Article on Berndt ignore his long record of fine public...


May 04, 2001

Article on Berndt ignore his long record of fine public service

Richard O. Berndt, one of Baltimore's most respected citizens who is constantly working to make this a better city, took time to assist others in their efforts to relocate the fiance of an executive recently recruited to Baltimore -- something that is done all of the time.

Unfortunately, that executive is a high-profile public employee, the CEO of the city school system, and Mr. Berndt's efforts surprisingly ended up on the front page ("Job sought for schools chief's friend," April 25).

People write to foundations supporting funding requests all the time. Foundations then consider the requests and make their own decisions. There is absolutely nothing inappropriate in people asking.

Mr. Berndt should be praised for selflessly taking time to seek to remedy what he was told was a problem.

Robert C. Embry Jr.


The writer is president of the Abell Foundation.

Few, if any, citizens of Maryland have given more of their time, skill and resources to enhance the public interest than Richard O. Berndt. He has done so with consummate skill and consistent effectiveness, in a manner not directed toward private gain or public recognition.

One can, reasonably, agree or disagree with his effort to raise funds from the private philanthropy community in response to a request for such help from some of the members of the Baltimore City Public Schools' board.

But how truly unfortunate that Mr. Berndt's initiative, which involved no conceivable gain for him, and was directed only toward the interest of the school system and the children it serves, would be presented by The Sun in a manner that ignored this man's extraordinary record of public service and the civic interest that motivated his efforts.

Charles F. Obrecht


Appalled by effort to help city schools chief's boyfriend

I am appalled by politically influential lawyer Richard O. Berndt's effort to seek assistance for Baltimore schools CEO Carmen V. Russo's boyfriend ("Job sought for schools chief's friend," April 25).

He not only insulted the four foundations he queried but had the audacity to send the request on his law firm's letterhead.

As "guru" of Mayor Martin O'Malley's transition team he should have at least had the courtesy of seeking Ms. Russo's approval before taking such an action.

I would hope that in the future Mr. Berndt might use his talents to seek contributions for worthy causes such as equipment and supplies for schools in need of textbooks.

Barbara J. Hoffman


Sauerbrey never fumed over choice for federal bench

I have just returned home from Geneva, where I represented the United States as a member of the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

While I was out of the country The Sun ran an editorial criticizing President Bush's judicial selection of Peter Keisler to a vacancy on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ("Choice for the 4th Circuit snubs state GOP," March 31). To my surprise I was described in it as "fuming over the slight to the party" by this decision.

No one at The Sun ever spoke to me about the selection. Nor was I fuming to anyone, much less your editorial writers. Indeed, I was in Switzerland when the decision was made.

While there are many qualified Maryland Republican activists whom I enthusiastically support for appointments to this administration, judicial appointments are too important to be viewed as political plums. I am pleased that Mr. Bush has selected a Marylander whom he believes will bring to the federal bench a belief in the Constitution and judicial restraint.

This is not the first time Sun editorial writers have attributed a position to me without bothering to contact me to see where I stood. That is highly unprofessional.

Ellen Sauerbrey


The writer is a former Republican candidate for governor.

GOP president placates those who were most uncivil

I agree with President Bush that a sense of civility has returned to Washington ("Changing political tone is toast of 100th day lunch," May 1).

However, I believe the president has had little to do with the return of civility; instead, those who caused most of the hubbub in the past now have one of their own in office.

Thomas N. Mitchell


Parents should investigate Towson club for young people

The Sun's article "Police add patrols to area near dance club" (April 24) gave generally thorough treatment to some of the issues surrounding young people and the club Generation Xtremes in Towson. However I made two points to the reporter that were not included in the story:

Club patrons are generally middle school and young high school students, without the maturity to exercise the best judgment. When a large number of such people are in one place, there is always the possibility of conflict.

Any parent whose child expresses an interest in attending the club should visit it during operating hours. The club owners assure me parents will be allowed to enter, and make their own judgments about the environment.

Kate Meeks-Hall


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