Mayoral ChoiceEditor: Your apologetic endorsement for...


August 29, 1991

Mayoral Choice

Editor: Your apologetic endorsement for mayor just won't do. You can't, in good conscience, endorse an incompetent. Schmoke for judge, yes. For mayor, no.

Education -- a shambles. City Jail -- a shambles and public disgrace. Public Works and business practices -- a shambles.

Be fair: Du Burns and Bill Swisher did a better job with their city positions. Either would be an improvement as mayor.

Kurt Schmoke is a pleasant, incompetent intellectual. Unfortunately, his choice of associates and managers leaves a lot to be desired.

Ross Z. Pierpont.


Ukraine's Name

Editor: I note that the American media, including The Sun, always keeps referring to Ukraine as "the" Ukraine. At the same time, they do not refer to, let's say, Russia or Kazakhstan as the Russia or the Kazakhstan.

This differentiation is absurd and without any justification. It is poor English. The English language uses the definite article ''the'' for vague geographical areas such as ''the West'' or ''the North'' or non-country areas such as ''the Arctic'' but not for countries with definite borders.

Ukraine is a state with precise borders, and since 1945 it has been a charter member of the United Nations. No geographical non-state areas are members of that world organization.

So, there is no question that the definite article ''the'' adds nothing to the name of Ukraine. It is today both superfluous and anachronistic.

The continuous use of ''the'' before Ukraine is insulting to Ukrainian-Americans because, according to Webster's Dictionary, it leads to a misconception that Ukraine is just a geographical part of Russia, which is not true. Today this use is avoided by people sensitive to the English language and the subject.

On Jan. 18, 1988, the Canadian Press news service officially discontinued the use of definite article ''the'' before the name of Ukraine. It is high time that our media also readjust their old habit and drop the anachronistic ''the'' from appearing before Ukraine in their presentations.

Wolodymyr C. Sushko.


Political Mapping

Editor: The redistricting proposal recently offered by Gov. William Donald Schaefer's panel represents a short-sighted attempt to undermine Maryland's emerging two-party system.

His comments to the contrary notwithstanding, the plan advocated by Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller is a clear example of partisan-based finger painting on the

state's political map.

It proposes a geographically unwieldly Sixth District, a Fifth District which is awkward to the point of embarrassment, and a carved-up Baltimore County in which communities with similar interests have been distributed to surrounding districts in a random, almost careless manner.

Miller has used the need to create new minority districts to justify his obvious desire to gerrymander Helen Bentley out of office.

Yet in his haste to rescue Steny Hoyer from electoral elimination, he has failed to realize that saving the member of the state's congressional delegation with the strongest ties to the current Republican administration might also be in the state's long-term interest.

hope the governor acts on his stated dissatisfaction with this plan and proposes an alternative based more on fairness and good sense than politics.

Richard J. Cross III.


Abortion Word Games

Editor: Matthew Sadowski's Aug. 21 letter reasons that 92 percent of abortions are performed for convenience, according to Planned Parenthood's Alan Guttmacher Institute.

Technically, this may be true if ''convenience'' is the umbrella category for all abortions other than the 8 percent Mr. Sadowski says are performed for rape, incest or threatened health of the woman or fetus. For Mr. Sadowski to capitalize on this is unfair.

He knows that the word convenience implies the type of decision-making as in ''paper or plastic'' at the grocery story check-out and ''fast-food or from-scratch'' by the tired parent at 5:30 p.m.

To infer this connection to the human agonies over abortion trivializes a serious societal issue. It implies that women in this category may have abortions because September is not as convenient a birth month as is March. In truth, this umbrella category includes pregnant 15-year-olds whose boyfriends don't want to ''get involved'' and 19-year-olds on welfare with three children already abused and neglected.

Playing word games with such difficult problems as abortion is cruel and counter-productive.

Karen B. Lane.


'Awful' Redistricting Attempt

Editor: Only a complete cynic could regard the plan proposed by the Governor's Redistricting Advisory Committee as enhancing effective congressional representation. It is little more than a slap in the face to Maryland voters in general and Baltimore County voters in particular.

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