Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 24, 2002

Coppin State isn't `faltering' in its mission

While I appreciate The Sun's coverage of the appointment of Stanley F. Battle as incoming president of Coppin State College ("Coppin names next leader," Oct. 12), I regret that the phrase "Funding seen as crucial for faltering college" appeared in its subtitle.

In spite of enormous fiscal challenges, Coppin is not "faltering" in its mission of providing excellent teaching, research and service.

State, regional and national accreditation of the college and a variety of its programs; consistently high passing rates on licensing exams in such disciplines as education, nursing and social work for Coppin graduates; performances, publications and exhibitions of students' visual and performing arts work; and successful placements of students in internships and alumni in graduate schools and employment all attest to the effectiveness of Coppin's instructional programs.

And such initiatives as managing Rosemont Elementary School, establishing a nursing center, supporting the summer National Youth Sports Program and presenting the upcoming production of Black Masks, in which acting and dance students will portray the achievements of African-American heroes and "sheroes" before more than 300 schoolchildren, all attest to the college's commitment to serving the citizens of Baltimore and Maryland.

We at Coppin are challenged, but we are far from "faltering."

Judith D. Willner

Baltimore

The writer chairs the department of fine and communication arts at Coppin State College.

Insulting a president who makes us proud

The Sun's editorial "Married up" (Oct. 11) begins with the words, "One of the most predictable lines in President Bush's all-purpose stump speech is the introduction of his wife, Laura ... "

The most predictable thing about any Sun editorial -- or any commentary, cartoon or, indeed, much of its political news -- is that it will be mean, petty and biased. The editorial in question, in which the writer makes a lame attempt to put Mrs. Bush in a somewhat more favorable light than The Sun's usual treatment of the president, is no exception.

Its insulting and contemptuous descriptions of the president -- "he's cocky," "he's flip," "sometimes it seems he can barely talk" -- are unfair, unwarranted and betray The Sun's hatred for anyone who does not march to the tune of the liberal establishment and the leftist press.

If the first lady read the editorial, I'm certain that she became nauseated, and resentful of its narrow, bigoted and ragged treatment of her husband -- a president who has, during his first two years in office, made most Americans proud of their leader and his first lady for the first time in almost a decade.

Richard A. Conway

Timonium

State government earns poor marks

Two recent Sun articles left me confused and concerned.

One noted that the Chesapeake Bay Foundation says the bay's pollution level has not improved ("Bay pollution holds steady, report finds," Oct. 16). The other notes that Maryland has failed to provide information law enforcement needs to perform background checks to prevent felons, fugitives and the mentally ill from purchasing firearms ("Townsend denies fault for lapse on gun checks," Oct. 17).

If I were grading Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's administration, I'd give it an "F" on the environment and an "F" on gun control.

Bill Thies

Ellicott City

Time to try new path to combat crime

The Sun's article on Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's marks on fighting crime was overly generous. The fact is that over the last eight years the Glendening-Townsend administration has been a dismal failure on crime ("For Townsend, mixed marks on crime fight," Oct. 15).

Maryland has some of the most restrictive gun laws of any state. However, it ranks among the top five states in almost every violent crime statistic, including murder. Why? Because criminals do not follow the law and, when criminals are caught, Maryland gives them light sentences.

Ms. Townsend's ideas sound good to voters, but have little impact on reducing crime. As the article notes, the HotSpot program has been criticized by Mayor Martin O'Malley as a poor use of resources. And Break the Cycle has never achieved its goals.

A true leader would see these policies are not working and find another approach.

It is time to review the multitude of Maryland gun laws and give resources to the most effective. And to implement Project Exile so that criminals get stiff mandatory sentences.

Jeff Trimmer

Bel Air

Examine the ways citizens get guns

The Sun recently printed several articles detailing injustices and miscommunications in several city murder cases ("Justice Undone," Sept 29-Oct. 1).

How about doing a similar series that might help us with our gun problems by explaining how guns come into the city and how access to guns works in the city and surrounding counties?

And, in the case of assault rifles, how and when do they fall into the wrong hands?

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