Rawlings-Blake: I apologize
We must hold all of our public officials to the highest possible standard. This is a belief that I hold close to my heart. I work hard to earn the trust and respect of all I serve. Regrettably, sometimes I fall short. On a local radio show, I suggested that Brian D. Morris was being treated unfairly because he was black. Upon reflection, I deeply regret my remarks. Rather than attempting to explain my remarks, I would like to express my remorse.
Throughout my public and private life, I have always strived to bridge the divide in our great city. In 1999, I persuaded my late father to make a difficult choice to support a white candidate for mayor because I thought he was the best person for the job, period. The citizens of Baltimore deserve the most capable and qualified public servants.
Moving forward, I hope that the citizens of Baltimore continue to give me the opportunity to prove myself as an effective and sincere public servant. Not based on an unfortunate word or phrase. But based on deeds and the totality of my record. I am very grateful for all the support that I have received from every neighborhood in the city, and I remain deeply committed to making Baltimore better, safer and stronger.
Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake
The writer is president of the Baltimore City Council.
Make plastic bags inconvenient
It is mind-boggling to me that The Baltimore Sun would be arguing against the bag tax and in favor of the right to free, disposable plastic bags ("No to the bag tax," June 18).
The one and only benefit of using plastic bags is convenience. Now that we start to see and feel what many decades of convenience in the western industrialized world did to our environment, is it really too much to ask of us to give up a tiny bit? Does it really make us all, poor and rich, feel better and superior to be able to throw precious resources away? Or do we need the free plastic bags as a means for social equality - while the wealthy are burning their share of oil in gas-guzzling V8 engines, the little man should be getting his pleasure as well, in the form of free plastic bags (which, in case you are not aware, are made from the very same oil).
While it is admirable to dream of convincing people to use reusable bags with sweet words, it is more realistic to start using more drastic measures now. And a 25-cent charge might be just what it takes to make a convenience become quite inconvenient.
Reform school could quell youth violence
I want to draw your attention to the serious problem of youth violence, even within our suburban communities. I have not only heard reports of juvenile violence, such as the recent death of 14-year-old Christopher Jones, who was beaten to death by gang members while riding his bike, but I have also experienced harassment myself.
I was attacked in the boys' bathroom at school on Monday, June 8. The other boy kept pushing me into the wall. Later in the week, I got a threatening text message from someone I don't know. The message warned that the kid who assaulted me in the bathroom was going to rape my mom, kill my parents, then kill me. We reported this message to the police.
I think efforts should be made to stop juvenile violence. Maybe captured gang members should be sent to a reform school instead of juvenile detention/jail. Reform school would straighten them out and put them back on the right track to having a good future.
If we stop the violence, life will be better for both the offenders and all students. We should not have to live in fear.
Nicholas Sordillo, Forest Hill
The writer, a student at Bel Air Middle School, is a member of Boy Scout Troop 801 and is completing his Communications merit badge.
Where was the indignation under President Bush?
We should have a sense of deja vu about Ron Smith's criticism regarding ABC's decision to broadcast "a program from the White House of teleprompted comments from Barack Obama and vetted questions from a hand picked audience and to exclude opposite views" ("No surprise to see ABC give platform to Obama - but not to his critics," June 19). Whether Mr. Smith's comments prove to be true or not, couldn't the same exact comment have been made about every press conference held during the administration of President George W. Bush?
Ann Power, Catonsville