Editor: Your editorial concerning the power struggle between the Baltimore County sheriff and the police chief stated that ''some malcontents and the Baltimore County Retired Fire Fighters and Police Association are egging'' the sheriff on.
That organization does not reflect the views of the retired firefighters in Baltimore County. The retirees are represented by the Baltimore County Retired Fire Officers and Fire Fighters Association, with a membership of almost 200 retirees.
While active in the political process, we are only concerned with legislation that deals directly with the benefits and concerns of retired firefighters. We are not involved in day-to-day activities of either the Fire Department or the Police Department.
We feel we had our day in the sun. We also think the leaders of both departments are doing an outstanding job in difficult times.
Samuel D. Hobbs Jr.
The writer is secretary of the Baltimore County Retired Fire Officers and Fire Fighters Association.
Editor: In response to the letter regarding the (negative) effects of gay and lesbian adoptions and parenting I would like to ask the writer where to find the evidence indicating that gay parenting is unhealthy.
In my experience as a child therapist for the past 10 years I have found it is this type of stereotyping that encourages ''dysfunctional'' (does not work) behavior and attitudes in our children.
Yes, there are certain sub-groups such as the ''poor'' for which there is significant evidence indicating that there is a higher rate of abuse and/or dysfunctional behavior toward children. But no clear evidence, that I am aware of, that race, sex, color or sexual preference determines the level of function or dysfunction in a family.
Yes, there are issues that will surface while raising children in gay families that are unique to this particular group. But this is true of any particular grouping. I remember attending a meeting on ''Black Effective Parenting Training'' (written by a white man) which professed that blacks hit their children more than whites as a result of slavery. Yet there was no evidence to support this racist statement.
In my experience, personally and professionally, it is not one's color or sex that determines effective parenting but one's attitude, openness and willingness to learn. Raising children in an open, honest, loving, consistent environment that allows for assertive expression of thoughts and feelings is paramount to successful child rearing. Regardless of sexual preference, number of parents in the home, race or color.
It is the freedom and flexibility a home creates for addressing issues -- whatever they are -- that is vital. I believe that it is the above mentioned ambience in a family, regardless of composition, that will lead to positive resolutions and as a result continually improve family relations.
It is when we practice our old dogmatic, biased, ineffective attitudes that we create and instill dysfunction in our children and hence in our society. Let's learn to do it differently.
Editor: I enjoyed reading David Conn's recent article, ''Polishing Downtown's Image,'' about efforts to enhance public safety downtown.
While our city has become well known nationally for its sparkle and charm, we Baltimoreans often take our downtown for granted.
In reading the article, I couldn't help but notice the omission of an organization that plays a key role in Baltimore's downtown -- the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore. Although they were never mentioned, this group was behind the proposed recommendations outlined in Mr. Conn's article. That organization will also be responsible for coordinating the TTC implementation of the recommendations.
I hope downtown's image continues to be polished, as Mr. Conn suggested. And, as a member of their board, I think Downtown Partnership, which works as a liaison between business and city agencies, is the organization to do the job.
Carl W. Struever.
Editor: When it was announced that 83 state troopers were going to be cut from the budget, the public outcry was heard.
The legislature backed down; the troopers were saved.
Higher education has taken a staggering blow from cuts, but the public outcry goes unheeded. The University of Maryland College Park has seen $40 million slashed from its budget.
Loss of outstanding faculty, loss of classes, loss of entire curriculums, double-digit tuition increases. What will happen when the children of the state troopers are ready to go to college?
If the state continues to treat higher education as it is currently doing, the lack of funding will create second-rate schools. A student's dream of quality higher education will become a nightmare.
It is through education that we make progress.
The state's future depends on keeping its best and brightest young people in Maryland, developing a sophisticated work force for the next century.