Older villages must tackle crime Some more good...


April 28, 2002

Older villages must tackle crime

Some more good reporting by Tanika White ("River Hill takes a look at promise unfulfilled," April 24). Too bad the selective vision and reporting doesn't include the plight of Columbia's older villages. Would that we were dealing with only hurt feelings and defaced posters. We deal with gangland style slayings, gun battles, rabidly racist "loose federations of drug dealers" and muggings of our elderly.

We are going to get nowhere on race in this city, nay in this state and country, unless we can at least talk about this. The pressing question that no one seems to want to tackle straight on, is why are so many young black men attracted to street crime, and why do our elected officials look the other way? Perhaps some of that is answered by their returning voting privileges to the career criminals. The good folks of River Hill probably don't want the added attractions that apartments and subsidized housing brings.

Rick Burk

Wilde Lake

Reporter should learn more about River Hill

As a junior at River Hill High School, I read Tanika White's article ("River Hill takes a look at promise unfulfilled," April 24), on the apparently unresolved racial and class issues at my school. Unfortunately, her article was full of misconstrued facts and frankly took a very limited perspective on the entire matter. I would love for Ms. White to spend a day as an actual student at River Hill High School.

When she walked into the cafeteria at lunchtime I wonder what she would think of all the self-segregated tables: some all-black, some all-Asian tables, and some all-white. I wonder what she would think of this year's Black History Month assembly, traditionally an excellent showcase of African-American achievement, which chose instead to go back in time and focus on the evils of slavery, creating an "us-vs.-them" feeling among students in attendance. As she walked down the halls and heard snatches of conversations about "rich obnoxious white kids," "trouble-making black kids" or "snotty Asian kids," I wonder what she would think.

In addition to giving a rather limited perspective on the race and class issues, Ms. White has again blasted River Hill High School using more misconstrued facts and figures. The PTA-sponsored event mentioned by Bev Byron, at which she was the only person of color, and felt snubbed, was a seminar on issues related to mental depression. Yes, this event was targeted at a "certain" group of parents: those who have children suffering from depression. The group of parents in attendance was there for one common goal, which was to help their children, not exclude one race or another.

In addition, the average home price of $436,000 is the average for the Columbia village of River Hill. The actual high school district includes homes in different areas, such as Highland, Fulton, and Clarksville, where the average home price is not so extreme. In addition, River Hill, as a magnet school, attracts students from all over the county.

It is truly up to all of us as students, parents, and teachers in the River Hill community to correct the problems that arise from the racial and class issues that present themselves on a daily basis. It is up to all of us to make an effort to get along with those who are different in some way, whether it be the color of their skin, the house they live in, who their friends are, or who they praise as their Lord. I don't see where another negative article with a limited or misconstrued perspective brings us any closer to this goal.

Clare Herlihy


Republican candidate says issues are clear

I would like to respond to Larry Carson's article, "Republican Adler criticizes Robey on budget, crime," in the Howard section of The Sun dated Wednesday, April 24, 2002.

I believe the issues in the upcoming election to be significant and clear. Jim Robey is the first county executive to withdraw money from the "Rainy Day Fund," taking nearly 50 percent of the $30 million of our hard earned tax dollars. We're not just tapping the fund; we're draining it. And, if that's not enough cause for concern, where is the repayment plan? In just one year the current administration has incurred an $18 million dollar deficit.

The current administration did not make a contribution to the "Rainy Day Fund" this year.

The current administration is taking 15 million of our tax dollars and they have no plan in place for repayment.

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