Is mayor streetwise enough to get handle on city's...

Letters to the Editor

July 10, 1998

Is mayor streetwise enough to get handle on city's problems?

As strange as it seems, I am not surprised that Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke was shocked by the behavior of "street people" as he came upon a shooting scene in West Baltimore.

To admit that he has been on such a patrol only four times in 11 years is an indication of his previous priorities. I wonder how many times has he made an unannounced visit to city schools or public housing?

Judging from news reports, Mr. Schmoke seems to be a wiz at determining the needs of business and the downtown and harbor areas. Perhaps he can wave his wand at people concerns, too.

McNair Taylor


Reporters have no business making fun of their subjects

Since when does The Sun justify embarrassing the people it covers? On June 21, you ran a feature "Revelers without a cause" about the first Tibet Freedom concert in Washington. Amid coverage of the lightning strike, a number of concert goers were interviewed about the geographic location of Tibet and their knowledge of the issues.

I wasn't surprised that lots of people were clueless about these topics, but I was dismayed to see their cluelessness reported in a few random let's-make-fun-of-these-deadbeats paragraphs that were worked into the story.

Then the article "Oh, say can you do well in history?" (July 4), The Sun one-upped itself with a story that was filled with specific examples of citizens' ignorance of history. The killer was a caption that appeared next to a picture of a man changing a tire for a stranger. The caption identified the Samaritan and then quoted his inaccurate rendering of "The Star Spangled Banner."

Are readers supposed to be amused by cheap shots and heartless ridicule? How did Laura Sullivan and Heather Dewar get away with this kind of condescending approach to a story? What editor at The Sun is condoning it?

These two reporters need to learn about empathy before they're allowed to go out into the community again. No self-respecting journalist would have thought twice about canning such a story.

Kathleen A. Jones


The writer is the newspaper adviser at Dulaney High School.

Gettysburg re-enactment shows bitter thirst for war

What is this preoccupation with war? And not any war, but a fratricidal one on our soil "Fierce Rebels fight as if to defy history" (July 5).

Is this re-enactment of slaughter at Gettysburg glorifying the Abe and Cain curse? Can men not live without killing, or pretending to kill their brothers?

You see this mass of "fierce men" and ask yourself why aren't they helping Florida quench the fires and embers, digging protective ditches, packing bags of sand to protect the embankments of their fellow men from flooding rivers or collecting help for those who lost everything. That would give more than enough outlet to their energies.

The armies invested a lot in their uniforms, weapons, travel and time. It is difficult to say who lusts more after wars, the "fierce Rebels" or the onlookers sipping soft drinks and watching this "splendid fight," the former with the desire to kill brothers they call enemies on the field or the latter lusting for more excitement.

Eve Kristine Belfoure


Don't forget the benefactors of Maryland Science Center

I enjoyed reading Frank D. Roylance's article ("Telescope refocuses on heavens," June 30), celebrating the reopening of the observatory at the Maryland Science Center.

Mr. Roylance's narrative of the Clark telescope's history, however, failed to mention that the original restoration of the telescope and construction of the observatory for the science center's 1978 opening were made possible by the memorial contributions of friends and family of my son, R. M. Nelson Crosby Jr., and my father, A. P. "Hop" Ramsey.

Baltimore should give thanks to the Coleman family for its generous gift that has enabled this latest restoration, but we should not forget those in whose name the Crosby-Ramsey Memorial Observatory was originally dedicated.

Sarah Ramsey Crosby


Parents need more facts to protect babies from SIDS

I have read The Sun's recent articles on the importance of safe bedding in reducing the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome with great interest and, as a parent, with personal concern.

While I commend you for addressing such an important topic, I am saddened by how much you have left out of these articles regarding the many other critical factors that can dramatically reduce the incidence of the syndrome.

SIDS is considered by experts to be a disorder of breathing during sleep, but are many risk factors, such as maternal smoking and formula-feeding increase an infant's risk of SIDS before he is ever laid down to sleep.

Dr. William Sears has written a fascinating book on this subject, "SIDS: A Parent's Guide to Understanding and Preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome." In this book, he outlines a seven-step program that has been proven by experts and parents alike to reduce the likelihood of an infant being a victim of SIDS.

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