Buyback program a model approach to crime, civility The...

LETTERS

May 07, 2000

Buyback program a model approach to crime, civility

The Anne Arundel County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) would like to commend Alderwoman Cynthia A. Carter and Annapolis police Chief Joseph S. Johnson for Annapolis' excellent gun buyback program.

In stark contrast to Alderman Herbert McMillan's ongoing controversy with County Executive Janet S. Owens and members of the African-American leadership over the city's loitering ordinance, Ms. Carter has shown what can happen when elected officials work with the community on the problems of crime.

When Mr. McMillan first proposed his anti-loitering ordinance, it met with resistance in the African-American community. More than 1,000 people signed petitions opposing this bill.

Yet the Annapolis City Council passed the bill by a 5-to-4 vote.

The NAACP has joined the American Civil Liberties Union in challenging the bill. A court will soon determine if it meets constitutional standards.

Meanwhile, for months Mr. McMillan has been finger-pointing and name-calling. This has only served to inflame tensions.

It is now time to return this public debate to a more civil tone and let civility become the hallmark of future debates.

Ms. Carter and the Annapolis police department have given the entire community a model to emulate.

The NAACP calls on all members of this community to halt the personal attacks and asks Alderman McMillan to cease his name-calling.

Finally, we would like to thank The Sun for providing fair and balanced perspective on how the African-American community feels about these issues

Gerald G. Stansbury

Annapolis

The writer is president of the NAACP's Anne Arundel County branch.

`Team Bradley' still promotes his ideals

I wish to express the thanks of the Anne Arundel County "Team Bradley" for the many votes given to our candidate in the primary election.

We are sorry that Bill Bradley did not win, but we feel confident that his voice was heard and that there will be positive changes in America as a result of his campaign.

Thanks to your votes, Mr. Bradley will have two delegates from District 1 to the Democratic convention in Los Angeles this summer.

Charles Baum and I will represent the Bradley supporters in this district.

As a candidate, Mr. Bradley was an inspirational leader who represented the integrity, vision and high ideals that we expect from our politicians.

At the convention, we will try to ensure that Mr. Bradley's positions will be part of the Democratic Party's platform.

Maureen Lamb

Annapolis

Focus on candy missed point of Catholic confab

The Sun's article on the National Catholic Education Association's convention was a travesty of responsible journalism ("Catholic expo answers school marketers' prayers," April 28).

Noting the presentations by Tim Russert, Ben Carson and others might have helped explain why thousands of professional educators spent a week in Baltimore and why Catholic schools are the choice of so many people.

But a report in the Anne Arundel section focusing on samples of candy in the lobby of the Convention Center is not reputable journalism.

Interviewing one individual carrying away free samples of products does not represent a balanced report on a major educational assembly.

Robert Y. O'Brien

Severna Park

`Birth Mothers' deserve to be remembered, too

We will soon be remembering our mothers on Mother's Day and there is no doubt that they are very special to us.

But another group of mothers is also being honored with a special day -- Birth Mother's Day.

This is the 10th year the day before the traditional Mother's Day has been designated as the day to honor and remember those women who, for a myriad of reasons, relinquished children to adoption.

If your family has been touched by adoption, please remember these special mothers, the birth mothers.

On July 15, adoptees, birth parents and adoptive parents will meet in Washington for the 11th annual "March for Open Records."

This event, sponsored by various adoption support groups, is held to call attention to the need for adult adoptees to have access to their personal heritage, including their original birth certificates and other pre-adoption records.

For more information about any of these events or information regarding adoption reform in Maryland, please e-mail: mko421@aol.com.

Kate O'Connor

Annapolis

Stop supporting Cuban visitors

Upon reading about the amount of taxpayers' money being spent on Elian Gonzalez and family for transportation, lodging and security, I was angry ("Others paying costs of battle over Elian," April 29).

How long will this go on?

How long are we going to support Fidel Castro's Communist puppets before we come to a decision on who belongs to whom?

My opinion is send them back to Cuba where they belong. We don't need any more taxes.

R. Wojick

Millersville

Divisive politicking flourishes here at home

Does The Sun really need to go to Miami to write an article about a politician who plays to a certain constituency and practices the politics of divisiveness ("Ethnic politics in Miami," editorial, May 2)?

Our governor has for the last year used strong-arm tactics and divisive wedge issues to drive us apart.

He has given nothing to the conservative minority in this state and has rewarded the usual liberal special interest groups time and time again.

He has overwhelmingly favored the urban and liberal sectors of the state to the detriment of everyone else.

There is enough divisiveness and racial politicking to keep the editorial pages full right here in Maryland.

Michael DeCicco

Severn

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