Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 05, 2006

Make it a priority to protect city kids

Thanks to The Sun, Maryland voters know that 2 1/2 years after Johns Hopkins Hospital sent twin babies home, only to see them starved to death, the hospital still does not have an on-site social services caseworker ("A plea for better prevention," Oct. 31).

Sue Fitzsimmons, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore Department of Social Services, says, "It's not a good use of staff time."

But since when did we consider children so expendable?

I would send this challenge to every candidate for office in Maryland, including Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and his challenger, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley: Make stationing a social worker at Johns Hopkins Hospital a priority. Put it at the top of your list.

Every single child is worth saving.

Eileen King

Washington

The writer is regional director for Justice for Children.

Not so hard to find spot for caseworker

The lives of the twins mentioned in The Sun's article "A plea for better prevention" (Oct. 31) might well have been saved if a Baltimore Department of Social Services worker had been stationed at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

When I worked at DSS, such outstationing of social workers was much less complicated than DSS spokeswoman Sue Fitzsimmons suggests it is in this article.

The old Baltimore City Hospitals sometimes hosted two outstationed social workers because many foster children received care there.

I was one of those social workers for nine years, until 1984, when fewer foster parents started using that facility.

DSS paid my salary; the medical facility provided a desk.

Dorian Borsella

Fallston

Twins' deaths merit much more outrage

I was sad to see that on the same day The Sun published an article about an allegedly racist fraternity party at the Johns Hopkins University (Oct. 31), it also published another article about the killing of the young twins Emonney and Emunnea Swann ("A plea for better prevention," Oct. 31).

If the protesters at Johns Hopkins really wanted to make a difference, they should have been up in arms over the negligence and incompetence of the Department of Social Services in the Swann case, and the fact that in the 2 1/2 years since the girls were killed, almost nothing has been done to prevent such a horrible crime from occurring again.

No one has ever died or been harmed by an insensitive flier for a fraternity party. But the failure of our DSS to protect the most vulnerable members of society allows lives to be ruined nearly every day.

It's depressing to see that the abuse and murder of two little girls (which happened to occur only a few blocks away from the Johns Hopkins campus) lead to far less outrage than some stupid invitations for a Halloween party.

Pascal Patin

Baltimore

Some students show very little maturity

You would think the social tension that is so prevalent in our society today would be lessened in a university setting, simply because the young men and women who attend these institutions would be, by nature, more open-minded, tolerant and intelligent than most people.

I still would like to believe that, for the most part, this is true. However, I was shocked when I read that the Johns Hopkins University's Sigma Chi fraternity had a party with a blatantly racist theme that graphically depicted a mock lynching ("Hopkins fraternity accused of racism," Oct. 31).

So what's the deal? Is it that certain students truly believe they are somehow immune from society's standards of proper behavior and common sense and can do anything they want?

It is scary to think that should the young men who hosted this party graduate, they may be future doctors, lawyers or leaders of this country.

These young men need to grow up and show some honest, decent maturity and respect for others.

Barbara McNamara

Joppa

GOP now represents capital's status quo

Is Sen. John McCain so blinded by partisan politics that he fails to see the contradictions in his endorsement of Republican candidate Michael S. Steele ("Steele would help change capital culture," Opinion

Commentary, Nov. 2)?

Has he forgotten that his fellow Republicans have run Washington for six years and are largely responsible for the sins he rails against: "runaway spending, scandal, legislation written by and for special interests"? What about the "K Street Project," the scandals involving Reps. Tom DeLay, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, Mark Foley and Bob Ney scandals, the Jack Abramoff affair, the rubber-stamp Congress?

I agree with Mr. McCain's premise that the country needs change. But I disagree that this change is embodied in the overly marketed and overtly ambitious Mr. Steele.

Geoffrey K. Mudge

Baltimore

Steele backs work with adult stem cells

The writer of the letter "Ad evades stance on embryonic cells" (Nov. 1) suggests that Senate candidate Michael S. Steele's new ad deceives people into believing that Mr. Steele is for stem cell research.

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