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Defending Waverly

Posted 1/8/2003

I appreciated the sensitivity and thoughtfulness that went into Tom Chalkley's feature, especially since it could have sensationalized and exploited people's polarized positions; gratefully it did not do that ("For Better or for Worse," Jan. 1). And having real history discussed and talked and written about knowledgeably is always very refreshing. If I could have added anything, it would have been a sidebar interview with Winkie Campbell-Notar, our Main Street manager, who is working very hard to bring Waverly residents and merchants together to spruce up the Greenmount Avenue corridor.

Joe Stewart
Baltimore

It is understandable that much is edited when writing a cover story. We would like to emphasize the forward-thinking that goes on in Waverly. Our community is in the middle of a five-year strategic plan with increasing involvement from the residents, has had back-to-back successful National Night Out Events with Ednor Gardens, and works very closely with the Greater Homewood Community Corp. in their role in Waverly Elementary School's future. Things aren't as bad as they seem.

Myles Hoenig
President, Waverly Improvement Association

Baltimore

Selection Rejection

Gov.-elect Robert Ehrlich's selection of Edward Norris to head the Maryland State Police and Gary McLhinney to command the Maryland Transportation Authority Police represents the best and the worst, respectively, to be found in political appointments (The Nose, Jan. 1). One candidate is eminently qualified, while the other is minimally qualified, if at all.

On one hand, city police Commissioner Norris was clearly selected for the position based on his qualifications and experience. His tenure with the Baltimore City Police Department was marked by a significant decline in violent crime and an increase in the morale of the officers who serve the city. He will expand the State Police's crime-fighting role and enhance the gathering, sharing, and analysis of criminal intelligence in Maryland.

While many wish Norris would stay, given the treatment he received from some Baltimore politicians, nobody can blame him for leaving. One needs only to consider the furor that erupted over only two of four top commanders that Commissioner Norris relieved after a year in office. Compare that to the deafening silence when so many commanders were relieved by his predecessor in less than two months in office. Norris will be sorely missed.

On the other hand, the appointment of city police union leader McLhinney, who has no command experience, appears to have been made as part of the political spoils system. McLhinney threw the weight of the city Fraternal Order of Police into the election and has finally been rewarded for his efforts as a politician. Unfortunately, as a politician, McLhinney ranks among the lowest on the scale.

His efforts for Mary Pat Clarke in the 1995 mayoral election undercut support for police under the Schmoke administration. He learned a little from that, and contributed to both Lawrence Bell's and Martin O'Malley's campaigns for mayor in 1999. At his worst, he supported allegations of racial discrimination that ultimately served to polarize black and white officers and contributed to Baltimore's loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars for lawyers, investigations, and settlement of a lawsuit.

Cash-strapped Baltimore will continue to pay for that mess. The plaintiff in that suit, recently fired for making false statements, is now accused of sexual harassment in another lawsuit that is guaranteed to cost the city a judgment or settlement. Only the lowest form of politician ignores facts and exploits race for his personal and political agenda. The city is better off without McLhinney.

Douglas Womack
Sergeant, Baltimore City Police Department

Grasonville

Moussaka You

You are crocked! This is garbage! Or maybe you should eat amidst a crockpot, you crackpot (Omnivore, Dec. 11)!

Who gives you the right to criticize in this way? Have you been to Greece? Greece is for everyone, and the city of Athens is like many cities around the world--welcoming of all cultural dining establishments. Traditionally, Greece has always welcomed all as a cultural crossroads for the minds and goods of all kinds. The same exists in Greektown.

If what you wanted to do was promote this traditionally soulful food establishment over the Greek establishment Acropolis, you could have given full attention in your article to the tasteful dining evaluation of that ShamDanai's Chicken-n-Waffle House experience without damaging another in the process.

Why do you come to Greektown? It sounds to me that you need to take a lesson of respectful inclusiveness and the union-friendship of ethnicity, understanding this country of plenty--plenty of opportunity for all cultures without prejudices. It appears that you have no other premise but to waste our minds in your illogically inconclusive comparison and evaluation.

I grade your evaluation and review an "F." Get another job. Please learn some respect--we don't need your kind in Greektown.

Mavro Daffne
Baltimore

Omnivore's Richard Gorelick responds: What is that, a threat? Sorry, but I'm looking forward to my next great meal in Greek Town--at a Greek restaurant, too. However, in telling a story about the after effects of a disappointing Greek meal (and by repeating--not endorsing--another writer's openly prejudicial remarks regarding Greek food) I clearly left you with an opposite impression.

Needless Things

I find the fact that John Freyer wants us to buy his book about getting rid of his stuff, slightly ironic (Books, Dec. 18).

If consumerism is killing our culture, why create another needless product?

Aimee England
Hillsdale, Mich.

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