Missed opportunity on city playground widens racial...


February 23, 2002

Missed opportunity on city playground widens racial divide

There are two ways I can identify with Diane Reynolds: I am a white female and a mother ("Decades after white flight, an apprehensive return trip," Opinion*Commentary, Feb. 13). But I am embarrassed to identify with her at all.

When her children asked to get out and play at the same playground she once enjoyed, she silently sat in the car and gazed out the window. What a disgusting response. Why deny them this opportunity?

By Ms. Reynolds' own account: "A police car is parked down the street. It's midday, quiet, only mothers and children to be seen." Where is the danger? What message does she send her children?

Ms. Reynolds is very much out of touch with the Baltimore of today, where people of all colors, religions and beliefs co-exist.

Segregation is a mindset. The "spectacle" she avoided was in her head.

Angelina Frock


I am profoundly saddened by Diane Reynolds' column. To hear of someone so self-conscious and frightened of "racial differences" she would not allow her children to play on her childhood playground - or even step out of the car - makes me wonder if there's any hope for people to forget about color and simply exist together.

Instead of teaching her children to understand racial segregation, Ms. Reynolds could have taught them to defy it.

And she could have taken the first step in making the gap smaller that day by simply getting out of the car.

Leah M. Ferguson


The Feb. 13 "City Diary" column brought tears to my eyes, not for the author's sadness but for her and her children's great loss from not crossing perceived racial boundaries.

I am sure she would have been pleasantly surprised by the current occupants of her former home and the people on the playground. And having such contact would have been a great step toward breaking perceived racial boundaries.

It is only by contact and dialogue, however painful, that we will ever come close to crossing, breaking and undoing racial boundaries.

Lynda Davis


Nevada residents are right to oppose waste dump ...

Many people seem to think Nevada is overreacting to the decision to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain ("Neighbors doubt safety of Yucca Mountain site," Feb. 19). But the nuclear waste will be lethal for the next 10,000 years, and buried for future generations to discover.

I doubt the same decision would have been reached if the location was anywhere near Houston, Washington, New York or any city with a more powerful voice.

Matthew Hyman


... but some are open to resolving its problems

The Sun's headline said "Neighbors doubt safety of Yucca Mountain site" (Feb. 19). Having been to Amargosa Valley, including the State Line Saloon, I would say some neighbors may doubt it, but not all.

It is surprising that The Sun's reporter captured well the views of some of the local characters in the article, but did not report that the elected leaders of Nye County are officially neutral on the repository. They have concerns but have worked very cooperatively with the U.S. Department of Energy to ensure those questions are being addressed.

It is hard to underestimate the distrust of the federal government in the West. So while the fact that proposed development of a nuclear waste disposal facility for the 21st century has nothing to do with the testing of nuclear weapons 50 years ago may seem quite self-evident, it isn't so in the minds of some of the colorful folks quoted in the article.

Brian O'Connell


The writer directs the nuclear waste program office of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Hundreds of snowmobiles mar Yellowstone tranquillity

The Sun's article "Park workers at Yellowstone issued respirators" (Feb. 17) has me totally astonished. Imagine, our government lets 900 to 1,200 snowmobilers a day enter our first national park - and ride their noisy vehicles, pollute the air and destroy nature's tranquillity.

Protecting Wyoming's tourism dollars and the commercial interests of snowmobile manufacturers is way off the mark.

Teddy Roosevelt must be turning over in his grave.

Elizabeth H. Lehmann


Radar cameras can protect neighborhoods from speeders

Maybe automated radar is not a very good idea for highways, with their unrealistically low speed limits, but for use in residential areas, I think it would be great ("Radar cameras give government new way to pick our pockets," letters, Feb. 17).

I live along Silver Spring Speedway - er, Road - where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour because it is a densely populated residential area. But most cars go faster than 55 miles per hour.

We have asked public works officials for assistance, but as long as traffic flows, they don't care what speed it goes. And at the last Perry Hall Improvement Association meeting, we were told the police don't have the manpower to patrol our stretch of road regularly.

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