Does Orioles front office want a better team? I...

LETTERS

March 19, 2000

Does Orioles front office want a better team?

I definitely agree with the article "Mussina in command"(March 9).

I can't believe the Orioles haven't signed him yet. When you look at the stats, Mike Mussina has got better numbers than some of the best, and highest paid, pitchers in the league.

The weakest part of the Orioles over the last few years has been pitching. It makes me wonder why Peter Angelos and the rest of the front office would be so absent-minded when trying to better the team. What's even worse is that they haven't signed Charles Johnson, either.

It seems like the Orioles don't want to get better.

Nick Ross

Ellicott City

Visa program isn't as letter writer claimed

I felt compelled to write this letter after reading the letter "Visas for foreign workers bring down American wages" (March 14 ) in response to your article "Indentured servants for high-tech trade" (Feb. 21). The letter writer stated that "as a former civil engineer, (he is) well aware that the system was used to depress the wages for American engineers." From my own experience going through the H1-B process, I could not find any factual basis to support that assertion. For any visa to be granted, the hiring company must certify that they will pay a minimum salary for each specific position.

This minimum salary is determined by the Department of Labor, and is, to my best understanding, a researched industry average for the region where the job will be generated.

This is done specifically to prevent a depression of wages for a specific occupation due to an unrestricted increase in the workforce. To suggest that because of "abuses within the American immigration system" the program should be stopped is like throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

As a civil engineer graduate from the University of Pennsylvania, I was able, through the H1-B visa program, to apply my education to the improvement of the state's infrastructure. It is sad to see how a narrow-minded individual can distort the obvious benefits of attracting and retaining qualified individuals to join an already thin workforce.

Carlos Cisneros

Columbia

System should make students its priority

"Going out with a bang," The Sun' s March 5 article covering the celebrations behind Superintendent Mike Hickey's departure, exposed a misplacement of priorities in our school system.

First, rather than spending $8,500 for a portrait of Dr. Hickey, we should have asked a talented high school student to paint it without charge. We could have spent the $8,500 on student achievement.

Second, a 20-person party committee has been planning Dr. Hickey's Martin's West retirement bash since October. Are the committee members school employees using work time to plan the party? If so, they could better spend that time supporting students and teachers. Why use Martin's West for the party? Can't we more cheaply use a school cafeteria?

Third, will the students who participate in the Mike Hickey Week activities miss their classes? If so, will their teachers be held accountable for the learning that should have occurred?

The school system needs to make students its priority.

Kristine Lockwood

Columbia

Disbarment proceedings should go ahead in Ark.

Finally, in the state of Arkansas, the wheels are moving to have President Clinton disbarred from the practice of law for his lies at a deposition in the Paula Jones case. Judge Susan Webber Wright, the federal judge hearing that case, sanctioned President Clinton for his lies in the deposition and this would certainly be enough to have him disbarred. I believe they should add to the charges sexual harassment, which is an additional charge that would certainly get a lawyer disbarred in Maryland and should get a lawyer disbarred in Arkansas.

What is interesting about this is that if Bill Clinton is sanctioned and disbarred in these proceedings, it will mean that the ethical, legal and moral requirements are higher to be a lawyer than to be president of the United States. We all remember that the so-called greatest deliberative body in the world, the U. S. Senate, decided along party lines that the president's conduct was such that he was not disqualified from being president of the United States and did not even require that he be sanctioned for his conduct.

Donald B. W. Messenger

Laurel

Don't just ban guns, ban irresponsible behavior

Dan Rodricks' long and mainly vitriolic article ("Gun-control support grows with each tragedy," March 3) on the evils of firearms, particularly handguns, was a testament to the inability of some to refrain from dousing water on the outhouse while the main house is going up in flames.

Nowhere could I find the words responsibility or accountability. Gun control, properly defined, has these essential characteristics for the millions of individual law-abiding citizens whose guns are never involved in irresponsible behavior.

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