Louis L. Goldstein's touch of personality will be missed...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 08, 1998

Louis L. Goldstein's touch of personality will be missed in Md.

I was stunned and shocked on July 3 to learn that Maryland's beloved comptroller had died. To his family, relatives and friends, my deepest sympathy, for Louis L. Goldstein's death is a tremendous loss to all Marylanders.

I have been privileged to attend various functions listening to his humorous speeches through the years. I would ask him after the meetings if he would send me a copy of his speech, and his answer was always "yes." He would jot down my name and address. A few days later, the speech would arrive.

I will miss Mr. Goldstein, especially at the annual celebration of Maryland Day, March 25. The speeches, the placing of the wreath at the monument and the luncheon of the Engineering Society of Baltimore will not be the same because he will not be striding in, smiling, nodding, shaking hands and delighting everyone with his folksy, apropos speech.

Mr. Goldstein has never been too rushed or too busy to accept greetings, to exchange handshakes or to say, "God bless you all, real good."

Lillian Lee Kim

Baltimore I read the two letters attacking our association member, Rob Shiflett, owner of Christian Soldier gun shop, published recently in The Sun.

Ginni Wolf of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse (MAHA) is very angry that Mr. Shiflett dared call on the Lord for inspiration for his new business. I did not know that God had declared himself either pro- or anti-gun.

Mr. Shiflett's belief in a higher power should not be fodder for Mrs. Wolf's ridicule. He truly believes that God is on his side, and that view is his right under the Constitution.

As for Charlton Heston, he played Moses, not God, in the movie, "The Ten Commandments." As the new president of the National Rifle Association, he will speak out on issues that affect his organization. That is what he was elected to do, and he will do it well.

No one is more concerned with firearms safety than those people who earn their livings from the sale of firearms. We sell safety locking devices and security cases to store firearms properly. Christian Soldier, along with other firearms retailers and the Maryland Firearms Dealers Association, support, fund and sponsor safety-training classes throughout the state.

Sanford Abrams

Baltimore

The writer is vice president of the Maryland Licensed Firearms Dealers Association.

Values, preparation needed to help city pupils succeed

I was a candidate for chief executive officer of the Baltimore schools. I applied because I'm a local businessman and I had understood that the Board of Education was searching for a person with business experience. As events unfolded, it became clear that they were really looking for a person with financial experience, which is not the same thing.

Business people see problems differently than government types do. The city school system faces a classic business problem: Its customer base has radically changed, and the system has not adapted. Worse, the fundamental problem has not been identified. Money is not the key problem -- it is the lack of preparation of children to learn.

The hardest part in solving any business problem is identifying the core issue. In the city schools, the core issue is that the children lack a belief system that prepares them to learn.

In years past, most city children came to school prepared to learn. Today, this isn't the case. For administrators to say this publicly will take courage.

The goals of the city school system, as stated in its mission statement, are to prepare students to be responsible citizens and to give them the opportunity to acquire the skills, knowledge and abilities they need to make decisions that lead to productive lives.

The school board should explain how it hopes to achieve this mission statement without teaching students the values of the social system that has produced the school system.

While it has never been the business of the school system to overtly teach a belief system, without one, our city's children will not learn and they will continue to drop out.

Michael Lang

Sparks

Do children pay the price for less parental boredom?

Susan Reimer's column "For working mothers a breath of fresh air" (June 23) misses the point.

While emphasizing that working mothers are less depressed, less bored and less lonely than those who stay at home, according to an analysis firm in Rockville, no mention is made of whether these conditions exist in the children of working women. She concedes only that if they are busy, they are better off.

The daily news reflects just how much trouble our children have and how little clear direction they receive.

Two-career and one-parent families generally lack the time and, consequently, moral authority to guide, discipline and encourage children or to be aware of the dangers facing them today.

A little boredom, depression and loneliness do not justify abdicating primary parental responsibility.

Elizabeth Ward Nottrodt

Baltimore

Reading inspired author's autobiography

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