Kenneth Starr's quest for lawyer's notes threatens vital...

Letters to the Editor

June 13, 1998

Kenneth Starr's quest for lawyer's notes threatens vital 0) trusts

The request by Kenneth Starr to invade the attorney-client privilege between the late Vincent Foster and his lawyer is truly inappropriate ("Court cool to Starr's request," June 9).

As a practicing psychologist for the past 38 years, I have participated in the process of confidentiality between client and professional. The purpose of this process is obviously to allow an atmosphere for the client to fully trust the professional with anything that the client wishes to convey.

The ability of the professional to serve clients most effectively is based on this relationship of trust. Without it, the capacity of the professional to provide service to the client is lost. It is the most important part of the relationship.

To argue that this relationship is null and void when a client dies is ridiculous. Upon the death of a client, the guiding principle should be proof that the information the seeker wants would have been acceptable to the client to reveal.

Breaking or modifying the confidentiality of the relationship should depend on the intentions of the client, not society at large. In the event of the death of the client, a document written or signed by him or her should be required to break the seal.

Cornelius J. Feehley


Two bad adult examples on one page of newspaper

Your May 30 edition cleared up any confusion I had about the reasons for the endlessly discussed decline of our society.

One story concerned Theresa Pearson's conviction in the theft of $63,101 from the Head Start program she directed ("Ex-Head Start director admits bilking program"). It is difficult enough to imagine a more despicable act than stealing from poor 4-year-olds in one's care, but it is astonishing that the penalty imposed upon Ms. Pearson is a mere five-year probation and repayment of less than half the theft.

On the same page was the conclusion of a story about traffic violators in Howard County. A teacher, Elaine Hercenberg, told her kindergarten class that she was going to court to fight a ticket. Though caught on film running the red light, Ms. Hercenberg denied her responsibility and the consequences of her actions and took the time to explain this denial to her class.

I would think a kindergarten teacher's job would be to show pupils the reason for rules, the importance of following rules and being accountable for one's behavior. Instead, Ms. Hercenberg taught them that rules can be broken by degree. She broke them just a little, and though the consequences could have been deadly (had one of her pupils been crossing the street, for instance), she cannot be bound by society's constraints.

These two stories, in a nutshell, show us how the adults in our society are influencing the next generation. Why a middle-class thief can escape prison and full restitution is beyond me. When adults allow adults to exempt themselves from the rules that govern society, they commit a crime of complicity.

The children who absorb these lessons from these educators will return to haunt us later, and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

Jennifer Landon


Princess Margarita shows monarchy at its best

I would like to thank M. Dion Thompson and The Sun for the excellent and very interesting article "Noblesse oblige and then some" (June 3), which concerned the great work of Romania's Crown Princess Margarita and her foundation in the development of such places as orphanages, health clinics and senior citizen centers in Romania.

The monarchy played a good role in the development of Romania. Princess Margarita's father, King Michael, overthrew the pro-Nazi dictator, Antonescu, on Aug. 3, 1944, bringing Romania to the Allies' cause and shortening the war.

The tragedy of Romania was that it fell on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain. King Michael tried his best to stop the Communist takeover of his country. However, he was forced to abdicate because of the threat that 1,000 pro-monarchist students were to be killed. Romania was to have a long, dark history.

I believe that when Romania's people learn about the history of their monarchy, added to the great work of Princess Margarita, the monarchy will one day be restored. Princess Margarita will be a great queen.

Walter L. Moore

Ellicott City

Kennedy's assassination elicited mourning and fear

I read with interest Fred Rasmussen's article about the Robert Kennedy funeral train ("Mourners waited for Kennedy train," June 6). It brought back poignant memories of standing for several hours along the train tracks at Southwestern Boulevard in Baltimore waiting for the train to pass.

The idea for the Robert Kennedy funeral train was to emulate President Lincoln's funeral train from Washington to his birthplace in Springfield, Ill., and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's funeral train from Warm Springs, Ga., to his birthplace in Hyde Park, N.Y.

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