Hold Russia accountable for Serb terrorismThree years ago...

LETTERS

September 27, 1995

Hold Russia accountable for Serb terrorism

Three years ago Serbia launched an unprovoked attack on Bosnia and Croatia and then, in the name of ''Slavic

brotherhood,'' received strong support from Russia.

Finally, after years of humiliating appeasement and empty threats, the West responded militarily when the Serbs continued to slaughter civilians in Sarajevo. Boris Yeltsin, probably frustrated by the loss of superpower status, reacted with threats and bombast. Then followed two ominous events.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow was hit by a rocket, narrowly

missing a window and certain loss of life.

Shortly thereafter, two unarmed American balloonists were killed when they were shot down by a military gunship over Belarus. That region is still under the control of the Russian military.

There is no credible explanation for these events, especially the deaths of the Americans, nor has there been any apology.

The president of the United States needs to be clear and unequivocal when he privately expresses his outrage to Mr. Yeltsin. American taxpayers are sending large amounts of foreign aid to Russia and they will not tolerate such acts, even if their president does.

Roger C. Kostmayer

Baltimore

Courthouse garden is Towson's gem

Each time I see the old Towson Courthouse garden I am envious.

I don't consider it less ''people friendly,'' as Councilman Douglas B. Riley suggests, or a waste of money as in John D. O'Neill's objection.

What both fail to realize is the lasting beauty of sedums and ornamental grasses. Each season displays a different array of colors and textures culminating in glorious patterns when snow-covered.

Consider also that these are perennials which continue giving year after year.

Do you really prefer boring expensive grass which has to be fertilized, watered, weeded (chemicals) and mowed constantly?

The New American Garden theme is not only practical, less expensive, and less time-consuming, but far less detrimental to the environment.

Debby Hyson

Baltimore

Firefighter killed in the line of duty

The family of another firefighter killed in the line of duty and omitted from the list of ''Fallen Heroes'' would like his name to be recorded and remembered.

Lt. Joseph B. Coonan, a 25-year veteran of the Baltimore City Fire Department, was killed in the line of duty on April 4, 1971.

Richard A. Houck

Hunt Valley

A-minus to The Sun for the new look

Congratulations on a brighter, cleaner look with the new Ionic (more-condensed) typeface that allows for considerably more words per page, without looking more crowded. Now The Sun is easier to read.

However, your new vertical look on the front page of most sections deliberately makes the reader unfold the page to find out what the lead photo/story is about. And your Century (Roman) condensed one-column, italic sub-heads fail because they are too hard to read. A condensed sans-serif font would be cleaner.

All in all though, I'm very favorably impressed. You get an A-minus from this retired newspaper publisher.

Allen C. Jackson

Annapolis

The real pornography is out in full view

When New York City and Disney sweep the likes of Linda Lovelace and other remnants of pornography out of Times Square, will they also take a look at ''mainstream'' advertisements, like the Calvin Klein billboard pictured in your Page 1 photo of Sept. 19?

I find publicly displayed billboards featuring pubescent youngsters in seductive clothing and poses more distasteful than adult movie houses where one must pay for view.

Kate Douglas

Baltimore

Did Schmoke learn lesson?

Although he is a native Baltimorean and a person of considerable intelligence, it is surprising to hear Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke declare his intention to increase the user-friendliness of City Hall.

After eight years in office, he discovers that Baltimore is a city of neighborhoods that reacts unfavorably to government by committee and computer-generated correspondence.

Elections do more than determine who will lead, they also signal paths to follow.

McNair Taylor

Baltimore

Criticism of Grasmick unfounded

An Aug. 25 letter to The Sun objected to the court-ordered sanctions for certain Baltimore City public school administrators. The writer, Howard Bluth, demonstrated little understanding of the circumstances behind these sanctions.

His criticism of state school Superintendent Nancy Grasmick was particularly unfounded.

In 1984, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of a group of children by the Maryland Disability Law Center.

These children were not being properly identified for special education services. Further, even if they were identified, they were not receiving services on a timely basis, a clear and basic requirement under the law.

The court has made repeated efforts to use its muscle to bring the city schools in compliance with the law, but to no avail.

Superintendent Walter Amprey agreed to the formation of a Management Oversight Team. Dr. Grasmick agreed to serve on this three-person team with Dr. Amprey and the attorney for the plaintiffs, Mark Mlawer.

Dr. Grasmick and Mr. Mlawer took into consideration whether these city principals had sought additional resources to overcome compliance problems.

They had not. Dr. Grasmick and Mr. Mlawer chose not to recommend sanctions for other principals with equally serious and persistent problems who had made vigorous (but unsuccessful) requests for additional resources from central administration.

Mr. Bluth urges a concerted effort to reduce the special education population by weeding out all students who are improperly placed.

Yet he fails to acknowledge that it is the administrators who must do, but have not done, the weeding.

No administrator has even been held accountable for the ongoing tragedy that has befallen generations of city children who have not and are not receiving the appropriate public education to which they are entitled.

Catherine Bernard

Baltimore

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