Kurdish Tragedy Was Preventable
2 Peace is not free, but it is cheaper than war.
Douglas C. Watson.
Editor: Since it is heresy to take up the cudgels in defense of smokers' rights, it was refreshing to read Sandra McKee's Sunday Sun article on this subject.
As she points out to Louis Sullivan, secretary of health, smoking is legal and a matter of personal choice, something he apparently hasn't tumbled to as yet. There are even those who believe that the problems of drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, environmental pollution and hunger pose a greater threat to the nation's health than does "secondary smoke."
I wonder how Dr. Sullivan would propose to enforce the ban on smoking in federal buildings? Howard County, for instance, has a ban on smoking in all office buildings, which pragmatically translates into a system whereby smokers with private offices smoke at will, while those without are relegated to outside "breaks."
We have demonstrated that we cannot enforce the prohibition of illegal drugs and formerly illegal alcohol. What have we suddenly learned about effective control of legal (or illegal) substances that we did not know before?
E9 One wonders if our priorities are somewhat misplaced.
George M. Armor III.
Editor: What a disgrace! I saw the chart in your paper showing teacher's salaries. The top salary after 18 years of service was $54,523 and this is with degrees and years of additional credits. Then I see in the paper that Mary Pat Clark's chauffeur is making over $62,000 a year. It is hard to believe that a chauffeur makes more than someone who has the awesome responsibility of teaching the future of America, but in Maryland nothing surprises me anymore.
Joseph C. Matassa.
Tip of Iceberg
Editor: The brouhaha over John Sununu's extensive traveling at taxpayer's expense is merely the tiny, tiny tip of a very deep and very wide iceberg. Each year millions and millions of taxpayer's dollars are spent for trips taken by senators, representatives, aides, assorted staff members, secretaries, photographers, House doorkeepers, Democratic Caucus directors and family members.
It was very curious that in The Sunday Sun's list of congressional travels, there was not one senator or representative who hadn't taken a trip since September. Curious!
Interesting how a whole trip can be written off by attending a luncheon or dinner! I think we all know that the majority of these thinly disguised ''business trips'' are nothing more than ''fun in the sun'' ''R & R'' that are on the house.
So, why are we allowing it? I think it's time that we, who are ## paying for these trips, said, ''Stop!'' It is totally unnecessary for Congress to ''trip'' all over the globe, year after year after year. My suggestion to these wanna-be world travelers is, if they want to continue their global-wanderlust then they should try doing what their constituents have been doing for years -- save their money and pay their own way.
Jo Ann Fasnacht.
Editor: Congratulations to Peter Honey, Arch Parsons and Susan Hansen for the articles of ''Frequent Flying'' which they researched for The Sun of April 28.
My question is, was it necessary for all those representatives and senators to make all those trips listed in one year? I, for one, did not vote for my members of the House and Senate to stray away from their seats. I can see why so many important bills go down the drain for lack of votes, because the lawmakers are on tour at my expense.
It's a crying shame that our elected politicians have abused military travel to the extent that it has to be investigated.
Stately Visual Presence
Editor: Congratulations to the Maryland Stadium Authority for its decision to fully restore Camden Station, and to your architecture critic, Edward Gunts, for his well-researched article [The Sunday Sun, April 14], which provides all the reasons for the correctness of this decision.
The reconstruction of the 185-foot-high clock tower, flanked by an additional story and cupolas at either end of the north facade, will surely provide a stately visual presence to the structure.
Now, if someone could only undertake similar action in behalf of the deteriorating remains of the President Street Station, perhaps it, too, could lend an aura of 19th-century architecture to the area east of the Inner Harbor.
Bennard B. Perlman.