office Building, where 12 men and women gathered to consider testimony and to rule on his fate as a state senator and a person.

We were there because in the more than two decades that Senator Young has been in Annapolis, he has served our community well.

He has been honest with us. He has been frank with us and he has been fair to us. He has listened to our counsel over the years and he has followed our advice.

While the committee alleged 26 possible conflicts of interest, it dealt with only five of the allegations during the six hours that Senator Young and his attorneys appeared before them Tuesday.

Your front-page story Friday states that even after an additional nine hours of deliberations the committee had yet to reach a decision. We believe it is because the majority of its members believe that Senator Young has done nothing that went beyond the Ethics Committee rules as they are presently written in Annapolis.

It appears now that the real issue is political. Senator Young, who has served people for the majority of his adult life, should not be destroyed because of political considerations, and no fair-minded people will sit and watch that happen.

Many of us admire and respect Senate President Mike Miller, but we believe the ethics process in Annapolis has to be changed. We also believe that we need to increase the compensation of those we send to Annapolis to govern us. We intend to speak with Senator Miller and ask that he make the faith community throughout the state a part of the political reform process.

This is not the time to "make a deal" or to do politics as usual. Given the evidence that was presented, we do not believe that Senator Young should be asked or forced to give up his highly merited committee assignments that allow him to well serve the citizens of this state.

Under the current ethics system that is employed in Annapolis, there are probably a myriad of elected officials who have spots on their records. Some benign, some malignant. The system has created them. That is why what Senator Miller is proposing is crucial. That is why the faith community should be a part of the process.

No doubt, the ethics committee investigation has been a wake up call for the Senate and for Senator Young.

It should also serve as a wake up call for all of us who live in Maryland and who love our state.

The 21st century is upon us. Let us move into it with 21st century

systems, principles and guidelines.

Dr. John L. Wright


The writer is president of the United Baptist Missionary Convention of Maryland.

County preservation effort questioned

The dismissal of my mother, Ruth B. Mascari, from the Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission makes a sad comment on the county's lack of commitment to historic preservation.

One may speculate that the loss of her strong voice -- and others like it -- for the citizens and their history foreshadows the loss of the history as well.

Justin M. Mascari


Research improves children's health

Sara Engram's insightful January 4 column, ("Saving small lives") noted the enormous difference that even small amounts of essential vitamins can make in the lives of impoverished children worldwide.

Malnutrition is more than not getting enough to eat; it is also the lack of essential vitamins and minerals that leave children listless, vulnerable to disease and mentally impaired.

Micronutrient research has implications not only for children in developing countries, but also for our own children in Baltimore and throughout the United States.

It should be a great source of pride for our city that much of the work on the beneficial uses of vitamin A, zinc and other micronutrients was done right here, at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

The school's dean, Alfred Sommer, who last year won an Albert Lasker Medical Research award for his work, did landmark research on the curative powers of vitamin A.

Prof. Robert Black identified the importance of zinc as a way to reduce diarrhea.

Researcher Anuraj Shankar found that vitamin A could greatly alleviate the effects of fever associated with malaria in children.

Associate Prof. Keith West led studies in Nepal that showed how low-dose vitamin A could dramatically reduce night blindness and anemia in pregnant women.

For anyone who wonders if their tax dollars are doing good in the world, there are no better examples of the efficient use of U.S. funds. Hopkins researchers are in the field using these dollars to save the lives of our world's most vulnerable citizens.

William R. Brody



The writer is president of the Johns Hopkins University.

Plenty of stories of Hotel Emerson

Fred Rasmussen's Dec. 14 article recounting the memoirs of former Hotel Emerson manager Kemp Gatling was intended to concern celebrity guests and not be a complete history of the hotel. David Lari's criticism in the Dec. 29 paper was uncalled for.

I worked at the Emerson during the late 1950s and I remember Hattie Carroll quite well. She was beloved by all who knew her and her death was a horrific tragedy.

However, the death of doorman "Captain John," who died as a result of complications after being hit by a vehicle in front of the hotel was not mentioned, neither was the death of a chief engineer who was shot when found in bed with someone other than his wife.

It would take several volumes of books to publish all former employees' perceptions about happenings at that grand old hotel.

Dorothy O'Donnell


Pub Date: 1/12/98

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