Letters To The Editor


May 05, 2006

City has expertise to solve its problems

As a professional who has had significant contact with the Crossroads School, I can certainly understand why educators from four states flocked to Fells Point last week to learn how to achieve the greatest academic success with middle school students from impoverished urban backgrounds ("Models of middle school success," May 1).

While it may appear to some to be counterintuitive that anyone would come to Baltimore to learn about educating the urban poor, the success of the Crossroads School, KIPP Ujima Village Academy and New Song Academy highlight a very important point: Many of the solutions to Baltimore's intractable youth problems can be found in our own backyard.

Mark Conrad, the director of the Crossroads School, and his talented faculty have established a series of support structures that the city schools could put into place immediately without substantial cost and loads of new personnel. These structures contribute directly and measurably to the significant academic progress of the students at Crossroads.

Massachusetts, New York, Virginia and Washington sent educational administrators and teachers to Crossroads to learn to apply these structures. Yet there was not a single administrator from the Baltimore public schools in attendance.

Our organization experienced a similar circumstance last year when controversy arose over the operation of group homes for children and youths.

Despite results that outperform those of group homes nationwide, our program was overlooked by Maryland state officials in favor of trips to Missouri to study a model almost identical to our own.

We have incredible talent in our city and state, in the private and public sectors.

If we could only overcome the barriers, real and imagined, that prevent us from collaborating, we would discover that the solutions are in our midst.

There's no need to reinvent the wheel; the right way is right here in Baltimore.

Frank J. Kros


The writer is executive vice president of the Children's Guild.

Rebate will buy very little gasoline

A $100 gas tax refund ("Frist drops tax rise to fund gas rebate," May 2)?

Don't insult the American people.

That will fill up the average car twice at today's prices. Meanwhile, the big oil companies continue to make record profits on the backs of the consumers.

It's time to pay more than the sneering lip service President Bush gives to the need to develop and fund alternative energy sources -and to take the windfall profits from the oil companies and apply them to alternative energy development.

Janet Morrissey


Gas cost may keep warming in check

Why are politicians worried about keeping gas prices low ("Officials predict years of high gas prices," May 1)?

Our real problem is global warming.

To have any chance of avoiding catastrophe, we need to reduce fossil fuel use. The only effective way to do that is to keep prices high.

It won't do New Yorkers much good if gas is $1 a gallon but the city streets are under water.

John Laing


BGE wins battle for scarce dollars

To pay the electricity rate increases, I will not be paying for other things ("Pinching pennies and clutching dollars," May 2).

Starting July 1, I will be canceling subscriptions to local newspapers and magazines.

In July 2007, I will cancel cable service. In January 2008, I will stop giving to local charities and going to restaurants.

The electric company will win; everyone else will lose.

Glenn M. Souders


Awful time to close part of Bay Bridge

I am completely shocked at the poor performance of our state officials in scheduling the Bay Bridge Walk for Sunday ("Alert sounded for gridlock on bay," April 27).

Given the expected traffic congestion at the Bay Bridge because of Ocean City's Springfest this weekend, and the dramatic increase in boat traffic near the bridge as a result of the Volvo Ocean Race, our state government has again failed its citizens by scheduling the Bay Bridge Walk the very same weekend.

Isn't it reasonable to expect that the organizers of the Bay Bridge Walk, while deciding on the best weekend, would at least check the event calendar for Ocean City before selecting the date?

It's on the Internet, for heaven's sake.

As a result, Marylanders will sit in miles of backups, burning valuable gas, while walkers on the bridge stop to gape at the hundreds of boats parked near the bridge during the Volvo Ocean Race.

None of this is difficult. Competent people wouldn't close one of the Bay Bridge spans during the busiest weekend of the spring tourist season, and they would certainly take a few minutes to at least check the event calendars in Ocean City, Annapolis and Baltimore.

Connie Drummond

Ellicott City

Mount Vernon group welcomes new ideas

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