Enlarging Towson jail means better security, less cost...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 14, 2001

Enlarging Towson jail means better security, less cost to taxpayers

The expansion of the Baltimore County Detention Center has been discussed, studied and talked about for more than a year ("Md. legislators seek new study of Towson jail expansion plan," Nov. 6). The issue was placed on the November 2000 ballot. Despite a strenuous campaign by opponents and extensive media coverage, a majority of county citizens decided the project should move forward.

A single corrections facility in Towson, near our courthouses, means better security and less cost to taxpayers. Operating a second facility elsewhere in Baltimore County would cost an estimated $10 million more each year.

The health of older neighborhoods has been a priority of this administration since its beginning. We have invested millions to ensure the safety and attractiveness of places such as Towson. We will do nothing to compromise these communities.

We are meeting with Towson-area residents and the architect to design an aesthetically pleasing building. And we will continue to work with citizens.

But it is time to move forward with this crucial public safety project, as the majority of our voters have mandated.

C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger

Towson

The writer is county executive of Baltimore County.

Airlines' approach to security makes trains look attractive

What is wrong with security at Baltimore-Washington International Airport? Everything. How can security be maintained when the airlines are allowed to hire any security agency they desire to check passenger baggage - particularly the one hired by Southwest and United Airlines ("Two airlines confirm hiring Argenbright to do BWI security," Nov. 8).

The company involved, Argenbright Security Inc., is a joke. With its past record, would those governing the airport hire it to provide security for their homes or businesses? I would hope not.

Using a company convicted of hiring felons to man passenger checkpoints at Philadelphia's airport calls to mind the old adage: "Letting the fox guard the hen house." Passengers at BWI deserve better.

David Michael O'Beirne

Relay

Let me get this straight: Southwest and United Airlines have hired to do security at Baltimore-Washington International Airport the same company that allowed armed terrorists to board two of the flights hijacked Sept. 11 - the same company fined more than $1 million for hiring convicted felons to screen baggage.

Is it me, or is something horribly insane about this scenario?

Amtrak is looking better all the time.

Richard Crystal

Baltimore

Find nonviolent ways to confront terrorism

I am a 17-year-old student and I am scared not only for our country but for Afghanistan. I think there are ways President Bush could handle the situation other than bombing a Third World country. I do not believe in war. Violence makes me sick. We are killing as many innocent people in Afghanistan as the terrorists killed in the World Trade Center attack two months ago. In a way, we are no better than they are.

The United States has to set a good example for other countries by handling this conflict in a different way - a way that rids itself of violence.

Heather Mauro

Baltimore

News about pension fund provides scant solace

How comforting to learn from The Sun's pages that Carol Boykin, state pension fund chief investment officer, plans no change in investment strategy, even if the fund continues to lose money; that fund chairman Richard Dixon apparently considers rankings - and losing money - irrelevant, even though his failure to act may require a multi-million-dollar taxpayer bailout ("Pension fund apologizes for not informing board," Nov. 7); and that William Donald Schaefer, comptroller and pension board vice chairman, spends his days looking for unreported potholes in an effort to embarrass Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, instead of minding the store ("80 and counting," Nov. 2).

Why do I sense that former state Comptroller Louie Goldstein would not have let things get this far out of hand?

Brendan Greeley Jr.

Annapolis

Photo adds to adult appeal of teen-age pop star

I agree with music critic Roger Catlin that Britney Spears is getting some heat about the content of her new CD ("Generation XXX-er," Nov. 7). He even adds that her new stage show has been described as more strip club than Mickey Mouse Club.

However, I am confused by The Sun's three-column, 10-inch color picture of the scantily clothed pop star dancing with a large snake over her shoulders.

The Sun is clearly enhancing her audience appeal, regardless of what effect this may have on pop music's youngest fans.

Edwin Leimkuhler

Arbutus

Friedman's column sheds light on our dark times

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