Letters To The Editor


July 14, 2006

Korean-Americans deserve an apology

The Korean Society of Maryland, an advocacy group representing the interests of 60,000 Korean-Americans in Maryland, condemns the recent launching of missiles by North Korea.

However, there is a major difference between the democratic South Korean nation and communist North Korea, both politically and ideologically.

Yet in The Sun's article "Schaefer's words stir criticism" (July 6), state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer was quoted as saying, "Korea's another one, all of a sudden they're our friends, too, shooting missiles at us."

His comments appeared to confuse South Korea with communist North Korea. The comptroller owes Korean-Americans an apology for his insulting comments.

More than 2 million Korean-Americans in the United States have taken root and thrived in the United States through strong family ties, robust community support and countless hours of hard work.

As an experienced politician, Mr. Schaefer should recognize the difference between South Korea and North Korea, and know how crucial a role Korean-Americans play in maintaining the strength of the U.S.-Korean partnership.

David Han


The writer is president of the Korean Society of Maryland.

Schaefer has been a friend to Koreans

As a Korean-American who has known state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer for more than 30 years, I categorically reject any attempt to characterize him as having a racist attitude toward Koreans ("Schaefer draws ire for Korea comment," July 8).

Mr. Schaefer has always found time to address our community's concerns.

Indeed, great strides were made in the Korean community while he was mayor of Baltimore and later governor of Maryland.

I was part of Mr. Schaefer's 1994 tour of Korea as governor to establish greater economic and cultural ties with the state of Maryland ("Seeking ties with Asian business, Schaefer delegation to visit Far East," Oct. 24, 1994).

He veered from the official itinerary and learned about Koreans in a more personal way. Unknown to his hosts, the governor, his bodyguard and I went on a walking tour of Seoul, without a guide, an entourage or members of the press.

On this trip, Mr. Schaefer was able to meet ordinary Koreans and interact with them. It was apparent the governor enjoyed himself and was impressed with the hardworking character of the people he met.

The citizens of Seoul were equally impressed that a governor of an important U.S. state would tour the city without an official guide or retinue.

So please judge Mr. Schaefer by his lifetime of service to Maryland and not by an ambiguous statement that can easily be misconstrued.

Doo Hwan Killian


The writer is a former president of the Korean Businessmen's League.

Tapping the bay could drain it dry

It was with alarm that I read about the proposal to draw water from the upper Chesapeake Bay for the projected needs of Aberdeen - its population growth, development, etc. ("Thirsty Harford city may tap bay," July 7).

This idea is incredibly myopic.

One of the fallacies mentioned in the article is the idea that the bay's supply of water is "limitless." Actually, there is a finite amount of water available in the bay.

This proposal, if approved, could forebode a slippery slope of continued demands - a future where one could imagine pipelines every 20 miles or so on the Eastern Shore, for example, drawing water from the bay into desalinization facilities to fuel so much growth that the Shore would begin to resemble the sprawl of northern Virginia, southern California or parts of Maryland or New Jersey.

Then the bay might begin to look like the Aral Sea, whose volume has diminished considerably because of the irrigation and development demands imposed over the last 30 years.

Mark A. Courtney


High time we found energy alternatives

As someone who remembers sitting in blocks-long gas lines during the oil embargo of 1974, I am somewhat encouraged that we are finally talking semi-seriously about alternative energy sources ("Is ethanol really energy solution?" Opinion

Commentary, July 2).

I have one question, though: Why did it take us so long?

There are so many valid reasons we should seek other energy sources that it's a wonder we haven't done it sooner.

For instance, developing energy alternatives could help eliminate our dependency on unreliable foreign energy sources and liberate our foreign policy decisions from the immorality of backing despotic governments abroad with rich oil reserves.

It would also reduce our balance-of-payments deficit to foreign producers.

By using alternative sources of energy, we could lessen humanity's impact on global warming.

At the same time, a Manhattan Project-style drive to develop alternative energy sources could be a catalyst for strengthening our scientific and engineering base. And the jobs such an effort would require would be in this country.

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