Best method for popularizing book is to ban it2 Maybe this...

Letters

January 17, 1998

Best method for popularizing book is to ban it

2 Maybe this generation has to discover its own.

Steven Zyla

Eldersburg

Students, parents should decide on book

I support the Anne Arundel County Public Schools superintendent in her decision to remove Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" from the ninth-grade curriculum.

There are certain things that should not be required reading.

Everything I have heard supports the idea that this is a truly excellent piece of literature, but all the same, no one should be forced to read something he finds offensive.

I am sure the novel has certain attributes, and should not be censored from reading by the general public, but the choice of whether to read the book should be that of the student and the student's parents.

A reasonable alternative to removing the book from the curriculum would be to offer that book in conjunction with another.

Each student with his parents would then have the opportunity to review the book and decide whether it should be read.

This solution would allow the academic value of the book to be preserved, while at the same time, allowing an out for parents who do not want their children reading sexual material.

Heather Cristion

Columbia

The writer is an 11th-grader at Howard High School.

Angels and anger, and other teasers

The Sun's recent picture of second-grader Lindsay Eisemann studying the soft and hard "g" in phonics class brings out the elf in me.

I've written some sentences for phonics students to try reading to their parents at home.

No angel shows anger.

Ginger wears gingham dresses.

A giraffe looked down at the girl.

What kind of gem did Roger get for Gertrude?

Peggy, a Gypsy, was sent to gaol in London.

Gina Gilbert likes Gila monsters.

Hugh makes me laugh.

If your children, dear parents, are confused and frustrated, why not insist that their teachers stop phonics and start "look and say"?

Henry Harlan

Churchville

Bono was an example who will be missed

I met Sonny Bono April 25, 1997, at the Washington County Lincoln Day dinner.

We chatted for a while about how interesting it was to find so many Sicilians there.

I joked that I had made them an "offer they couldn't refuse." We laughed, then spoke of politics and how fitting it is that so many Italians are Republicans.

I met with Sonny a few more times on my visits to Capitol Hill, and most recently a few months ago, at a fund-raiser at Towson University.

What an impression he left with me, this gentle man of humble beginnings.

From driving a meat truck to having gold records, a successful restaurateur elected mayor of Palm Springs, Calif., and on to Capitol Hill as a member of Congress.

What an example. Only in America.

I was devastated to learn that Sonny Bono had died Jan. 5 in a skiing accident in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

How could it be that someone I knew less than a year could have such an impact on me Yet, the answer is clear to anyone who knew him.

He was a giant among men. What a great loss for his family and friends, our nation and the Republican Party.

6* Our friend Sonny will be sadly missed.

Riccardo Paradiso

Annapolis

A Jan. 5 article by the Capital News Service provides evidence that a new approach is needed if drug dealers and the resulting crime are to be stopped.

The report said 400 drug dealers in Baltimore and Washington have a take, just from cocaine and heroin, of $730 million per year, and we are spending just $12 million in taxpayer funds to try to stop the sale of drugs. Not reported was the value of marijuana sales.

This article also highlighted the connection between crime and illegal drug use by reporting that 74 percent of youths who are arrested test positive for drugs. Selling illegal drugs is now America's No. 1 occupation. Destroying the profit motive as we did when we ended prohibition will save billions and reduce crime.

Although I oppose drug use, cigarette use and abuse of alcohol, the facts presented prove we have lost the war on drugs just as we lost the war in Vietnam.

Good leaders know when to take a new approach. I suggest a government-controlled program to distribute low-cost or free hard drugs under medical supervision, thus killing the profit from street sales. Marijuana, the choice of most, should be controlled in the same way we control alcoholic beverages or tobacco.

The once-safe streets of inner cities are now retreats for drugs and crime because drug enforcement is not feasible when such high profits are available.

Ronald Lester

Cambridge

Pub Date: 1/17/98

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