Letters To The Editor


April 17, 2003

Public wants a say in choice of schools chief

I commend Baltimore City Councilman Melvin L. Stukes and Douglas Miles, past president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, and many others for publicly expressing the outrage, concerns and sentiments of many Baltimore residents over the appalling selection process for the city schools' interim CEO ("Copeland's selection as CEO hailed," April 12).

The concerns of many throughout the entire community, and not just those in the African-American community, relate to the way the selection process disregarded the consultation it would be reasonable to expect.

A significant number of parents, current and retired educators, activists and residents are crying out for immediate improvements in city schools. Our children deserve better. And we want to be an integral part of an excellent education system in Baltimore.

Nonetheless, I join in applauding the credentials of interim CEO Bonnie S. Copeland. My criticism of the board of school commissioners has nothing to do with Ms. Copeland and her abilities, but everything to do with an awful and unacceptable selection process.

Let's find more ways to come together to put children first in Baltimore.

Marvin L. "Doc" Cheatham


The writer is president of the city Board of Elections.

Learn the meaning of collateral damage

Leonard Pitts Jr.'s thoughtful and beautifully written piece was disturbing ("For the ruined boy," Opinion

Commentary, April 13).

To read of a 12-year-old who has lost his hands because of a missile attack makes us realize that we are barbaric. It seems that we need to do considerably more work to evolve into a civilized society.

When we have learned the reality and meaning of "collateral damage," perhaps then we can help other nations without hurting them.

Jeannette Ollodart Marx


Suffering is what war is all about

The Sun's coverage of the war has been very extensive and realistic. And Sunday's commentary sections were, in my opinion, excellent.

Three of the commentaries focused on in-depth perspectives on the real meaning of war and its consequences. G. Jefferson Price III's "Truth in war's abiding images" (April 13), Leonard Pitts Jr.'s "For the ruined boy" (Opinion

Commentary, April 13) and Norine Schiller's "How do you explain this to a young child? (Opinion

Commentary," April 13) all emphasized in a poignant way that death and suffering are what war is about.

We very much need to be reminded of these images so we may channel our energy into creative ways of solving problems without resorting to war.

Fredericka Jacob


Defending ourselves isn't `making war'

For The Sun to suggest that the current Congress is spending money on "making war abroad" is disingenuous and deceiving ("Underfunded mandate," editorial, April 14).

Nobody in this country is making war. Having been attacked in the worst way possible, we decided to defend ourselves. In doing so, we decided it would be prudent to take the fight overseas, lest we wait for it to come to us. The money spent on this effort is necessary and essential.

If there is any doubt that the cost of the war on terrorism is unavoidable, take a look at the financial impact of the World Trade Center attack and think about how our nation's economy would be impacted if another such attack occured.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And a dollar spent rooting out and killing terrorists is perhaps the least expensive way out of this nightmare we are in.

Michael DeCicco


Critics can't question U.S. control of Iraq

When France, Germany and Russia put their young men and women on the front lines, then they can tell us what to do after the war in Iraq is over ("French welcome Hussein's fall, still question U.S. role," April 13).

Leadaine H. Hartman


Moments of joy; work to be done

With the fall of the statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, it's a wonderful feeling to see the people of Iraq happily waving the American flag ("Joy and chaos as capital falls," April 10).

It was almost a replay of when the American troops liberated France in World War II.

But much more work has yet to be done. God bless our American troops, and bring them home to us safely.

Marge Griffith


Neighborhood backs a fitting memorial

The Sun's article "Proposed memorial divides a community" (April 8) failed to mention that, as we informed city officials in February 2002, the Arcadia Improvement Association "would be honored to have a memorial to fallen police officers situated in Arcadia." Association members are actively participating on the memorial design committee to ensure that the results are acceptable to all involved.

Arcadians believe in our neighborhood, and did so long before it became a call to action citywide. And we, too, look forward to a memorial that will, as Israel C. Patoka suggested, "be beautiful at the end of the day."

Charles Dicken


The writer is president of the Arcadia Improvement Association.

What if Big Tobacco folded its tent?

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