Expensive inaugural is inauspicious debut for Towson...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 26, 2002

Expensive inaugural is inauspicious debut for Towson president

The creator of the $25,000 medallion given to Towson University's new president summed it up perfectly: "This is a coronation" ("Gold medal day at Towson U as leader installed," March 16).

Exactly: The installation of Towson University's new president clearly was not an inauguration, but an antiquated display of ostentation, the obscene necklace an anachronism amid modern reality.

We're still gagging over Towson University's public relations spin about the importance of the new president's residence for fund-raising events ("College house draws anger," March 8). Now we're asked to swallow the $56,000 weeklong "coronation" events.

And regardless of who paid for that gaudy golden bauble draped upon the shoulders of Towson's new president, it represents dollars grossly misdirected.

This is a publicly funded university, folks. And vast outlays of money do not an Ivy League university make.

Pete Nelson

Chester

A $25,000 gold medallion, a $1.4 million palatial mansion and a $56,000 reception.

I thought this was a college inauguration, not a coronation.

Sue Bornemann

Lutherville

As a taxpayer and alumnus, I am appalled at the extravaganza in installing His Majesty King Perkins as president of Towson University.

And the $1.4 million for refurbishing his residency is a waste of taxpayer dollars, especially in a recessionary economy and a state with a budget deficit. At $6,000 per student, this could have paid the expenses of more than 200 students for a year.

Furthermore, the $25,000 gold medal would have paid for three more students, with money left over for some books.

John Richa

Lutherville

The details of the installation of Towson University's new president, especially the $25,000 gold medallion, read more like those of a coronation. I bet even Queen Elizabeth II is envious.

What a ridiculous expenditure for a university strapped for funds.

Dolly Nemec

Parkville

Towson president's mansion is an investment in the future

As a recent graduate of Towson University, I have been closely following the controversy involving the purchase of the new president's mansion and I am writing in defense of Towson University and the University System of Maryland.

Just like a quality education, this house is an investment. The more effort and money put into it now, the greater the return in the future. And Towson President Mark L. Perkins needs a place to live and a place to entertain.

Towson University has a lot of potential. Let's let Mr. Perkins do what he was hired to do, and elevate Towson to national pre-eminence.

Ian Markus

Baltimore

Good citizens must defend their embattled communities

In reference to the articles on the death of Derrick Breedlove, I agree that this is a sad day for those who knew that young man and a sadder one for society ("Question for friends, family of teen: `Why?'" March 15).

But one has to go deeper when reflecting on our call as citizens and business owners to protect what is rightfully ours. As law-abiding citizens, this is our community and these are our businesses. A gun in a shop clerk's face demanding money is so lightly portrayed in The Sun, but we are truly the victims.

Let's wake up and realize who is being hurt by such acts: we, the community - its citizens and store owners.

I don't even question the actions of the liquor store clerk who shot Derrick Breedlove, because enough is enough.

S. L. Randall

Baltimore

Local libraries get by with help from their friends

The Sun's article on the cost of conserving the Maryland State Law Library's Audubon prints exemplifies a common problem ("For state's law library, costly question takes flight," March 16). Libraries lack funds for maintaining and conserving valuable items. Increasingly, "friends" groups provide needed additional dollars.

Such local groups include the Friends of the A.O. Kuhn Library and Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and the Friends of the Sheridan Library at Johns Hopkins University.

Libraries need help and public support to preserve our heritage.

R.H. Starr, Jr.

Owings Mills

The writer is a former vice president of the Friends of the A.O. Kuhn Library and Gallery.

Emergency contraception reduces need for abortion

I was disturbed by the letter that claimed emergency contraception "can be another form of abortion" ("Morning-after pill can cause abortion," March 16).

Emergency contraception (known as EC) is a safe and effective way to help prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse or contraceptive failure. EC is a higher dosage of the same hormones found in "the pill."

EC is not the same thing as Mifeprex or RU-486. EC helps to prevent pregnancy, and doesn't work if a woman is already pregnant. Mifeprex terminates an early pregnancy.

Each year, there are about 3 million unintended pregnancies in the United States - about half in women who are using a regular method of contraception.

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