Colleges' new leader has wealth of vision but too little...

Letters to the Editor

May 20, 1998

Colleges' new leader has wealth of vision but too little 0) support

The article "Colleges' chancellor sees need to expand" (May 14) indicates that finally someone with authority has vision.

Community Colleges of Baltimore County Chancellor Irving Pressley McPhail is conscious of what has been happening at Dundalk Community College for more than 15 years. DCC has been actively retraining former employees of Bethlehem Steel and other industry giants since the layoffs of the 1980s.

Re-educating and teaching new technological skills to adults benefits society tremendously by reducing unemployment and allowing increased wages and, consequently, increased sales tax and income tax revenues. Also, providing this type of education entices employers to locate and stay in Baltimore County.

The modern community college should not be funded based mainly on its full-time student enrollment. Its contributions to the community also must be considered.

Trustees and the County Council should consider the enormous benefits to the community when they cut budget requests for Dundalk Community College.

Debi Golden


Alcohol is misguided cause for today's college students

In 1968, our nation's college campuses were erupting with violent anti-Vietnam War protests. Thirty years later, we are still having violent protests on our college campuses, although this time it is because students are not being allowed to drink alcohol ("Alcohol, the fuel of college melees," May 13).

It's sad that the values of college students have reached such a low point that they can't add up the facts that alcohol kills nearly twice as many Americans each year than were killed in Vietnam. Alcohol is also a leading cause of college date rapes, campus violence and spread of the HIV virus.

We should applaud college campuses and fraternities that are rethinking their drinking policies, but we should be worried about students who would risk getting expelled and tear-gassed for a beer.

Michael M. Gimbel


The writer is director of Baltimore County's Office of Substance Abuse.

Church-state separation protects each from other

The recent commentary by Susan Goering on the religious freedom amendment ("Let's pray City Council leaves 'religious freedom amendment' on the shelf," May 11) made the following statement: "The City Council resolution supports the proposed religious freedom amendment, which would amend the Constitution to restore school prayer, mandate government funding of religious institutions and breach the historic wall separating church and state."

In 1961, when I testified against a proposal for prayer in the public schools, a member of the Judiciary Committee conducting the hearings thanked me and said that every clergyman who cared about our Constitution and the First Amendment should be heard from.

One year later, the Supreme Court ruled that government-sanctioned school prayer violates the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Isn't it of critical importance for our City Council members to understand that without the separation of church and state, the government is not free from the intrusions of zealous churches, and the churches are not free from governmental interference?

Rev. Robert L. Zoerheide


The writer is minister emeritus of Baltimore's First Unitarian Church.

Sinatra mobster cartoon sophomoric and tasteless

The Mike Lane editorial page cartoon of depicting Frank Sinatra's coffin being carried by stereotypical gangsters was sophomoric and ignorant (May 18). This depiction could even be considered defamatory, slanderous and libelous.

This man, for all his faults, still brought a lot of happiness to millions of people for many years. I can't believe that you are so mean-spirited as to attack the man when he is no longer able to defend himself, as he had to do so often against sensation-seeking media.

As the wise sayings go, "If you can't say something good about a man, say nothing," and "Don't kick a man when he is down."

My wife, two daughters and I met Mr. Sinatra. He was kind and gracious, especially nice to the girls, who were 11 and 14 at the time. He even volunteered his autograph and to pose in pictures with them. He behaved not at all like the ill-tempered, pugnacious person portrayed and pilloried in the press.

Let the man rest in peace, and give him his due as not only an outstanding entertainer but also a most generous philanthropist and noble human being.

Irvin Samuels


The May 18 Sun hit a new high with the sensitively written front-page article ("A principal with all the right stuff") on the untimely death of the Carroll County principal and a new low with its editorial page treatment of Frank Sinatra's death.

Shame on Mike Lane for his tasteless cartoon showing Mafiosi carrying Mr. Sinatra's casket. Shame on The Sun for deciding to run it.

The cartoon belied a stereotypical view of Italians that is still held by too many supposedly educated people, despite their vaunted claims of being fair-minded and tolerant.

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