Letters To The Editor


September 03, 2004

Balto. County needs to build new high school

The Sun's article on Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s new Baltimore County Board of Education appointments shows that local officials may finally be getting the message about school overcrowding ("Higher hopes for high school," Aug. 30).

I was one of several community leaders who urged Mr. Ehrlich to appoint new board members who would work to reduce school overcrowding. For the past two years, our concerns were ignored. Suddenly, right after Mr. Ehrlich's dramatic announcement, the school board seemed to take this issue seriously.

Many activists believe that once the school board endorses a new high school, it will be impossible for County Executive James T. Smith Jr. to ignore this recommendation. But judging by his spokeswoman's comments to The Sun, Mr. Smith still does not understand the situation.

Spokeswoman Renee Samuels cavalierly claims that overcrowding can be solved just by moving children around.

But redrawing boundaries is not the solution. When the extension of White Marsh Boulevard opens in 2006, thousands of new homes will be built in Northeast Baltimore County, which will only add to the severe school overcrowding problem. And while the county delays, developers buy up land that could be used for a new school.

It is time for Mr. Smith to follow the lead of Mr. Ehrlich's new school board appointees and do what is right for the schoolchildren of Northeast Baltimore County.

David Marks

Perry Hall

The writer is a former president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association.

Tired of mayor blaming others

Once again, Maryland residents are forced to hear the whining of Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley ("Accusations of politics in struggle on city schools," Aug. 26).

The mayor seems to want to castigate everyone who does not agree with his methods. And his concern - that 16 city schools being placed on probation for high rates of violence is purely political - does a grave injustice to the many teachers who have to tolerate the disrespectful and irresponsible attitudes of disruptive students in the current school system.

The mayor's comment that "there's obviously people at the state that don't want the city to be successful at anything so long as I'm mayor" just shows how immaturely he presents himself.

His constant bantering about the Ehrlich administration must be his only way to divert attention from his inability to run the city.

David Bryan


Concern for Ciara comes much too late

While it is very unfortunate that a 15-year-old girl died while in foster care, it is amazing that her grandmother is now suing child welfare officials for $25 million ("Suit alleges city agency to blame in girl's death," Aug. 31).

It is disgusting to see this grandmother on the news and read about the legal action in The Sun. Where were the grandmother and the rest of the family while Ciara Jobes was in foster care?

Where was the family, and why didn't the grandmother take legal action to remove Ciara from the home if she felt it was unfit?

Where was the grandmother when Ciara was being starved? Didn't she try to intervene or visit? Why wasn't she making sure that Ciara was going to school?

If the grandmother is wholeheartedly concerned about the welfare of children in social services' custody, she'd give any remuneration she receives to charity to help abused children and not profit from her grandchild's death.

Ginny Phillips


President's record shows less integrity

Linda Chavez thinks what's really big news is what Sen. John Kerry may or may not have done 35 years ago in relation to the Vietnam War, and that this has been underreported - just pick up a paper or turn on the television to see the absurdity of that ("Media should probe Swift vets' claims," Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 26).

Maybe, just maybe, Mr. Kerry took some liberties with the truth 35 years ago about what happened on that Swift boat or in describing atrocities. Maybe not.

But contrast that with the man Ms. Chavez supports, President Bush, who has demonstrated that he probably took liberties with the truth if he opened his mouth 35 minutes ago and has had the nerve to condone the defamation of character of men who served in Vietnam while he was playing politics in the National Guard and doing God knows what else.

Paul Fisher


Apology was owed to Mrs. McGreevey

Susan Reimer's column "Governor's apology was misdirected" (Aug. 24) was right on the mark.

New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey should have apologized to his wife, Dina Matos McGreevey, not to the voters of New Jersey, my former home state.

The hypocrisy of some powerful public figures is egregious.

Larry Simpson


Sculpture earns national ridicule

It is sad, but I suppose inevitable, that the only national recognition the Penn Station frontispiece seems to be getting is in a comic strip ("`Male/Female' statue latest stop on `Zippy' trip," Aug. 27).

And it seems to me that the reason for the attention this monstrosity is getting is ridicule. How sad, but not undeserving.

As The Sun's editorial "Take this art - please" (Aug. 13) suggested, put the sculpture somewhere else.

Jim Gentry Sr.


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