Letters To The Editor


August 05, 2004

Lead-paint bill threatens safety of city tenants

The city's housing code protects infants from the danger of lead poisoning. When a violation of that law permanently damages a child's IQ, the landlord is liable for his negligence.

When the Maryland Court of Appeals sustained that law in Brooks vs. Lewin, it was following a well-established common-law rule. When violation of a statute designed to protect a specific class of people is the proximate cause of a person's injury, the defendant is liable for that harm, if the jury decides that the defendant's actions were not reasonable under the circumstances.

Legislation that would have freed landlords of that responsibility failed in the General Assembly this past session.

A similar bill, now before the City Council, should also be killed ("Bill stirs debate on lead," Aug. 2).

Samuel I. Rosenberg


The writer represents Baltimore in the Maryland House of Delegates.

Governor owes us an account of hiring

Reading the Aug. 3 "Political Game" column once again brought the arrogance of the Ehrlich administration to light ("State job stirs concern").

It is a shame Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. decided to lay off 43 state workers and to create a job for a June Smith, the wife of WBAL radio talk-show host Ron Smith. And to say Mrs. Smith's hiring has nothing to do with her talk-show host husband is a joke. After all, on the air, Mr. Smith has often carried the Ehrlich banner.

I think Mr. Ehrlich owes all Marylanders an explanation about this hiring.

Tony Oleszczuk

Bel Air

Waverly's school works to improve

I read with interest Natasha Lesser's article about the revival of Ednor Gardens-Lakeside ("A revival for Ednor Gardens-Lakeside," July 25).

Nearly everyone connected with this area of the city is thrilled with the increasing development nearby. The new Giant grocery and the YMCA at Stadium Place aren't quite as inspiring as Johnny Unitas, Frank Robinson and Memorial Stadium, but they do go a long way toward once again drawing people to the magic of 33rd Street.

However, I do take exception to one comment in the article. Ms. Lesser writes, "Residents face a problem common to many city neighborhoods: schools." Then she quotes a neighbor as saying, "They've got to do something about the schools."

At Waverly Elementary-Middle School, which is just down the street from Ednor Gardens, we have, in fact, been doing a lot about our school.

In addition to dramatic increases in student achievement over the last three years (nearly 75 percent of our third- and fifth-graders were proficient on last year's state test), we have worked closely with the communities surrounding our school to ensure a better education for our children.

I realize things are very difficult for the city school system right now and so it's easy to make or accept general statements about the schools. But as principal of Waverly, I wish Ms. Lesser had given me the opportunity to respond to the criticism she reported.

If asked, I would have shared our success stories and talked about our plans to make Waverly a very good neighborhood school.

Will McKenna


Kerry only seeks political advantage

In asking Sen. John Kerry to "keep to his conscience," Dan Rodricks shows a lack of knowledge of Mr. Kerry's method of operation ("On Iraq war, Kerry should keep to his conscience," Aug. 1). Mr. Kerry doesn't act on his conscience; he acts on what is politically expedient. Look at the following examples:

Mr. Kerry voted for the Iraq war and to fund it. But Howard Dean was gathering a head of steam and seemed as if he might win the Democratic nomination by opposing the Iraq war. Mr. Kerry had to switch tactics quickly to stop Dr. Dean. So Mr. Kerry voted against funding the Iraq war. This tactic worked, and Mr. Kerry became the Democratic front-runner.

Mr. Kerry says he believes human life begins at conception to satisfy the Catholics, but he supports the right to choose abortion to satisfy his pro-abortion base.

Mr. Kerry says marriage should be only between a man and a woman to satisfy the Catholic position, but he opposed the federal marriage amendment to satisfy his liberal, pro-gay base.

Don't expect Mr. Kerry to vote his conscience unless it happens to line up with a political advantage.

James R. Cook


Vietnam protests imperiled soldiers

Like Sen. John Kerry, I too am a decorated Vietnam veteran who returned home disillusioned with our country's involvement there ("On Iraq war, Kerry should keep to his conscience," Aug. 1).

However, unlike Mr. Kerry, I was proud of my service to my country and the honor it bestowed on me. I also was mature enough to understand the anti-war actions by people such as Mr. Kerry and Jane Fonda gave aid and comfort to the enemy, thus putting the soldiers still in Vietnam in harm's way.

Mr. Kerry still cannot grasp the consequences of his flip-flopping on the war. He needs to grow up.

Ron Wirsing

Havre de Grace

Kerry's conscience stood tall in protests

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