IdentificationEditor: In reference to D. Thompson's letter...


October 03, 1990


Editor: In reference to D. Thompson's letter of Sept. 15 deploring media failure to include assailants' skin color when describing incidents of crime, I am equally disturbed.

Accuracy in reporting is an essential part of good journalism. The withholding of such a vital key to identification is nothing less than ludicrous.

Nancy V. Webb.


Editor: A writer recently asked why the media do not report black or white in describing assailants in crimes; specifically in the shooting of a kindergarten teacher at Westview Mall. Thank you, Baltimore Sun, for omitting that information in that article. The Sun did not report tall or short, fat or skinny, young or old, bald or hairy, nor any other description. It only encourages racism to report skin color in the absence of other relevant facts.

K. L. Freiberg.


Incumbent Edge

Editor: I am writing in response to C. Fraser Smith's article of Sept. 16, "'Landslide Johnny' shows that incumbent has edge."

I understand Mr. Smith's point regarding the advantages of incumbency. However, his attempt to further the point fails.

Mr. Smith states that incumbency assures ''a 3,000 vote advantage over any opponent before the first baby is kissed'' as if incumbents are handed these votes on a silver platter by a lobbyist, or another elected official.

Mr. Smith fails to mention that perhaps incumbents have an advantage because of their performance in office -- not to mention the fact that the voters did put them in office four years earlier. After all, incumbents weren't born into office.

Wendy J. Royalty.


By Any Name

Editor: As reported by The Sun, it appears that, in responding to complaints of undue censorship from film makers and film critics, the Motion Picture Association of America abolished its "X" movie rating and replaced it with a new adult-only classification to be known as "NC-17," indicating that no children under 17 may be admitted to the movie.

Now isn't that precious?

Apparently the movie moguls feel that, by borrowing from the lexicon of bureaucracy, their products will acquire an aura of respectability. They should know that, when it comes to obfuscation, they will never be in the same league with government.

To borrow from Shakespeare, ''Overripe garbage by any other name smells!"

I could suggest a more appropriate designation for their productions, but even in this era of permissiveness, I feel it would become the victim of immediate editorial deletion.

Carl F. Plaenker.


People in Need

Editor: On Sept. 17, I read in The Sun that wealthy (up until now) Kuwaiti families were given temporary housing at a homeless shelter in Ft. Meade, paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

On the same day, I was doing volunteer work for FISH, the multi-denominational, church-supported organization that primarily provides emergency food to the hungry. I volunteered vTC to drive someone from Aberdeen to the housing office in Bel Air.

It turned out to be an 18-year old woman with a 2 1/2 -year old boy. After using up her 3-day motel allotment from Social Services, she had no place to go that night or any foreseeable night.

She also had not eaten in two full days, because, ''I was saving what little I had for my boy.'' Relatives were either far away or unwilling to help. The housing office provided no help.

I ultimately provided her with food from a church food closet and deposited her with an obviously impoverished friend who agreed to help her try to find a place to stay overnight -- that night, one night at a time.

I was shocked, but should not have been. In most American communities, a homeless person, with or without children, can not simply go to a social agency and get a place to stay.

It is commendable for the United States to provide shelter without hesitation to foreign refugees, but it is utterly deplorable that we don't do even that much for our own destitute citizens.

John A. Feroli.


Bank Services

Editor: On Sept. 26, The Sun expressed, within the context of an editorial on MNC Financial's woes, a great wariness of the possibility that MNC might well not survive as an independent institution and would be taken over by a larger, better capitalized institution headquartered outside Maryland. The Sun expressed the opinion that this was a possibility which should be of great concern to local residents.

Certainly, the number of corporate headquarters located within any city or state is a matter of great pride to that locale's residents, and after several recent acquisitions and consolidations the number of major company headquarters in Maryland has decreased slightly in recent years. In addition, corporate headquarters mean jobs, just as a branch or plant of a non-Maryland company means jobs, and that is also a valid issue of concern.

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