Let police chief get on with job he does so well The...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 28, 2002

Let police chief get on with job he does so well

The Sun's editorial "Come clean, Chief" (Aug. 22) hyperbolizes the tempest in a teapot The Sun has created regarding Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris' use of an independent, privately supported fund.

That fund is designed to be used at the discretion of the commissioner, and while most people were unaware of its existence, earlier police commissioners have used it for years. Now that fund will be overseen by the city's finance director. But apparently that is not enough for The Sun.

The real question is why The Sun appears out to get our very effective police commissioner.

No one disputes that the city has a deplorable crime rate, in no small measure because of rampant drug use. However, we have all experienced and witnessed the excellent job Mr. Norris has done so far - streamlining the Police Department, reducing the murder rate and, generally, making the residents of the city feel more secure and confident about the police.

Upheaval at the top level of the Police Department ill serves the citizens of Baltimore. Mayor Martin O'Malley is right to stand behind Mr. Norris. What threatens the city is The Sun's continual attacks and efforts to undermine our officials.

Let them get on with the job they are doing so well. There are real stories out there that need to be told.

Sharon B. Wharton

Baltimore

How many more times is The Sun going to try to make an issue of the private funds that Baltimore's police commissioner, and others on the city police, have used at their discretion ("Commissioner defends use of police fund for N.Y. trip," Aug. 22)?

It seems The Sun is trying to hold Edward T. Norris accountable as if those funds came from city coffers.

The issue is petty and distracting when there are things that are so much worse happening in our city that require Mr. Norris' attention.

Let's let the man do his job and be grateful that he's fortunate enough to have these funds to make a miserable job a little more palatable.

Chip Goetz

Baltimore

Miller's arrogance demeans democracy

I cannot believe the arrogance of state Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller. He was caught red-handed trying to bully and influence judges in the redistricting of Maryland ("Abuse of power," Aug. 20).

However, he suggests that he is not the real culprit - that there is a right-wing plot against him. How stupid does he think Maryland voters are?

Unfortunately, he will be re-elected and continue doing as he pleases and flaunting his power and authority indiscriminately.

It is people such as Mr. Miller who choke the life out of the democratic process.

Marty A. Silvert

Baltimore

Open Court series works for city's kids

I taught kindergarten through the third grade for 30 years in many settings, most recently in Baltimore. And the Open Court Reading Series is the most effective reading program I ever used.

It combines a solid phonics base with stories drawn from the best children's literature ("Stay the course," Aug. 21).

Open Court allows teachers, both new and experienced, to feel secure that their students are learning to read.

Stay with it, Baltimore schools. Don't sacrifice the literacy of our children.

Katie Moyer

Baltimore

The worst-paved city in America?

I enjoyed Dan Rodricks' inspection trek around Baltimore and his action memo to the mayor. However, he failed to mention the most conspicuous and annoying problem - the condition of the city streets ("Memo to Baltimore: Clean up your act," Aug. 21).

Am I the only one who notices the deplorable state of the paving on our major and side roads?

I am sure the people at shock absorber companies are not complaining; however, the taxpayers should be.

I am sure the mayor does not want "The Greatest City in America" to have America's worst-paved streets.

Michele Lynne Smith

Baltimore

New bureaucracy won't make us safer

I am strongly opposed to creation of a Department of Homeland Security ("New agency may take years to have impact," Aug. 18).

If the Immigration and Naturalization Service is broken, fix it. If the CIA and the FBI are broken, fix them.

But adding another level of bureaucracy won't make me feel one bit safer.

Tom Servey

Linthicum

Simplistic approach creates bad policies

Following the attacks of last September, President Bush initially did a good job of rallying America and representing Americans' feelings, although not nearly as good a job as former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani did.

Since then, Mr. Bush's simplistic and superficial approach to complex and dangerous issues, both economic and international, has been disheartening.

In a dangerous, subtle and multifaceted world, self-confidence can be helpful, if it's based on wisdom, humility, knowledge, experience or meticulous analysis. If, on the other hand, it is based solely on a conviction that one has a "good heart," misplaced self-confidence can lead to shortsighted, go-it-alone policies.

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