Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 07, 2003

Making Mandel a regent revives old-style politics

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s appointment of former Gov. Marvin Mandel to the Board of Regents was a most disgraceful maneuver ("Ehrlich names Mandel to Md. Board of Regents," Feb. 21).

The appointment of Mr. Mandel (who spent time in jail before his conviction was overturned) along with the continuing presence of former chairman Nathan A. Chapman Jr. (who is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission) on the board certainly do not bode well for public perception of the management of the University System of Maryland.

And some of the governor's recent, questionable appointments appear to be playing the old game of politics in pursuit of more Democratic votes in his future campaigns.

I spent a considerable amount of time, energy and money supporting Mr. Ehrlich's campaign in the hope that he would exercise leadership and improve upon the image and actions the Board of Regents exhibited during the reign of former Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

But with this appointment of Mr. Mandel, I am beginning to feel betrayed.

Quinton D. Thompson

Towson

Old-boy network is alive and well

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has made a mockery of his own promise to rid state government of corruption by choosing the likes of Clarence M. Mitchell IV and former Gov. Marvin Mandel for positions of authority and trust. If Spiro Agnew were alive today, I guess the governor would surely have a position in his administration for Mr. Agnew.

Robert H. Paul

Baltimore

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s hiring practices certainly prove that the "old boys' club" is alive and well.

Betty Backes

Glen Burnie

Buses doom city to third-rate future

Considering the speed at which the current light-rail trains creep through downtown Baltimore, it is difficult to understand Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan's infatuation with "bus rapid transit" ("Ehrlich to cut transit request," March 5).

As any regular rider of Baltimore's buses or light rail knows, getting around is painfully slow and frustrating. And as long as cars and mass transit vehicles are mixed on city streets, a lane dedicated exclusively to mass transit vehicles won't result in rapid travel.

If Baltimore is ever going to have a rational, effective transit system, it must build out from our existing subway.

Relying on buses to move people through the city is sure to doom Baltimore to being a third-rate metropolis.

Brian Sullam

Baltimore

Put slots on hold, not transit plan

Transit Secretary Robert L. Flanagan said Baltimore's rail plan was put on hold "because Baltimore is not able to step up to the plate for construction at this point" ("Ehrlich to cut transit request," March 5).

Well, perhaps Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. should heed Mr. Flanagan's advice and put his slots plan on hold. And why should the city have to support additional buses choking its roadways when Mr. Ehrlich won't even back an expanded rail plan for the city?

And if the governor wants slots, let him put them where his "family values" party vacations, Ocean City.

Fred Furney

Baltimore

Are bare breasts a police priority?

I commend the mayor and the Baltimore police for the daring and valiant operation at a local night club on Fat Tuesday ("Nightclub's Fat Tuesday party leads to citation for indecent exposure," March 5). What an efficient use of law enforcement resources and authority.

Perhaps now they can focus on illegal gambling by raiding card games in private homes.

Ronald Galler

Baltimore

Lawsuits will hold agencies accountable

Hurrah for Joseph C. Schultz and Kristen M. Harkum and their lawsuits against the FBI ("Man wounded by agent sues three in FBI," March 4).

In times of war or national emergency, abuse by those in power that leads to infringement of civil liberties, or worse, always increases. But federal, state and local law enforcement must always be held accountable for their actions.

John G. Bailey

Edgemere

Devoted teachers need spring break

It is evident that the writer of the editorial "Making up for lost time" (Feb. 21) knows nothing about teaching. As a Baltimore County teacher, I was appalled to read that the county should cut out professional development days and move seminars to after school.

The school day can be very grueling, and the last thing that a teacher wants to do is sit through a two-hour seminar after school.

Teachers do have lives outside of school, and we find it very difficult to make time as it is. We arrive very early, some of us at 7 a.m., and stay very late. We bring home hours of work, and we work on the weekend and holidays at home.

The number of school days is insignificant as long as the children are learning.

Teachers are not in the profession for money. We have students' best interests at heart.

But taking away spring break is not the answer for making up lost time. Many of us make family plans to get away during that time. And teachers need breaks, too.

Rachel Woodland

Woodstock

The writer teaches second grade at Riderwood Elementary School.

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