The contributions of Coppin's president will be sorely...


November 19, 2001

The contributions of Coppin's president will be sorely missed

It was with a heavy heart that I learned of Dr. Calvin Burnett's retirement after more than 30 years at Coppin State College ("Longtime Coppin president announces his retirement," Nov. 9). Under Dr. Burnett, the school has admirably weathered prejudice and adversity as it provides a unique service to this area.

Coppin's mission is to provide resources to those who lack them, provide opportunity to the disadvantaged, turn struggling youths from unsupportive environments into productive, competitive members of society - in short, to bring the American dream to those deemed to have the least chance of success.

And, unlike other public institutions I have attended, Coppin is interested in each person as an individual and provides support for all aspects of one's attempt to do better. Dr. Burnett knows each member of the campus community by name.

Dr. Burnett has petitioned over and over again for more support from Annapolis and the University System of Maryland. Opponents have denied funding in the hopes of ridding Baltimore of its historically black colleges and universities. But Dr. Burnett has persevered in an elegant and gracious manner, succeeding in his mission despite extraordinary adversity.

He will be sorely missed. But I only hope there is at least one more person who can lead Coppin as well as Dr. Burnett.

Jane Backert


The writer works in the Information Technology Department of Coppin State College.

Criticism of Gaddy's charities was a cowardly low blow

The Sun's article "Bea Gaddy's charities left in disarray" (Oct. 28) was a low blow to Ms. Gaddy and her family. Rather than focus on the organization's good deeds, the report chose to highlight Ms. Gaddy's administrative shortcomings.

The decision to print this attacking article was cowardly, poorly timed and mean-spirited. Running this story after Ms. Gaddy's death left no opportunity for the late councilwoman to defend herself. Is this the lasting impression The Sun wants to leave of this beloved and well-known community leader?

And is it a coincidence this type of negative journalism appears only for black public advocates? The Sun has written unfavorable stories on Jackie McLean, Joan Pratt, Billy Murphy, Rep. Elijah Cummings, Baltimore City State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and Larry Young, to name a few. When was the last time a story was written with such a negative slant on a non-minority activist?

Ms. Gaddy sought only to feed the hungry and house the homeless. This story was malicious and smells of witch-hunting. It is sad and disappointing that Baltimore's only major paper practices such despicable and underhanded politics.

Famebridge S. Payne


Opening the mail may be tonic for our ailing economy

Given the recent anthrax scare, many Americans have been hesitant to open direct mail sent to their home and office.

What many do not realize is how vital the sales generated from such advertising are to our economy. In 2000, direct mail generated $528 billion in sales.

To date, there have been three confirmed pieces of mail containing anthrax. Since the Sept. 11 tragedies, the U.S. Postal Service has delivered more than 30 billion pieces of mail. Those statistics are hardly cause for alarm.

Most industries have been adversely affected by recent events. While it first appeared the direct marketing industry would be immune, insiders now worry.

As one of those insiders, I encourage Americans to open and respond to direct mail just as they have in the past. We cannot let the terrorists win this war and cause further damage to our economy.

Jesse Barron


The writer is an account executive for Clear Images Inc.

Lampooning Schaefer's age is an unwarranted attack

Apparently picking on the handicapped (e.g. Rush Limbaugh's hearing loss) isn't enough for cartoonist Mike Lane. Getting old must be a sin, too.

I'm a libertarian who has disagreed with state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer on many policy points. Nevertheless, Mr. Lane chose a personal attack that is both unwarranted and pointless (editorial cartoon, Nov. 5).

Please remove him from The Sun's payroll. He dishonors your editorial staff.

Dean Carroll


Did John le Carre's essay offer courageous insights ...

John le Carre's article ("Making a new martyr," Nov. 11) was full of insights not often heard in these times when criticism and even dialogue are taken to be unpatriotic.

Of course the opposite is true, and if our leaders were willing to struggle more with these difficult issues, our world might be a better place.

Thank you for having the courage to print such a thought-provoking piece.

Chris Smith


... or waste too much ink to make some banal points?

I just waded through John le Carre's 2,000-word whine headlined "Making a new martyr" (Nov. 11).

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