Sailing ship carries pride to the world The Sun's...


May 01, 2002

Sailing ship carries pride to the world

The Sun's article "Uncharted Waters" (April 16) wonderfully chronicled the history of the Pride of Baltimore and called attention to the fact that today is her 25th anniversary. However, the story may have left the inaccurate impression that the Pride's mission is unclear and her is future cloudy.

In fact, the opposite is true. Pride II provides millions of dollars each year in free advertising for Baltimore and for Maryland, making front-page news wherever she travels and serving as a goodwill ambassador for the state's under-funded tourism industry.

Pride II also plays an important business development role. The Maryland Port Administration recently used the ship to help secure millions of dollars of new business for the Port of Baltimore from Ford Motor Co. and CNH Global. And Pride II's reception in California for film industry representatives helped to cinch the deal for the filming of Jodie Foster's Home for the Holidays in Baltimore.

And as we approach 2012, the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, we expect Pride II to be elevated to national prominence as the only surviving example of the 1812-era Baltimore clipper ships that helped the United States win that war.

Pride II has become an icon for Maryland and its businesses, and her future is very bright. If you don't believe me, ask California, Massachusetts, Delaware and Virginia, which have created or are creating their own traveling tall ships, modeled after Pride II.

If imitation is the highest form of flattery, then Marylanders should be flattered.

JoAnne Zawitoski


The writer chairs the board of Pride of Baltimore Inc.

Juvenile justice still needs reform

It is both tragic and disturbing that Maryland's juvenile system continues to fail to meet its basic responsibilities, as evidenced by the clearly avoidable suicide of a 15-year old girl jailed for a minor offense ("State agency faulted in death," April 13).

As The Sun reported, the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) continues to lack fully implemented suicide prevention procedures although a comprehensive package of recommendations to address this disturbing omission was submitted to Secretary Bishop Robinson last August.

My organization, along with other advocacy groups, served with state agencies on the Governor's Interagency Workgroup on Suicide Prevention for Department of Juvenile Justice youth to recommend procedures to prevent deaths such suicides. How sad that eight months later we have a dead child, a grieving family and a sudden urgency to implement yet another dusty task force report.

How many more deaths will it take to move toward true reform?

Linda Raines


The writer is executive director of the Mental Health Association of Maryland.

Ethanol loaded with problems

I commend The Sun for taking what is probably a politically incorrect editorial stance against ethanol as an automotive fuel ("Corn, and what's wrong with it," April 25).

In addition to the problems the editorial cited, ethanol is a solvent for some plastics, is corrosive to many metals and, although it is more expensive than gasoline, it contains 60 percent of the heat value.

Ethanol rapidly absorbs water from the atmosphere, which can exacerbate those problems. And it may have its own detrimental effects on the atmosphere.

Martin Ames


Tilt toward Israel may imperil U.S.

The spectacle of President Bush timidly asking Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory while Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah stands by, only to see the Israeli army launch further incursions, leads to an inescapable conclusion. America's Middle East policy consists of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon asking us to jump, and us weakly responding: "How high?"

Frustration is only exceeded by embarrassment.

Joe Roman


When will President Bush wake up to the fact that our "perceived tilt" toward Israel is only too real ("America can't do it alone," April 26).

Unless the United States forces Israel to pull out of its illegal settlements as well as the Palestinian cities it occupies and agree to an independent Palestine, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's brutal tactics will bring more terrorists our way.

Louise S. MacDonald


Where's the criticism of massacre of Jews?

Most people think of their bed as the safest place to be. But this was not the case for the residents of Adora. Mothers and children were murdered in their beds on the Sabbath by Palestinian gunmen disguised as Israeli soldiers ("Palestinians in disguise kill 4 in settlement," April 28).

When will Yasser Arafat condemn this act of terrorism? When will the United Nations assemble a fact-finding team to investigate this massacre? When will the nations stand up and say that no grievance excuses this barbarism?

And when will the world insist that these cowardly thugs and their dishonest, enabling leader, Mr. Arafat, be swept aside so men with the courage to make peace and build a humane society can step up to the task of forging Palestinian statehood?

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