The Boston Globe from ,  on January 6, 1997 · 10
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THE BOSTON GLOBE MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 1997 Rogers' view She Boston 4Mobe WILLIAM 0. TAYLOR, Chairman of the Board and Publisher BENJAMIN B. TAYLOR, President MATTHEW V. STORIN, Editor H.D.S. GREENWAY, Editor, Editorial Page Yeah ...I'M CiUJ we PONT WoftX THIKE STEPHEN E. TAYLOR, Executive Vice President WILLIAM B. HUFF, Executive Vice President HELEN W. DONOVAN, Executive Editor GREGORY L. MOORE, Managing Editor ANYMORE. Founded 18 7 2 CHARLES H. TAYLOR, Publisher 1873-1922 WILLIAM 0. TAYLOR, Publisher 1922-1955 WM. DAVIS TAYLOR, Publisher 1955-1977 JOHN I. TAYLOR, President 196S-W5 LAURENCE L. WINSHIP, Editor 1955-1965 THOMAS WINSHIP, Editor 19S5-1981 AlO the white House is t I REAUY CRACKlHSi DOWN J ON MARIJUANA USE. A fair balance of powers III I Si i JT-- iiJL3U i im Vi i t ' i presidents have been forced to accept many examples of wasteful spending because the overall bill was too important and too urgent to be vetoed. With the line-item veto, Congress can still pass a vetoed item, but only as separate legislation, subject to a veto that can be overridden. As for the division-of-power argument, the framers never imagined Congress loading up massive spending bills with all manner of pork-barrel projects. In this respect the, line-item veto, as passed last year, represents a partial recapturing of power that has drained away from the president over the years. More practical is the argument that a president could use the power cynically - vetoing good projects sponsored by political foes and approving pork for his friends or for those whose votes he needs on other issues. But a president has plenty of that kind of leverage anyway. The more likely result is that appropriations bills will not be festooned with nearly as many needless spending items. That Would be no small achievement. Alexander Hamilton wrote that if the president did not have veto power to constrain Congress, "the former would be absolutely unable to defend himself against the depredations of the latter." Hamilton's argument in "The Federalist" prevailed, and the president's exercise of a qualified veto - under which Congress can still override the executive's objections, but only by a two-thirds vote - is well established. Now, however, a small group of legislators is seeking to block the logical extension of Hamilton's argument - the line-item veto enacted last April. Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and five other lawmakers have filed suit asking the Supreme Court to nullify the line-item veto on grounds that it would slow the appropriations process dangerously and would encroach on power that rightfully rests with Congress. Neither claim makes sense. Under the compromise passed last year, the president for the first time can single out and veto specific items contained in omnibus appropriations bills. Previously, Letters to the Editor The environmental benefits of cloth diapers Midtown flavor trash collection, paying directly for the disposables they use. For these households, disposable diapers could represent a major pail of their trash bill. For communities that do not have these garbage fee programs, these costs are shared among all residents. In general, cloth diapers do result in more water use than disposable diapers, although disposables clearly generate more waste. However, in Massachusetts, where water supplies are relatively abundant and inexpensive and where landfill cap-caeity is limited and relatively expensive, cloth diapers represent an important choice for parents to consider. SCOTT CASSEL Director of waste policy Office of Environmental Affairs Boston On Dec. 19, the Boston Globe featured an article on the imminent closing of Dydee Diaper Services ("Bottom line dooms Dydee," Metro). This is a sad story, first of all because of the 100 jobs that will have been lost since 1990 at Dydee. However, it is also important to recognize that while disposable diapers are more convenient than cloth diapers, reuseable cloth offers important benefits. Nationally, 18 billion disposable diapers are thrown away annually, generating 90 times more solid waste than cloth diapers. Only newspapers and beverage containers contribute more to our waste stream than diapers. Landfilling and incinerating all these diapers costs taxpayers $360 million per year nationwide. In Massachuestts, residents in 75 municipalities "pay by the bag" for People who worry about the future of downtown Boston have focused their concern on the midtown triangle between Downtown Crossing, Chinatown and the Theater District The opening of a new restaurant shows the potential for development along lower Washington Street, while the history of the site indicates the difficulties. The restaurant, Penang, specializes in Malaysian cuisine, which shows the influences of Indian, Chinese and Thai cooking. In keeping with the food, midtown ought to offer a melange of office blocks, medical buildings, theaters and Asian businesses. But development has been held back by its past as the Combat Zone. Penang was once the location of the sleazy Intermission Lounge. In 1995 Historic Boston Inc. bought it and the adjoining Hayden Building to save the latter, an H.H. Richardson gem. The preservation group has struggled to renovate and rent out the location. And while the Penang owner likes the wide-open floor plan of the adjoining space, the smaller quarters of the Hayden remain unoccupied. Historic Boston tried to interest executives of a bakery chain in the first floor of the Hayden. They beat a hasty retreat up Washington Street when they overheard a pimp yelling expletives into his cellular phone. Violent crime is not a problem, but incidents like this heighten a sense of disorder. The Menino administration has improved lighting and fixed sidewalks, but a visible police presence is needed. What this stretch of Washington Street really needs are developments bigger than the Penang or the Hayden. Office spaces would be ideal, and with the market tightening up, some of those 1980s plans for high-rise development might be revived. Mayor Menino should make midtown a prime focus of the next director of the Boston Development Authority. Tax incentives, rarely used in recent years, should be deployed to concentrate development there rather than have it spread to areas that lack midtown's transit links and urban densities. The mayor needs to convince less adventurous palates in the development community what Penang's patrons already know - that mid-town is an exciting, safe urban crossroads. Knowledge of Ebonics won't get you hired Educators should focus their energy on strategies that will improve the skills of black students to make them more proficient in English so they can succeed in the job market. As a black person, I believe we should spend more time mastering English instead of adding additional impediments to hinder our progress. Ebonics will only hurt young blacks who need skills in the English language to enhance their abilities. Ebonics will give corporations another reason to deny blacks and others equal employment opportunities. A corporation will not hire blacks based on their Ebonics skills but on their ability to communicate properly in English. Ebonics is a trap that we must not fall for. ALTHEA GARRISON Dorchester Pet peeves of a word watcher Your excellent Dec. 29 editorial, "Words without worth," will surely bring many responses with suggestions for additions. My own pet peeve is "more importantly." Another pet peeve is the unnecessary "ly" at the end of an ordinal (i.e., thirdly). I wish the Globe would run a regular column on linguistics. MILDRED Z. ALLISON Winchester The Globe welcomes correspondence from readers. Please include your name, address and daytime telephone number. Letters should be 200 words or less; all are subject to condensation. Letters sent by US mail should be signed. Mail address: Letters to the Editor, The Boston Globe, P.O. Box 2378, Boston, MA 02107-2378. The e-mail address is ktterglobe.com. A Republican double standard about ethics A dream team for Boston's schools 3 Democrat Jim Wright was speaker and his job was on the line, Gingrich, as his chief accuser, said that he should be held to the highest ethical standards. Thus we now know that there are two standards for ethical conduct and that "personal responsibility with no excuses" is In recent years, the Republicans have said that everyone should accept personal responsibility for his or her actions and not make excuses. However, the comments by Republican leaders on the ethical lapses of Speaker Newt Gingrich clearly indicate that they want him judged by a DOROTHY AHLE ILLUSTRATION different standard. In Gingrich's case, we are told that although he lied to the House ethics committee, we must accept his mild apology that he did not intend to mislead. When merely an election slogan to be used when convenient. Let's remember that during the next election. SALVATORE D. NERBOSO Plymouth Globe Newspaper Company EDITORIAL Christians and Jews are finding common cause The Boston School Committee's decision to adopt an assignment plan that ensures minority representation at the exam schools creates an op- Editorial Prtunity and a need. The need is Notebook to develoP a m qualified pool Huteuuuiv 0f appiicants from minority stu- dents in the public schools. The success of the School Committee's plan depends on this pool because the proportion of minority students admitted to the exam schools is tied to the percentage of qualified minority applicants. The current situation presents a leadership opportunity for black intellectuals. Currently Superintendent Thomas Payzant and Mayor Thomas M. Menino are working with parents and community groups to develop academic enrichment programs for minority students. In response to the recommendations of its assignment task force, the School Department has prepared an analysis of the cost of several school-based options, including an expansion of advanced-work classes and after-school or summer classes. It is imperative that such plans be funded. It is imperative that only the best elementary school teachers be involved. But more than this is required. The superintendent and the mayor must pursue the initial conversations they have begun with community groups. It will take more than school-based efforts to raise academic achievement among large numbers of black and Hispanic students. A major mobilization of minority parents and of the community at large is required. Well-informed parents and community groups must be involved in raising the awareness of marginalized parents and students regarding the importance of the entrance examination and proper preparation for it. They also need to become partners with the School Department in delivering extracurricular academic programs that focus on black and Hispanic students. These programs must serve not only elementary school students preparing for the entrance exam. Even a cursory look at the graduation rates for black and Hispanic students at the exam resources currently available are clearly inadequate for the need. Any effort to support minority students that fails to address this aspect of the problem is limited at best. One massive untapped resource that lies just across the Charles River is the W.E.B. DuBois Institute and the department of Afro-American studies at Harvard University. One hundred years ago black men in the South were routinely lynched, black schools suffered not merely from segregation but from having vastly inferior educational resources, and black adults faced severely limited employment opportunities. In the face of these challenges, W.E.B. DuBois launched a comprehensive study of all aspects of black life with a focus on solutions for the problems facing his people. Today the institute named in his honor, and the scholars who run it, should rise to the challenge as he did. The DuBois Institute and the department of Afro-American studies should join forces with grass-roots organizations and churches to support black and Hispanic students. This is an opportunity to enlist students, professors and materal resources to assist the community in helping ensure the quality of the academic programming. In answering the challenge, the DuBois Institute's dream team would present students with two important messages: that much lies within their grasp - as evidenced by their new contacts with those who have already achieved success - and that the successful members of their own people care about them. The beauty of these initiatives is that they allow the school superintendent to address two of his priorities simultaneously. The benefit for the exam schools is clear; what may not be as evident is the benefit to the system as a whole. A large-scale effort that mobilizes the DuBois Institute, community organizations, parents and students at the elementary level would raise the performance not only of those students admitted to the exam schools but of those who go on to other middle schools. The potential benefits of a massive aca THOMAS F. MULVOY JR. Managing ELNews Operations ALFRED S. LARKIN JR. Managing EdAdministration MARY JANE WILKINSON Deputy Managing EdFeatures RENEE LOTH Deputy EdEditorial Page BUSINESS dows after vandals smashed the window of a Jewish household during Chanukah. A similar act of hatred took place recently outside of Philadelphia, and the community again rallied behind its Jewish neighbors in a show of solidarity. Across the country, organizations and individuals representing all faiths are working together to help the black churches in their ongoing efforts to rebuild. Christians and Jews, blacks and white, might finally be starting to see the light - whether it be visible in the glow of the Chanukah candles or the star that shines atop the Christmas tree. Only through building, and not destroying, through healing, and not hatred, can the true meaning of the holiday season be realized. Wouldn't that be the very best gift of all? DR. LAWRENCE LOWENTHAL Executive director American Jewish Committee At the recent groundbreaking ceremony for the rebuilding of the Gay's Hill Baptist Church in Millen, Ga., a predominantly black church that was destroyed by fire in March 1996, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, which has worked in close partnership with this church in its rebuilding efforts, said: "For many of us, the sight of church burnings was all too familiar. Near and far, we have witnessed far too many of our synagogues go down in ashes - targets of hate. We have experienced the sense of fear, of vulnerability, of anger, and of isolation that comes with such tragedies. And we know what can happen when we are alone. For too long we were alone, as you have been alone. But no more. Enough. Many good people are waking up and want to be counted." Perhaps the tides are indeed turning. In 1993, in Billings, Mont., thousands of Christian neighbors placed menorahs in their front win TIMOTHY LE LAND VPAssistant to the Publisher CATHERINE E.C. HENN VPCorporate & Legal Affairs MARY JANE PATRONE VPSales & Marketing GODFREY W. KAUFFMANN JR. VPCirculation FRANK E. GRUNDSTROM JR. VPHuman Resources GREGORY L. THORNTON VPEmployee Relations MICHAEL A. IDE VPProduction ROBERT T. MURPHY VP 1 nformat ion Services RICHARD J. DANIELS VPStrategic Planning LINCOLN MILLSTEIN VPNew Media WILLIAM F. CONNOLLY Trtatmtvr MARY E. MARTY AL Treasurer schools reveals' that as much attention must be demic support program are too significant to be BoxtOH i paid to the number of minority students that grad- k forgotten or to go unfunded. '5. uate as is paid to the number that matriculate. Tha$ . JACQUELINE RIVERS

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