Letters To The Editor


April 07, 2003

Don't idealize tobacco farmers' deadly work

Gee, I just about wept with emotion reading the glowing, nostalgic story about the slow, agonizing death of the dear old tobacco industry ("A lifestyle going up in smoke," April 1). It kind of reminded me of the weeping I did as my husband died a slow agonizing death from lung cancer.

I would suggest that The Sun think twice about romanticizing the life and work of tobacco farmers. These people knowingly grow a product that kills people. Why not write an upbeat piece about people who make and sell crack? It's exactly the same. Or a tender tribute to the demise of forced child labor? There was another sweet way to make money.

How sad that the farmers had to stand "stoically among the leaves" witnessing the end of the auction. I know just how they feel. I had to stand stoically by for months in the chemotherapy room, by the radiation table, at the grave.

I am sure readers can imagine how thrilled I am that the state is funding a buyout for the farmers who grow a death crop. But where was the state when my husband left me with an 8-year-old child and a mountain of medical bills?

Lisbeth Pettengill


D'Adamo's agenda tilts toward GOP

City Councilman Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr. should leave office and perhaps work for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. ("D'Adamo steps up as O'Malley's chief critic," March 30).

If Mr. D'Adamo decides to run for re-election, he might want to change his registration to Republican, since he openly supported Mr. Ehrlich over his party's nominee for governor.

His attacks on Mayor Martin O'Malley are purely self-interested. Mr. D'Adamo is upset because Mayor O'Malley didn't personally guarantee his re-election through a gerrymandered redistricting process that favored Mr. D'Adamo.

I don't live in Mr. D'Adamo's district, but I am considering helping any good Democrat who opposes him.

Thomas E. Quirk


College has proved to be good neighbor

We read with great interest The Sun's article on Sojourner-Douglass College's plans to open a satellite campus in southern Anne Arundel County ("Race could be a factor in fight over college site," March 27).

Race should not be an issue in this matter. What should be considered is whether the Sojourner-Douglass College would make a good neighbor.

Last fall, Sojourner-Douglass College moved into the Washington Hill area. It now occupies the abandoned Charles Carroll of Carrollton Elementary School on Central Avenue.

In just a few months, it has transformed the property into a beautiful campus. The building has been cleaned up, and several improvements have been made to the property.

We urge opponents of the Anne Arundel campus to look at the college as an asset to their community.

Maureen Sweeney Smith Simon Hemby Baltimore

The writers are, respectively, the executive director and the president of Citizens for Washington Hill.

Maybe Baltimore is where danger lies

Reading the article about Baltimore County's public schools canceling out-of-state field trips (" Balto. Co. schools' trip ban criticized," April 2), I found it ironic that, here in Cecil County, our students aren't allowed to take field trips to Baltimore because of the fear of terrorist acts in major metropolitan areas.

Carol Reynolds


Stop bashing French and aid our veterans

I feel that Rep. Scott McInnis' request to stop the Veterans Administration from dealing with a Georgia-based company that is now owned by a Paris-based corporation is self-serving and childish ("Military headstones made by French firm opposed," April 3).

Mr. McInnis states the French "have done everything in their power to undermine the troops." But the French government has done nothing more than what it has every right to do - represent the beliefs and opinions of the people in its country.

And I don't remember hearing the French in any way try to sabotage any branch of the U.S. armed forces.

I submit that Mr. McInnis should spend more time trying to get funding for the Veterans Administration to cover the influx of veterans who will now need the care owed them by the country they have served.

Lori Williamson


Stereotypical view of West Virginia

As a West Virginia native I have taken particular interest in the story of Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch's capture and rescue. And I especially enjoyed the article "In W.Va., family cheers rescue" (April 2).

However, I must express my disappointment at the inclusion of this paragraph: "Barely a year out of high school, Lynch, like many young people in the beautiful but poverty-scarred hollows of West Virginia, had enlisted in the military as a way to escape."

Yes, West Virginia is beautiful. Yes, it has one of the highest poverty rates in the country. But to sell a successful human interest story you do not have to reinforce stereotypes about it being populated by people living in "hollows."

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