Students who cleaned blighted Balto. alley treated poorly...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 16, 1998

Students who cleaned blighted Balto. alley treated poorly by 0) city

I am writing to congratulate the group of students involved in the cleanup effort in East Baltimore ("Red tape litters effort to clean blighted alley," Oct. 10).

After reading that Ben Hall, Tim Smith, Tomeka Glenn and David Smith, college students with enough gumption to go out and get a job done, I was surprised with the red tape they experienced.

I also applaud The Sun for telling it like it is -- some people in the city's Public Works Department are just hypocrites. The chronicled mishaps of the day were truly ironic considering the students were only trying to help.

This was a case in which a group trying to help clean up a city alley is accosted by the police, the Public Works Department and a dump for not having a proper permit.

I only hope that others reading this article will not be persuaded to abandon similar plans to help the needy.

John Suskey

Bel Air

Why the military draft will never return . . .

Laird B. Anderson's article "Draft created 'citizen soldiers' " (Oct. 4) discusses many valid points in favor of renewing the draft. Many good arguments also favor an all-volunteer military force.

Mr. Anderson's article notes that "a poll has shown that a majority of citizens say women and gays should be included if the draft is revived."

I believe this country is more conservative on this issue than the ++ poll indicates. Politicians voting for legislation that would subject voters' girlfriends, wives, daughters, granddaughters and nieces to the draft may find their careers terminated. Many women who do not prescribe to the prevailing feminist ideology on this issue would rise in indignation.

There are many men, draftees and volunteers who served their country willingly and proudly, accepting the risk of combat. These men did not serve faithfully only to see their country draft the women they love into combat.

I have faithfully served my country for more than 23 years in the military. If needed, my sons will serve as well, draft or no draft. However, if this nation subjects my daughter to the draft and puts her in a position where she could face combat, my family and I will start looking for a new country.

Steven J. Boyle

Millersville

. . . and the reason it would serve our country well

Not quite a 1960s radical, but certainly a 1990s liberal, I could not be in greater agreement with Laird B. Anderson's article. Having opposed the Vietnam War and celebrated when my brother avoided the draft, I never questioned my assumption that we were better off without conscription until I began noticing the attitudes of the teen-age males I was teaching.

Disaffected, apathetic, prone to violence and abuse. The working class, suburban men I taught were going nowhere.

Simultaneously, I observed the Nation Of Islam addressing those problems in inner-city youth. Young men who become involved with the NOI share a sense of purpose; they are disciplined; they show a sense of affiliation by wearing a uniform.

It seems to me that the nation's military offers a similar program. The young men (and women) who serve in America's armed services come away with a sense of affiliation with our nation.

For those born economically secure, the military may seem irrelevant. For those on the fringes of society, the military may seem outmoded. For all of us, however, compulsory military service offers an opportunity to reaffirm our sense that we are all of one nation, a nation that, at least on one level, has a fairly level playing field.

Barbara M. Simon

Baltimore

Reader saw clear results of surgery reported in Sun

I wanted to thank The Sun and especially Jo Bremer for the wonderful article "Seeing is believing" (Sept. 20). Thanks to the reassuring nature and factual information presented in the article, I was motivated to explore LASIK for myself.

After an initial evaluation, I had surgery on Sept. 28. At my follow-up appointment the next day, I was seeing 20/25. For the first time in 27 years -- I started wearing glasses at age 8 -- I can see clearly from the moment I open my eyes in the morning.

The surgery was indeed painless and quick, and almost miraculous. I hope many others are inspired to try this procedure after reading the article. Thank you.

Mary Nelson

Woodstock

Taneytown chief's remarks are outrageous, offensive

I want to express my outrage about Karen Magruder's house being marred with racial and pornographic slurs ("Woman's house marred by vandals," Oct. 8).

I read that the house was vandalized with racial epithets and that various people and organizations expressed indignation at these actions.

Yet Police Chief Melvin E. Diggs stated "We don't have a racial problem here . . . We have a malicious destruction problem . . . it is just juveniles doing this stuff."

Hello? Is anybody home?

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