Media don't notice all the good studentsI had the pleasure...


April 11, 1996

Media don't notice all the good students

I had the pleasure of attending the finals of the mock trial competition for high school students in the Third Judicial Circuit of Maryland. The students from Woodlawn and Towson high schools had triumphed over 21 other teams that had competed throughout the circuit over the preceding two months.

The coaches, Cleo Spriggs of Woodlawn and David Boyer of Towson, who is my husband, had spent many, many hours since December practicing with the dozen students on their teams.

Judge Barbara Kerr Howe and retired judges A. Owen Hennegan and James S. Sfekas presided over the ''trial.'' The students performed impressively, taking the roles of lawyers and witnesses in the mock case. As in past years, the judges in their closing remarks commented on the extraordinary competence of the students and how hard they must have worked to put on such an excellent ''show.''

Although the ceremonial courtroom in Towson was filled with friends, family members and the principals from Woodlawn and Towson, there was no visible representative of the news media in attendance. I have attended this event five times over the past eight years with my husband, as he has coached teams at Woodlawn and now at Towson, and the media has been absent on all but one occasion.

I wonder why high school students and teachers get so much publicity when they are in trouble, and so little when they are making us proud?

Susan N. Boyer

Ellicott City

Loch Raven victim unfairly portrayed

My son, Vincent B. Young, was one of the murder victims at Loch Raven Reservoir on June 15, 1995.

I am once again hurt and upset by the misrepresentation of him in your newspaper story (March 24). I was not in need of more pain.

To print testimony from a person whose testimony was found to be unreliable by the Baltimore County police is reprehensible. Vincent never "owned an assault gun.''

To state that a person's hobby is guns because that person owned rifles and shotguns which are used for hunting (different types are required in different states) is unfair.

To write, again, that Vincent ''stored'' ammunition in his room and, again, not to clarify that it was ammunition used for hunting, is worse than unfair.

The portrayal of Vincent living in a room furnished with ''a mattress, old television, stereo, phone and a book case'' is incorrect and false. Not to mention the depth of the pain that error alone has caused me.

Neither I or Vincent's father, his brothers and sisters and nephews, his grandmother, his many aunts and uncles and countless cousins, ever considered Vincent to be ''quick-tempered.''

I would like the readers of The Sun in Baltimore to know that Vincent Young was a clean-living, respectable, caring and loving young man who was truly loved by his whole family and by his many friends.

eresa G. Young

Pittsgrove, N.J.

Street animals need love, help

Ernest Imhoff's March 30 article about the ''Castaway cats of Canton'' was both heartwarming and sad.

I volunteered at my local shelter for six months and saw firsthand the horrible effects of homelessness and abuse on animals. In fact, I was so affected by its ugliness, that I had to stop my direct contact with the animals and instead support the shelter in other ways.

A special thank you to Deborah Levine and Edward Young for their dedication in trying to ease the starvation and some of the suffering of those poor creatures on the streets. And thank you to Mr. Imhoff for bringing the shocking reality of pet overpopulation and its consequences to the front page.

May I mention a group of wonderful volunteers who do the same work but on an even larger scale for the homeless animals in the city. I have supported these animal rescuers called Alley Animals Inc. for many years. Like Ms. Levine and Mr. Young, their love for animals has consumed all of their time, and their efforts to help any animal in need is endless.

I pray every night that the world will become a kinder one, particularly toward animals. May this story get the important message across to pet owners to become responsible and spay and neuter their pets. Also, please don't ignore an animal in need.

Evelyn C. Tontrup

Bel Air

Political scandals disgust taxpayers

Is it any wonder the average reader is disgusted with many of those in politics when the news media are constantly filled with stories of the likes of Jackie McLean and right on top of that, her successor, Joan Pratt, certainly an intelligent woman who appears to flaunt her power without regard to ethical behavior?

Many of the ''thumb-your-nose and public-be-damned" politicians' shenanigans appear on the front pages. But on April 4 The Sun carried an Associated Press story inside about the speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives who finally -- after 3 1/2 years of investigation -- admitted to federal tax evasion, yet continues to serve the taxpayers from his well-paying seat in the legislature.

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