Tribute to soldiers earns accoladesThe Aug. 27 news...

Letters

September 09, 1996

Tribute to soldiers earns accolades

The Aug. 27 news article, "Maryland soldiers' sacrifice remembered," concerning the death and burial of 256 Maryland soldiers in the 1776 Battle of Brooklyn, N.Y., against British and German Hessian troops was a timely tribute by your news staff.

Thank you for remembering the occasion that gave George Washington time to escape to Manhattan. If General Washington had been captured and the force of the Revolution ultimately reversed on that day, we Americans would be pledging allegiance to the king of England and living under English law.

John B. Watkins

Baltimore

The writer is president of the city chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Yellowstone, national parks under siege

Your coverage of an agreement canceling the proposed New World gold mine outside of Yellowstone National Park ("Clinton draws praise for deal rejecting mine site,'' Aug. 13) fails to tell the full story.

In crafting the agreement, President Clinton did all that he could, given this country's out-of-date mining laws. Nevertheless, while Yellowstone may be protected from the environmental hazards of this particular mine, the truth is that the world's first national park remains at risk from a range of other threats we could minimize if we chose to do so.

Despite Yellowstone's size and special status, the core symbols of the park -- wide-ranging grizzly bears, majestic bison, boiling geysers -- are in danger.

Yellowstone's grizzlies are vulnerable to the continuing destruction of their habitat outside the park; bison that migrate out of the park along routes they have used for thousands of years are likely to be shot; and Yellowstone's more than 10,000 geysers, mud pots and hot springs are susceptible to geothermal development in areas adjacent to the park.

Other challenges facing Yellowstone include invasive, non-native animal and plant species, budget limitations that curtail scientific research and ever-increasing year-round usage that endangers resources and diminishes the visitor's experience.

We have to erase the notion that Yellowstone, or other national parks, are somehow separate from the lands surrounding them. For example, government agencies are considering allowing construction of the world's largest garbage dump in a spot surrounded on three sides by the protected wilderness of Joshua Tree National Monument. It would be difficult to pick a less suitable spot to dump 700 million tons of trash.

Protected lands most emphatically cannot be islands unto themselves. Greater Yellowstone is the largest nearly intact ecosystem in the temperate zone of the Earth. There, as nowhere else, by preserving the past we are protecting our future.

Paul C. Pritchard

Washington

The writer is president of the National Parks and Conservation Association.

Crime report startles reader

Tucked away on page 18 of section B of the Aug. 28 Sun was a startling report about a 39-year-old man who was "knocked to the pavement" in downtown Baltimore, robbed and stabbed several times. He then pulled a .38-caliber revolver and shot both attackers. One was listed in "fair" and the other in "serious but stable" condition. Both were charged with robbery and attempted murder.

I had hoped to read that the victim was acclaimed a hero by the cops. Instead it was reported that since he did not have a permit to carry a handgun, he was charged with a handgun violation.

Have we all gone crazy?

How can we charge a citizen "criminally" for protecting himself, having fired after he had been the victim of assault, robbery and attempted murder?

The two thugs were also charged with two previous downtown robberies and were suspects in "at least 15 others," the article said.

Is it any wonder that ordinary citizens are afraid to be on Baltimore streets, while thugs roam fearlessly?

Richard Walter

Columbia

All animals can love, even human ones

In response to The Sun's Aug. 29 editorial, ''$43,000 pooch," the clear thing that caught my attention was the missing point of unconditional love.

All animals have this ability; though man through hate, racism, bigotry and fear loses this instinct.

It's basic, simple and true. All dogs and even cats that are valued family pets or, at the other end of the spectrum, the most abused animals, never lose this ability.

Yes, $43,000 is a lot for a sick dog, and it is probably true that if the fire battalion chief had cancer, he would not receive that outpouring of funds.

But it does leave one question. Why does The Sun take the space to lament over the pooch and not use the space to promote the human instinct of unconditional love to each and every human?

B. A. Frantz

Timonium

Can a president fulfill our dreams?

During the recent political conventions, the TV anchors and panels of commentators said the candidates should tell us ''where they intend to take the country.'' The candidates told us they were the ones to help us fulfill ''the American dream.''

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