2 -month-long drug investigation nets far too littleThe...

Letters

January 25, 1998

2 -month-long drug investigation nets far too little

The headline in the Jan. 13 issue of The Sun in Anne Arundel County piqued my interest: "Police arrest 15 in drug raid on home in Four Seasons; 2-month probe ends."

I read on, craving a lurid tale of seedy underworld drug kingpins brought down by an elite squad of scrupulous Anne Arundel County detectives employing unlimited resources and high-tech surveillance tactics.

To my chagrin, I was offered yet another banal episode associated with the ill-conceived, ever-popular, righteous quest for idealized ultimate justice, "the war on drugs."

An exhaustive, two-month investigative sting yielded the following: 15 arrests (ages 18 to 23), 8 grams of marijuana and assorted paraphernalia.

Nice work, boys. Chalk up another battle for the good guys, right?

I take little comfort in the thought that a few pimple-faced hooligans, roughly $80 worth of pot and a few bongs are off the street.

Call me a cynic, but the efforts on behalf of Anne Arundel County law enforcement and similar agencies across the United States are invariably an exercise in futility.

Let's pool our resources (notably police salaries and time) and combat a very real threat, violent criminal acts.

Priest

Annapolis

Don't change the light at Mountain Road

I am writing in response to the Jan. 11 letter "Mountain Road jams: some ideas."

One of those ideas -- adjusting the traffic light at Lake Shore Drive -- is ludicrous. This light in no way impedes traffic on Mountain Road. People who live down Lake Shore Drive wait 10 minutes for the light to change during rush hour, and it stays green for 30 seconds.

Sometimes traffic can be backed up on Lake Shore Drive, and cars near the back of the line may not even make it through the light, so they have to wait another 10 minutes for the light to change.

Also, having Chesapeake High School students pay $100 for a parking pass is not warranted. Students who drive to school are not interfering with Mountain Road traffic.

In the mornings and afternoons, they are going the opposite direction on Mountain Road than the majority of traffic.

Shawn C. Walbeck

Pasadena

Report on candidacy didn't include positions

I announced my candidacy Dec. 29 for County Council from the 4th District, and the newspapers neglected to report why I am running.

I am against paying $100,000 per year for a Washington lobbyist; against the pension for County Council members (the only part-time workers in the county who draw pensions); and against council and county executive nepotism, whereby council members and the executive have their spouses on their county payrolls.

I am for moving forward on a West County regional library, West County high school, preservation of the Naval Academy Dairy Farm, retention of Kimbrough Army Community Hospital and progress on Odenton Town Center.

Bill D. Burlison

Odenton

Maya Angelou's 'Caged Bird' provides better understanding of difficult issues

As a teen-ager in Anne Arundel County, I am angry and disappointed by the removal of Maya Angelou's book "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" from the ninth-grade reading list.

When I read this book as a ninth-grader, I was not shocked by its content. Neither were my classmates. We knew about rape and lesbianism, but Ms. Angelou's writing gave us a deeper understanding of the issues.

Parents who are protesting must understand that children are not stupid. In these times, there is no such thing as growing up in a protective bubble. Teen-agers watch the news and read the papers. We also watch talk shows and situation comedies, in which exploiting sexuality is the norm.

All a child has to do is watch "Jerry Springer" (conveniently aired at 3 p.m.) for a message on sexuality from an unrespectable source.

Isn't learning about sexuality through respectable teachings and books better than through misconceptions and myths that lead to ruined lives, early pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases?

Erin Lee

Hanover

As you are aware, Anne Arundel school Superintendent Carol S. Parham has ordered that Maya Angelou's autobiographical "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" be removed from the ninth-grade English curriculum. Although the book will remain in school libraries and will be taught in the 11th grade, its removal was motivated by a small group of people led by Sue Crandall.

Ms. Crandall is certainly entitled to her opinion, which is that the removal is a "victory for common sense."

However, as a parent of a child who attends Anne Arundel County schools, I do not feel that a minority opinion should deprive students of the exposure to diverse literature.

Ms. Crandall was quoted in the Washington Post as saying the book portrayed "white people as being horrible, nasty, stupid people and I don't appreciate being portrayed that way." (Was she in the book? Did she behave the way the whites were portrayed?)

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