Puzzled

It appears you’re not running crossword puzzles. Admittedly, for the last year the puzzles have been a lot tougher, but I did enjoy them. I’d like to see them run again.

Kudos to Devorah!

The JT’s “The Ability to Succeed” (Feb. 5) highlighted Devorah Lieberman. Her family were congregants of the Young Israel of North Bellmore, where my late parents were founders. From the moment Devorah was born, her parents mainstreamed her and treated her the same as their other daughters. She was a curious and charming young child and has grown into an active, productive member of Klal Yisrael. Kudos to her!

You Can Count on Chaverim

On the Sunday of the big snow (“The Blizzard that Battered Baltimore,” Jan. 29), I received an automated call from the MTA saying that all special vans for disabled people had been canceled for the next day. My father, who lives in assisted living on Park Heights Avenue, would not have a ride for his dialysis appointment off of Wabash Avenue. Our cars and streets were snowed in. One of my sons, who has four-wheel drive, was also snowed in. I called Chaverim, and the volunteers there said they would take him. The community should be thankful that Chaverim exists.

Something To Cell-A-Brate!

Thank you for bringing Hadassah Hospital’s exciting announcement of a breakthrough in ALS research to your readers (“ALS Clinical Trials at Hadassah Hospital ‘Very Encouraging,’” Jan. 22. As president of Hadassah Greater Baltimore, I am prouder than ever of the researchers and doctors at our state-of-the-art hospitals in Israel who are dedicating their lives to critical stem cell science. This remarkable breakthrough gives us so much hope for those suffering from ALS as well as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Imagine a life free of pain and suffering. It is possible that in the next three to five years this dream will  become a reality.

Clearly, funding is needed, and our Baltimore region has played a vital role in providing funds for this life-saving research. We encourage JT readers to join us for our 10th annual Cell-A-Brate Gala on Sunday, April 10 at 5 p.m. at the Woodholme Country Club. All funds raised will allow this research and the clinical trials to continue. Together, we will  celebrate 10 years of medical miracles and the hope of magical breakthroughs. Contact us at 410-484-9590 to buy tickets or make a donation.

Reality Check on Crime Problem

After reading the JT’s “Wanted: Safe Spaces” (Jan. 15), I would be remiss if I did not make the following comments about the serious crime problem in Baltimore City. Until Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake admit there is a shortage of at least 300 officers in the city’s police department, we will not get a handle on the crime problem. This can be accomplished without raising taxes; all it requires is some bold and creative thinking on the part of those in charge.

For example, cut out wasteful spending in various government departments and shift the saved money to the police force. Do away with the PR units in all city government offices. City Council members should not require any aides; let volunteers provide help. Conduct yearly telethons to raise money for the police force; on a rotating basis, each of the city’s four major TV stations should be involved in conducting these annual telethons.

Thanks to the governing of phony career politicians including Rawlings-Blake and former mayors Sheila Dixon and Martin O’Malley, Baltimore City has had some lackluster police chiefs who have really missed their mark on running an efficient and effective police department. Doesn’t it speak volumes for the lack of continuity and stability within the department when you’ve had seven police chiefs in the last 15 years?

The last time I checked, the starting annual salary for a police officer was  approximately $48,000. For these earnings, officers do their jobs every day not knowing if they will return home safe and sound, as they perform their duties to protect us. Such uncertainty is now compounded with  an added concern of consequences confronting them should they make an arrest of a criminal with a rap sheet two pages long.

The long-term solution to the crime problem is a return to Judaic/Christian values and a resurrection of the family with a loving father and mother, or at least respective surrogates.

Candidate Lennon Deserves Better

How is it that an article promoting Yitzy Schleifer’s candidacy in the City Council’s District 5 race ends up with a headline alleging anti-Semitism, based on one unsubstantiated quote from a Facebook post (“Alleged Anti-Semitism in Council Race,”  Jan. 15)?

The accused, Derrick Lennon, also a candidate, is a longtime community leader who has worked well with people of all races and religions as president of the Glen Neighborhood Improvement Association. The headline and accusation would even be inappropriate for the National Inquirer, much less  the Jewish Times. Lennon has served the association with dedication for many years and certainly deserves better.

‘Holy Calling’ Defines Feiners

We were thrilled to see Arnie Feiner’s “holy” work highlighted by the JT (“A Holy Calling” Jan. 8). Arnie and Lisa Feiner have been steadfast North Oaks volunteers for more than five years, helping maintain our library shelves and repair any of our books that need attention.

During our 2012 renovation project, which included the library, Arnie and Lisa recruited a corps of volunteers, which included North Oaks residents, to pack up and later re-shelve and  organize more than 1,000 books in our collection. Yasher koach and many thanks to Arnie and Lisa!

Kudos for Schere on DFI Series Story

Daniel Schere in “Bridging the Religious Divide” (Jan. 15) presented a fabulous summary of the speakers and discussion for the second of five sessions on “New Frontiers in Confronting Anti-Semitism,” which is run by the Darrell Friedman Institute and coordinated by Neil Rubin for professionals and lay leaders in our Jewish community.

The series is funded by the Charles Crane Family Foundation, to whom we are always grateful for promoting Jewish education in our community, particularly for professionals who work in the Jewish community and want to be well informed in order to move our community forward. The next topic — on Feb. 11 — will focus on the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and how, at the same time, Jewish communities  are thriving.

One Word, Not Two

The article on “Curly’s Mojo” (Jan. 15) is in error when it refers to the Sheep’s Head Bay neighborhood of Brooklyn.  As someone born and raised in Brooklyn and whose late mother’s apartment overlooked the bay, I can tell you that the correct name is “Sheepshead Bay.”

Lennon Article Hurtful, Misleading

I read with great chagrin the JT’s  “Alleged Anti-Semitism in Council Race” (Jan. 15) impugning Derrick Lennon for alleged anti-Semitic remarks. Not only did these alleged remarks seem spurious and based on very little evidence, but they are entirely misleading and calumnious.

It has been my pleasure to work with Derrick Lennon in the Glen Neighborhood Improvement Association for the better part of nine years. I am very active in the association, which, reflecting the neighborhood it represents, is composed of roughly equal parts Jews and African-Americans. Lennon has never shown the slightest disrespect or prejudice to the Jewish members of GNIA and, in fact, has always been remarkably even-handed, even in the face of great provocation. He has always acted with restraint and professionalism, taking pains to make sure all events were available to all members (i.e., respecting dietary laws as well as Jewish holidays).

It is simply unbelievable to me and to anyone who knows Lennon that these accusations are truthful. One witness simply cannot make a feasible case, certainly not for charges as serious as these and with as little merit. There is too great a chance that the  remarks were heard incorrectly or out of context or that the motivation of the listener was less than honorable.

This article, whether intentionally or not, was potentially damaging to Lennon’s campaign for the City Council’s District 5 seat. Please follow it with a story that presents a more truthful  depiction of the candidate. A respectable newsmagazine would do no less.