Graziano's mistake offers chance to reach the gay...


January 17, 2001

Graziano's mistake offers chance to reach the gay community

While it is tempting to remain focused on the attempt to remove city Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano for his deplorable behavior, it is more constructive for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Baltimoreans to look for ways to ensure such a debacle will never be repeated.

The Baltimore Activists Coalition has submitted a plan to the mayor to do just that. If the mayor seizes the opportunity now, he can make a significant difference in the lives of the very people castigated by his housing commissioner.

Key to our proposal is that the mayor make good on a campaign promise to appoint a liaison to our communities.

By taking this small step, the mayor would establish what proved sorely lacking in his handling of Mr. Graziano's situation -- effective communication.

We encourage the mayor -- and the good citizens of Baltimore -- to continue to look for solutions beyond revenge.

David M. Baker


The writer is an organizer of the Baltimore Activists Coalition.

Tolerance for Graziano will help citizens in need

I met city Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano in December to share ideas about the city's public housing relocation program. His compassion for public housing residents impressed me as he discussed creative ideas that were socially and fiscally responsible.

Mr. Graziano has dedicated his career to public service and has a record of treating people with kindness and respect. His actions in Fells Point were appalling. However, his apologies have been extremely remorseful.

I sense he is going through a very difficult time and that his actions in Fells Point were highly uncharacteristic.

If we are going to preach tolerance, we also must tolerate a man's mistake.

We should cautiously let Mr. Graziano demonstrate his leadership in the housing department.

If we don't, some of our neediest residents will pay the price for our quick judgment.

Caroline Queale


Addicts who can't get help really deserve compassion

I do feel compassion and sympathy for city Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano and his alcohol addiction and homophobia problems.

But my deepest compassion and sympathy are reserved for drug- and alcohol-addicted people who don't have the pull -- or the insurance or the job -- that gets them immediately into a 30-day inpatient treatment program, with pay ("O'Malley OKs paid leave for Graziano," Jan. 5).

Merrie Fischer

Glen Arm

Investigate the dangers posed by depleted uranium

Bravo to The Sun for publishing articles on possible depleted uranium (DU) contamination ("Britain reverses stance on `Balkan syndrome,'" Jan. 10). Whenever I read such stories, I think of the "Plowshares vs. Depleted Uranium" group, convicted Mar. 23 by a Towson jury and sentenced to prison by Baltimore County Circuit Judge James Smith Jr.

Two members of the Plowshares, Philip Berrigan and the Rev. Steve Kelly, remain imprisoned in Hagerstown.

The Plowshares were willing to go to prison in an effort to expose the Pentagon's use of depleted uranium. Now I read of 15 European peacekeepers dead from leukemia and many other veterans who are ill from "Balkan syndrome."

I urge The Sun to unleash an investigation of the cover-up of the dangers of DU contamination.

Max Obuszewski


Chavez's charity didn't make her unfit for a Cabinet post

Linda Chavez took some needy immigrants into her home without checking their green cards. According to liberals, Democrats and the media, that disqualifies her from serving her country as secretary of labor.

The politics of personal destruction is alive and well in Washington. What a sad time for our society.

Harry R. Shriver


Barak, Clinton ask Israelis to accept impossible terms

I applaud Aron U. Raskas' column, "Barak sells out to Arabs" (Opinion

Commentary, Jan. 9).

I have never wanted anything for Israel but peace. But at any cost?

President Clinton spent too much time dodging scandal after scandal and was unable to give the Middle East the attention it needed. He then tried a last-ditch effort at getting the Israelis to agree to terms which were impossible.

Prime Minister Ehud Barak is trying to save his position by asking Israelis to have faith and confidence in Yasser Arafat.

Do Mr. Barak and Mr. Clinton think the Israeli people are blind and stupid?

Joan Solomon


Rally for united Jerusalem knew no ideological bounds

The Sun's article "At least 100,000 rightist Israelis rally in Old City" (Jan. 9) mischaracterized the massive demonstration in favor of a unified Jerusalem under Israeli rule.

The report claimed "an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 right-wing Israelis protested," when, in fact, 250,000 to 400,000 demonstrators converged on Jerusalem, from all political as well as geographic points in Israel.

The demonstration, whose organizers took pains to have no expression against any political party or candidate, represented all segments of Israel.

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