Pimlico staff shines through darkest hours of Preakness...

Letters to the Editor

May 21, 1998

Pimlico staff shines through darkest hours of Preakness mishaps

I had a dining room seat at the Preakness, and I would like to express my condolences to the management and staff of the Maryland Jockey Club, as well as my praise for their actions in what was a no-win situation for anyone.

Preakness Day had plenty of victims. The fans who paid their money made the effort to attend and were inconvenienced by the loss of the power, creature comforts and the opportunity to wager.

The management and staff of Pimlico worked thousands of hours in preparation for this important event, only to see it marred by actions and circumstances beyond their control. Not to forget, the Maryland horsemen and horsewomen lost purse money from wagers that were not placed.

The staff at Pimlico reacted extremely well under the conditions Saturday. The fans, while frustrated and sweating, did not take to the racetrack in a state of civil disorder, which has occurred under less crippling situations at other locations.

If there are any apologies to be made, they should be coming from the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland for not providing this important Maryland industry and the Maryland Jockey Club with the support and means necessary to protect the Preakness and racing's contribution to Maryland's economy.

Fred Metschulat

Baltimore

Buddhism article captured teaching of 'path'

I'd like to commend you on the "Sun Journal" piece on Buddhism in The Sun ("Buddha's Day, 25 centuries later," May 12).

Thomas Graves managed to include all the details at the core of Buddhism in a simple, readable article capturing the spirit of the middle path.

He also reminded me that I'd forgotten and ignored Vesak, the May full moon day. Vesak was a day when my family gathered and did things when I was growing up in Sri Lanka.

Ananda Ranasinghe

Owings Mills

Don't protect tobacco firms from future litigation

The current tobacco bill contains a liability cap that amounts to broad immunity for the tobacco industry, including parent corporations of domestic companies.

This is the protection that the tobacco companies have been seeking to halt the important litigation process forever. It would put an end to Maryland's own $13 billion lawsuit and virtually all others. The $8 billion annual cap amounts to a fee of 33 cents a pack that the industry would pay, in essence, to buy immunity. There is no reason to offer the tobacco industry these special protections.

This aspect is so favorable to Big Tobacco that many believe the industry has been pursuing a "Brer Rabbit" strategy of opposing the bill to ensure its passage.

Our only hope is a planned amendment that would remove the immunity provision. Without this change, the bill must be defeated.

No bill at all would be far better than granting sweeping legal immunity that can never be undone.

Dr. Joseph Adams

Towson

Sinatra cartoon offensive to Italians and other fans

Regarding the Mike Lane cartoon about Frank Sinatra on May 18, I am outraged that your newspaper would promote bigotry about Italian-Americans.

The cartoon depicting Mr. Sinatra's funeral using Mafia pall-bearers is a disgrace. You owe an apology to the Sinatra family and to your readers for this insensitive outrage.

John Capozzi

Stevensville

I'm horrified by the tasteless cartoon on your editorial page today. It depicts cigar-chomping mobsters as pallbearers for Frank Sinatra.

Mr. Sinatra was America's beloved troubadour for almost 60 years. From "Stardust" to "The September Song," he has accompanied my life. Our children danced to "Young at Heart" at their wedding and buy his CDs, attesting to the timeless appeal of The Voice.

Your insensitivity makes me wonder anew at why we continue to subscribe. As many of us say "its mostly for the movie calendar and, of course, the obituaries." We get the news on TV.

Susie Nes

Baltimore

This letter concerns the cartoon relating to the death of Mr. Francis Albert Sinatra. There is only one word in the English language that is fit to print in a family newspaper to describe the cartoon -- malodorous.

Elmer J. Slaughter

Baltimore

Regarding your editorial page sketch of the coffin of Frank Sinatra being carried by four gangsters, I was saddened to think that was all you could think of him after his death.

I remember being one of the bobby sox fans who saw him on stage at the old Century and Hipprodrome theatres in the 1940s, when he brought the house down with his great voice.

Anne B. Hancock

Baltimore

I hadn't fully realized how much your once-renowned paper had slipped until I turned to the editorial page this morning.

There was the disgusting, tasteless and uncalled-for cartoon showing a group of thugs carrying a coffin bearing the name "Frank."

Mr. Sinatra brought joy to millions of Americans, spanning several generations. He set a standard of American popular music that will live on for generations. He gave of himself and his wealth in ways too numerous to mention.

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