Principals can cure what ails troubled city public...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 18, 2002

Principals can cure what ails troubled city public schools

The Public School Administrators and Supervisors Association (PSASA) wants the citizens of Baltimore to know that principals are the solution to school problems. They work conscientiously to establish a safe climate for instruction and to teach children good habits.

We appreciate and share everyone's interest in Northern High School ("Students, teachers call Northern out of control," Jan. 9) and the promises of support for Principal Betty Donaldson.

Together we will make a change.

Sheila Z. Kolman

Baltimore

The writer is president of the PSASA.

State, federal support get Patterson arts center started

The staff, board and members of the Creative Alliance, as well as the residents and businesses of Patterson Park, are very excited about the $750,000 in Department of Housing and Urban Development funds accessed by Sen. Barbara Mikulski for the Patterson Center for the Arts ("Arts groups wins grant," Dec. 25).

In addition to the HUD grant, more than $1.7 million in state funding has been committed, thanks to the vision and leadership of state Sen. Perry Sfikas. Private foundations and individuals have contributed an additional $350,000 so far.

We now have enough funding to begin construction, and a capital campaign is underway to raise the balance (about $1.5 million) needed to equip, start up and endow the comprehensive multimedia arts center. Construction on the Patterson Center for the Arts begins this March, and the facility will open in the spring of 2003.

We are thrilled with the enthusiastic support the Patterson Center for the Arts has received, and know it will be a dynamic asset for our local communities and the entire metropolitan area.

Margaret Footner

Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Creative Alliance.

For Kashmiris, minorities, India is no democracy

It is understandable that The Sun doesn't think much of the human rights of people beyond its line of sight, but can it please not feign a cold neutrality or meaningless pragmatism that, to the people of Kashmir, is nothing more than an excuse to justify the Indian occupation ("Ending terror in Kashmir," editorial, Jan. 10)?

How many more sacrifices by the helpless Kashmiris will it take before we start talking about their inalienable rights, instead of swooning over alleged Indian "secularism"?

By which definition of secularism is the occupation of people allowed when they were promised the choice to reject it? Isn't the Kashmiri insurgency vivid proof Indian secularism is less than as advertised?

Perhaps The Sun needs a reality check by listening to the Kashmiri, Christian, Sikh and Indian Muslim organizations here in the United States to know the reality of the Indian "secularism." For minorities, India is no Jeffersonian democracy.

It is not enough to pressure India into getting back to the negotiating table, as the editorial suggested.

Indians are known for negotiating to pass time, and every new "democratic" government (the latest is made up of Hindu fundamentalists) offers lip service to the dispute while continuing to suppress the Kashmiri freedom struggle.

Shahid Mahmud

Lutherville

Free-market economy gives license to corporate greed

Corporate greed exceeds anything imaginable. Imagine, for instance, a company (Burlington Industries Inc.) laying off 4,000 workers and filing for bankruptcy protection, then having the audacity to ask the bankruptcy court to approve up to $13 million for executive bonuses ("Firm in Chapter 11 asks to pay bonuses," Jan. 11).

Or, imagine executives of another company (Enron) making huge profits from the sale of company stock while keeping secret the knowledge that the business had huge losses and would soon have to file for bankruptcy protection and lay off thousands of workers ("Senate to probe Enron's collapse," Jan. 3).

Hard to imagine, but true - it would appear a free-market economy means those in power have freedom to do as they please, at the expense of the powerless.

Clifford L. Harrison

Ellicott City

Israel must defend the lives of its citizens

Jim Anderson's comments in his column "Mistreating `terrorists' multiplies their number" (Opinion

Commentary, Jan. 10) are yet another example of misinformation and idealistic fantasy concerning the Israeli-Arab war and Israeli rights.

I'm especially shocked and disgusted by his comparison of deadly Palestinian terrorist actions against citizens of a legitimate country (Israel) to French resistance against the Nazis during World War II.

Unlike the Palestinian terrorists, who believe in an intolerant and undemocratic society, the French were fighting the Nazis to help rid the world of terror, fascism and intolerance.

As long as Palestinian, Fatah and Hamas terrorists and murderers continue to kill and maim thousands of Israelis each year, Israel will continue to defend its citizens' lives.

Craig R. Nusinov

Baltimore

Do pork-eating habits belong on the front page?

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