Ignoring efforts to stop carnage on city's streets The...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 27, 2002

Ignoring efforts to stop carnage on city's streets

The Sun's editorial about Baltimore's high murder count incorrectly wrote: "There is virtual silence among other city officials on this subject. No council member, no state senator, no member of the House of Delegates and few ministers dare to speak forcefully against the carnage that robs Baltimore of human potential and quality of life" ("Murder's toll," Sept. 13).

This statement was a direct slap in the face to me, and to the many other city officials and ministers who have long toiled to get at the root of the problems that plague our city.

On Aug. 6, more than 900 people joined me at the War Memorial Building for a "stakeholders solutions summit," and contributed real solutions to get Baltimore on track. The event was widely covered on all of the television news shows that evening. The Sun carried a modest article on it, and Gregory Kane's Aug. 11 column, "Community comes forth with cures for city's ills," was devoted to the effort.

And one day before this outrageous editorial, an article mentioned the 40-page report of recommendations that came out of the summit ("City misses goal of reducing homicides to 175 this year," Sept. 12). Copies of the report, issued on Sept. 4, were delivered to The Sun, including the editorial board.

Either The Sun's editorial board doesn't read the paper's other stories, or it just blatantly disregards the facts for dramatic flair. Both scenarios are troubling.

The Sun should check its facts and do its homework before handing down sweeping indictments that are flat wrong.

Kenneth N. Harris Sr.

Baltimore

The writer is a member of Baltimore's City Council.

Calculators block education in math

I read the article concerning the large number of students requiring remedial math courses at the University of Maryland with interest ("College students brush up on the ABCs of x, y and z," Sept. 15).

I have tutored middle school and high school math students for more than 20 years, the last 19 in Harford County. Over the past 10 years, I have seen a sharp increase in the number of middle school students addicted to calculators -- to the point that they won't attempt to do simple arithmetic, such as 30 divided by six.

Calculators are not a tool; they are a crutch to make math seem easier to the students.

In reality, the more the crutch is used, the harder math will seem as the material becomes more advanced.

It's time for the Maryland public schools to quit cheating our children out of their chance to achieve their full mathematical potential.

Can the calculators.

Larry Wilson

Bel Air

What about a park for Canton's kids?

I wonder: Will the Canton Community Association create a designated "children's park" where no dogs are allowed and toddlers can play safely, avoiding dog waste, dog encounters, and inconsiderate dog owners ("Every dog has its day at new park in Canton," Sept. 16)?

Jennifer H. Tarr

Baltimore

Starvation in Africa is the real menace

There is a threat of unimaginable scale facing the world. Millions of lives are at stake. And the international community has not lined up an adequate response.

However, this threat is not terrorism or Iraq; it is the imminent starvation crisis in southern Africa ("Food crisis worsens in southern Africa," Sept. 17).

If we are concerned about saving lives and preventing disasters, this is the most urgent war we need to fight.

David Nesbitt

Baltimore

Priests can't expect special treatment

Reading the article "Priests upset by release of abuse list" (Sept. 26), I was outraged that anyone could believe that the shame and suffering experienced by child abusers (or their colleagues, families and friends) can take precedence over the psychological and emotional damage suffered by the children who may have been abused by these very sick and broken people.

Although I appreciate the desire of these good priests to foster healing among the members of their flock, I am deeply troubled by the arrogance of clergymen who feel that priests somehow deserve to be treated differently from the average alleged abuser.

Deborah Kohl

Baltimore

The writer chairs the Division of Applied Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Tossing shepherds to the wolves?

I am dismayed by Cardinal William H. Keeler's decision to release the names of priests accused of abuse without corroborating evidence ("Archdiocese's list of clergy accused of child sexual abuse," Sept. 26). These men do not deserve to be lumped in with proven abusers.

Like countless others, I am horrified at the abuse that has taken place and reach out in empathy to those who have been victimized. But I am also deeply saddened at the cardinal's insensitivity and his lack of loyalty to individual priests, whom he has now tarred with the brush of scandal.

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