Letters To The Editor


December 07, 2003

Schools crisis shows need for accountability

The Sun missed the mark in its recent editorial on the financial woes facing Baltimore's school system ("Decentralized chaos," Dec. 2).

The issue is not one of centralization vs. decentralization, but of accountability. Many city principals have established outstanding learning environments with high academic standards, while operating within the constraints of a limited budget.

In some instances, this involved the hiring of temporary workers (such as kindergarten aides). It does not seem fair to then penalize these well-run schools by dismissing their front-line employees.

This crisis highlights the need for modernization of the outdated and inefficient paper-driven accounting system used by city schools.

With better accountability, Baltimore schools CEO Bonnie S. Copeland will be able to make more informed choices and work with principals, parents and teachers to foster excellence.

Steve N. Georas Lisa A. Beck Baltimore

Copeland's efforts will aid city schools

I know these must be difficult times for new Baltimore schools CEO Bonnie S. Copeland ("Decentralized chaos," editorial, Dec. 2). But as the executive director of an organization with an alternate path to helping educate the children of Baltimore, I have tremendous respect for the job she is doing.

Ms. Copeland is proving herself to be a leader with the competence and the courage to address the issues with the serious actions they require.

I have confidence that she will help bring Baltimore's schools to a better place.

Paul Ellis


The writer is executive director of the Children's Scholarship Fund Baltimore.

The war in Iraq isn't about conquest

The Sun's Nov. 30 editorial cartoon titled "Caesar Visits the Troops" contained four panels with the captions: "Veni," "Vidi," "Eati," "Boogi."

Because I took Latin in high school and was a history major in college, I knew that this was a sophomoric parody of Julius Caesar's one-sentence summary of his Roman legions' victory over Gaul: "Veni, vidi, vici," or, "I came, I saw, I conquered."

The humor could not have been further from the mark.

Caesar was a dictator intent on further conquests for the Roman Empire. President Bush is a democratic leader intent on combating terrorism and freeing Iraqi citizens from the despotic, dictatorial, genocidal rule of Saddam Hussein.

American leaders have absolutely no intention of permanent conquest or the creation of a 21st century colonial outpost for a new American empire. Those who think otherwise are either to the left of Lenin or simply ill-informed.

The Sun does our president, our country and its educated citizens a disservice by printing such puerile claptrap.

Thomas M. Neale


Depicting mourning shows real courage

I laud The Sun's courage in publishing the photo essay "Mourning in America" (Opinion

Commentary, Nov. 30).

It is so unlike the lack of courage on the part of the Bush administration and the Defense Department in banning all pictures of the dead service personnel arriving at Dover Air Force Base.

Peter J. Schap Jr.


Allen uses language unfit for a judge

I had opposed Virginian Claude A. Allen's nomination to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals simply because the president is attempting to reduce Maryland's representation on that court.

But after reading "Appeals nominee is ideal for GOP" (Nov. 27), it is pretty clear that Mr. Allen is a radical party activist who is unsuitable for a lifetime appointment. Any nominee comfortable enough to use the slur "queers" when talking on the record with a reporter does not have the tolerance required of a judge.

Had Mr. Allen used a racial slur, voters would demand that Mr. Bush pull the nomination.

Senators have a duty to keep such an activist off the court.

Richard L. Ottenheimer


Let moralists boycott downtown gambling

I enjoy playing poker on occasion, especially for modest sums in a casino setting. At the present, I must travel to Atlantic City, N.J., to do so legally. This is an inconvenience, and I resent it. Why does the state, which operates the lottery and controls horse racing, prohibit this activity?

The government should only impose sanctions on gambling when my lifestyle choices are a detriment to others.

Open a downtown gaming complex, and let the moralists stay home if they choose.

Herb Weiss


Why deny to others the right to choose?

Reporter Rona Kobell's article about the seriously disabled child Donna Joy Watts and her family's use of her as an example of why abortion should become illegal highlights the divide between so-called pro-life and pro-choice advocates ("To some, she is a pawn; to others, an inspiration," Nov. 29).

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