Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 22, 2002

Back the plan to bring better transit to region

We were pleased to read that Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend understands the critical role of transit in improving Maryland's transportation system ("Townsend offers proposal for D.C.-area transportation," Oct. 3).

In fact, the new Baltimore Region Rail System Plan adopted by the Maryland Transit Administration offers the first clear blueprint in decades for bringing a world-class transit system to Baltimore. After years of lagging far behind our neighbor to the south, we finally have hope of achieving the convenience, choice, time savings and environmental benefits that come from better transit.

As the region's air quality continues to worsen, we endanger our children's health and risk federal sanctions if we fail to move forward.

Phase One would include both the "Red Line" from Fells Point to the Social Security Administration headquarters in Woodlawn (home to 20,000 jobs) and the "Green Line" from Johns Hopkins Hospital to Morgan State University.

We hope the gubernatorial candidates of both parties will commit to implementing Phase One without delay.

Barbara Cutko

Baltimore

Eugene Peterson

Laurel

The writers co-chair the Transit Riders League of Metropolitan Baltimore.

Gun control laws should be reviewed

It seems to me Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend may want to reconsider touting the present administration's gun control laws ("Sniper shootings now topic in race," Oct. 13).

After all, the serial sniper managed to get hold of a very deadly weapon under these laws designed to help keep us safe. And if these costly laws are so effective, why is this maniac still on the loose?

Could it be that Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is on to something in suggesting some of these programs might be costing more than they're worth?

Gail Householder

Marriotsville

Sniper's victims remind us of good

A good thing has happened since a sniper put fear and extreme sadness into our lives. The news media have let us know about the private lives of the victims ("Sniper victim was courageous, helped others," Oct. 16).

The victims have been reported as kind, loving people of worth. And this makes us realize how many good people there are in our world.

The silver lining in this unbelievable tragedy is that it is making many really good, ordinary citizens known to us.

Karen W. Gronau

Perry Hall

Age hasn't slowed Helen Bentley

I take exception to Michael Olesker's column "Bentley, 79, keeps punching as she addresses age question" (Oct. 17). At 78 (she's not 79, as Mr. Olesker repeatedly said she is), she's as feisty and hardworking as ever - in fact, she's the hardest-working person I have ever known.

I have had the privilege of knowing Helen Bentley for 12 years, and I can attest to her agility, stamina and dogged determination in fighting for the causes she believes in, notably the Port of Baltimore, Baltimore's proud manufacturing tradition and the nation's maritime security.

I find it interesting that the age of 80-year-old Comptroller William Donald Schaefer is never an issue. Is it because Mr. Schaefer is a man or because he's a Democrat, or both?

While 78 may be "over the hill" for some people, it clearly is not for Ms. Bentley.

David M. Richardson

Bel Air

Maybe Iraq isn't our real enemy

Let me get this straight. Our country was attacked by terrorists, most of whom were citizens of Saudi Arabia. They were based in Afghanistan, where they received extensive training in terrorist tactics and were aided by many recruits from Pakistan.

Another airplane on the way to land here was almost blown up by a man trained in hatred in England, who was flying from France.

The terrorists have conducted other operations in Indonesia and the Philippines, mostly with money supplied by wealthy citizens of Saudi Arabia.

And so we are planning to attack what country?

Thomas W. Keech

Baltimore

The abused children are the real victims

The child abuse tragedy within the Catholic Church is indeed heinous, as the writer of the letter "Church should not list accused priests" (Oct. 16) notes. However, he is wrong in stating that the church's "smoking gun seems to have misfired in all directions."

Make no mistake, the sexual predators and the conspiratorial hierarchy that hid their crimes are fully responsible for any embarrassment caused by making public the names of priests accused of abuse.

Making this information public was long overdue.

And shame on anyone who hides behind religious vestments at the expense of the real victims - the scores of children and young adults these criminals preyed upon.

Mel Barnhart

Randallstown

Religious right seeks mandate for prayer

I was heartened by The Sun's article reporting that the Christian right's power is fading ("Christian conservative power seen as fading," Oct. 12).

However, I believe it misrepresented their position when it suggested the Christian right is frustrated by its inability to enact laws "permitting school prayer."

The radical religious right's position is not that school prayer should be permitted; it is that school prayer should be mandated.

Anyone can pray now at any time in any school in America. What the religious right has endorsed is government-written and -led prayer.

I don't understand why a political group that screams for unfettered parental control in education and health care and discipline refuses to allow me to choose my own child's religious behavior without government intervention.

Judith Seid

Towson

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