Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 29, 2004

Take steps now to protect ports from terrorists

After reading Matthew Brzezinski's column "Unsafe harbor" (Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 23), I couldn't help but think of a field mouse invasion I experienced in my home a number of years ago.

There was no commission to assess "vulnerability," no special operations unit, oversight committee or bipartisan legislative study to "codify perimeters." Rather, my "kitchen logic" went into high gear ("kitchen logic" is just direct and uncomplicated logic - usually activated while I'm working in the kitchen).

A simple "feasibility plan" to get them out was the goal. This meant zipping off to my favorite hardware store to get mouse traps and other nasty deterrents. Of course, the exterminator was invited to help out, and for good measure, a cat found a loving home with us. That's what it took - "kitchen logic" and action.

So what does my mouse dilemma have to do with Mr. Brzezinzki's column?

Let's put it this way - it has been more than three years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and we now know the findings of a very expensive, time-consuming commission. It found out what most of us had figured out in our kitchens: That we made a lot of stupid moves - or no moves at all - before 9/11.

All said and done, according to Mr. Brzezinski, we're still in about the same spot we were in then. Our 361 harbors are still incredibly exposed to terrorist attack, as is virtually every big city around the country housing dangerous chemicals.

A little "kitchen logic" on the part of our government and its agencies would go a long way right now.

We are at war with something a lot more lethal than field mice, so let's stop "assessing" and get the job done.

Devorah Brooks

Baltimore

No need to divulge our vulnerabilities

I am so angry at The Sun for printing Matthew Brzezinski's "Unsafe harbor" (Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 23).

There is no reason to print information about our weak points.

The American people do not need a road map, and we certainly do not need to offer assistance to our enemies.

I thought The Sun would have learned a lesson from the reaction of readers when it published diagrams of the Bay Bridge, but obviously it needs another harsh reminder.

And wouldn't Mr. Brzezinski feel awfully guilty if something were to happen to our harbor because of his column?

Edy Bondroff

Owings Mills

Secure the borders to save the bay?

Tom Horton has said it before and he said it again in The Sun on Sept. 24: "Rapid, unending population growth makes all environmental progress temporary" ("Fear of `blame' stifles honesty about pollution," Sept. 24).

As population pressure throughout the Chesapeake Bay watershed continues relentlessly, it will undo any and all work to protect and restore the bay.

The United States has to secure its borders, which are still porous. Legal and illegal immigration continue at a tremendous rate, and that explains a large proportion of our population growth.

Everybody who cares about the condition of the Chesapeake Bay should be supporting the organizations that are pushing for immigration limits.

Carleton W. Brown

Elkton

Canton project gives city economy a boost

Thank you for the article "Revised Canton Crossing plan seeks 504 condos, twice the dining space" (Sept. 24).

While some may be ambivalent, I believe Edwin F. Hale Sr. should be applauded for his vision and willingness to undertake this effort. This project represents an attempt to marry commercial, maritime and community access to the waterfront.

By proposing a cruise ship terminal along with residential property and space for merchants, Mr. Hale hopes to create an economic engine for Baltimore. Mr. Hale is transforming a former oil refinery, which has remained unused and dormant for years, into a vibrant center of commerce.

With the state of today's economy, Canton Crossing will be a breath of fresh air. It will create jobs, provide tax revenue and will ultimately be an aesthetically pleasing residential, business and tourism venue.

Charles H. Franklin III

Baltimore

Weapons ban never was rooted in reality

The smoke and mirrors surrounding the expiration of the so-called assault weapons ban is staggering.

First, the "ban" never banned anything other than cosmetic features; the same firearms continued to be offered in altered form.

Second, "assault weapon" is a misnomer. By definition, an "assault weapon" is a military firearm capable of select fire. No firearms available to the public are capable of automatic or burst fire, and the ones in question were therefore merely look-alikes.

Third, there is a popular conception that the Second Amendment pertains to the Army or National Guard when it invokes a "militia." This is false. The founders considered a "militia" all able-bodied men capable of handling firearms, as they feared standing armies as tools of tyranny.

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