Highway walls also prevent deadly wrecksIn response to the...

LETTERS

October 17, 1997

Highway walls also prevent deadly wrecks

In response to the letter regarding the wall noise barriers (''Money should go to the poor, not highway walls,'' Oct. 10), I cite the following: I live directly behind the site of the Aug. 18 accident involving the 8,500-gallon fuel tanker that crashed and exploded on Interstate 83 North, killing the driver and endangering the lives and homes adjacent to the crash. We have been told that had the portion of the wall that was completed not been there, the fire could have gotten into the main gas line. Therefore, all the homes connected to that line could have also exploded, causing many more fatalities.

We on Jeffers Circle consider ourselves very fortunate that our county fire departments, including the volunteer units in our area, responded so quickly. The walls are not only protection from noise, but also against accidents to our neighborhood.

Ada Schultz

Towson

Dogs don't seem to be the equal of cats

As a retired mailman, I have to agree with many things columnist Kevin Cowherd said about cats and dogs (Oct. 9, ''Cats claw their way to the top''). But rarely, if ever, have I heard of anybody being attacked by a cat. Or kept awake at night by a cat.

I don't own either a cat or a dog and I don't know why people own cats as pets. Unless cats remind them of leopards and tigers in miniature. Or that cats are more primitive, more instinctual than dogs.

Dogs seem to me to be generally dumb. Their instincts seem to have been bred out of them so they are half between a wolf and a child. If a dog would be left outdoors, it could starve. Probably couldn't catch a rabbit or a squirrel.

The dog is so domesticated as a half-human that it has no feelings or thoughts of its own. It only seeks to please its master and get an ''atta boy!'' and a pat on the head. Sounds kind of retarded, doesn't it?

I think the cat's indifference to its owner and the cat's refusal to be a ''love machine'' is almost noble by comparison.

I admit dogs are far superior as protectors of people and property. Just so long as you aren't on the dog's hit list.

John J. Flynn

Ellicott City

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I would like to reply to Kevin Cowherd's anti-cat propaganda in the Oct. 9 Sun. Everything he said about cats was wildly exaggerated negatively. Maybe cats are not the mindless beasts that dogs are, but each does have its own personality, and they can be quite affectionate and responsive to their owners.

I would suggest that the only cats Mr. Cowherd has known had owners who ignored or abused them. You get out of a cat what you put into it. Give it love and kindness and it will give it right back.

I know this to be true of my own two cats and many others who belonged to friends.

Dogs, on the other hand, bite thousands of people a year. Many of them bark for hours at a time and there is nothing like a dog to ruin a lawn. At least cats have a mind of their own, dogs are totally predictable. As someone who knows both animals well, I'm not surprised that cats have finally outnumbered dogs.

Michael Shackelford

Baltimore

Columbus Day was well celebrated here

The Oct. 14 Opinion Commentary article on "Discovering Columbus Day" by your editorial writer, Michael K. Burns, was read primarily by Marylanders, although the writer probably intended it to be a general exposition on this holiday, especially on the more negative aspects of Columbus.

For Mr. Burns' information, under the leadership of former Mayor Thomas D'Alesandro III, the Knights of Columbus, the Hispanic organizations, Italian-American Civic and fraternal groups, and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke worked together to put on the best Columbus Day celebration on Sunday, Oct. 12, 1997, since the quincentennial celebration of 1992.

Therefore, I do not understand why Mr. Burns would say that the observance "was notable for the absence of celebration", unless he was referring to Monday, Oct. 13, 1997. I agree with Mr. Burns that "Columbus is worthy of commemoration today because he brought Western civilization to the American continents."

However, it is just as notable, it seems to me, that he planted the cross of Christianity on our shores.

Samuel A. Culotta

Baltimore

Blacks would be missed if absent

If all blacks stay home from work on a given day, I would most certainly miss them. But this is because I number among them friends, respected colleagues, administrators and teachers for about 90 percent of the students in the schools in which I work.

Louis Farrakhan noted that whites would miss their cooks and baggage carriers. I wonder who is guilty here of stereotyping and not appreciating the enormous contribution of blacks in our society.

On another note, when Jews observe a day of atonement, they do so to atone for their own sins, not someone else's.

Judith Golding

Baltimore

Farrakhan seeks to spoil King's dream

So Louis Farrakhan wanted all black Americans to band together and stay home from work and school.

I sure hope I wasn't the only one offended by Mr. Farrakhan's assumption that, except for himself, the rest of black America is employed only as cooks, baggage handlers, musicians and athletes.

Personally, I think Mr. Farrakhan should stop speaking as if he were the national spokesman for black Americans. As far as any political message being sent by this "day of atonement," I hope it's one that would make us fearful that anyone supporting Mr. Farrakhan's views could ever hold public office.

We've come too far to start sliding back now. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and it's beginning to come true. Let's not let Mr. Farrakhan spoil that dream.

Cindy Dills

Havre de Grace

Pub Date: 10/17/97

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