U.N. deadbeat status is indefensible label for the richest...

Letters to the Editor

May 05, 1998

U.N. deadbeat status is indefensible label for the richest nation

The United States owes the United Nations $1 billion in back dues. It is unconscionable and indefensible for the world's richest and most powerful nation to be a deadbeat.

Republican Trent Lott and his congressional cohorts sabotaged recent legislation approving payment of back dues by hanging family planning restrictions on the bill. These highly controversial and totally unrelated provisions virtually assured the president's veto.

Imagine how outraged we'd be if some other government refused to pay its share and arrogantly insisted on being above the rules.

It's a national shame, and our ability to persuade and lead within the world community is being compromised.

Clear-cut international obligations and responsibilities should not be subject to congressional blackmail or partisan posturing.

Roger C. Kostmayer


Campaign against pensions requires apology by paper

The Sun owes an apology to the public school teachers and state employees of Maryland for its campaign against livable pensions for public employees.

In two of The Sun's editorials (March 23 and April 18) and in Barry Rascovar's commentary (March 29), The Sun's editors repeatedly use statistics taken out of context and deceitful arguments to mislead the public into thinking that pension reform for public employees is a great taxpayer giveaway.

If The Sun wasn't playing loose and free with people's livelihoods, its tactics and amateurish hyperbole would be humorous instead of extraordinarily disgusting. The statement, "A state worker or teacher with 30 years of service will . . . see his or her pension jump by a whopping 50 percent," illustrates my criticism.

Under the revisions, a state employee or teacher retiring July 1 with a salary of $25,000 a year and 30 years of service will receive a pension equal to 36 percent of their salary as opposed to 24 percent.

For The Sun to attempt to inflame rather than inform the public regarding the pension issues is a breach of the public trust borne by legitimate newspapers, a breach of trust that becomes even more egregious in a one-newspaper town.

John M. Wilson


Baltimore police officer asset to city communities

It appears that through human error, the author of an April 23 Sun article inadvertently named Officer Joseph Poremski as one of three Baltimore police officers accused of misconduct and subsequently subjected to disciplinary action. Officer Poremski, however, was neither accused of wrongdoing nor disciplined.

What is most unfortunate is that Officer Poremski has been exposed to great embarrassment, ridicule and scorn because his good name and reputation has been called into question. The Sun, upon learning of its error, took immediate steps to formulate a notice of correction: a few brief lines acknowledging the mistake on April 24. This seems grossly insensitive when balanced against the embarrassment that Officer Poremski and his family have been exposed to.

I would like to add, however, that the reporter in this case immediately acknowledged his error and did take the time to write a personal note to Officer Poremski expressing his remorse. This was much appreciated and helped to lessen the sense of irresponsbility.

Allow me to tell the thousands who read the story a few things about Officer Joe Poremski. He has been a member of the department since 1993 and has served in the Northern and Southeastern districts. He is the recipient of numerous commendatory letters and recently was commended for his involvement in suppressing crime activity in Fells Point.

Of particular note is the manner in which Joe approaches his duty, with dedication, commitment and integrity. He is, without question, a valuable asset to the communities he serves. I am proud to have Officer Poremski as a member of my command.

I hope that you see fit to allow Baltimore to get to know the real Joe Poremski, and the many men and women of the Baltimore Police Department who work so hard to improve the quality of life in our communities. I believe that it is a tribute they are truly owed.

Timothy J. Longo Sr.


The writer is a major and commanding officer of the Police Department's Southeastern District.

Hippodrome area is unsafe for Baltimore theater-goers

It is a bad idea to renovate the Hippodrome Theatre. The area where the facility stands is dangerous and not a place that theater-goers, like myself, would want to visit to watch an opera or Broadway musical. Parking also is likely to be a problem. Baltimore already has the Lyric Opera House for operas and Broadway shows. It is an older theater but is a great place to watch shows, and the acoustics are fantastic.

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