Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 07, 2006

Reading the final paragraph of Saturday's article about the $60 million settlement for clergy sex-abuse suits in Los Angeles, I had to wonder, who, precisely, were the "many advocates for victims" who "say they believe the church has curbed abuse" ("Los Angeles Archdiocese to settle 45 claims of sex abuse," Dec. 2)?

I don't think the abuse survivors or the plaintiff's attorneys interviewed for the article would agree with that remark, which was not supported by anything in the article preceding the reference to these unnamed "advocates."

The article reported in detail on the fallout from decades of sex crimes by priests, coupled with cover-ups and evasions by a high-ranking cleric who remains in power today.

But in its final paragraph, the article abandoned reporting in favor of wishful thinking -- or heavy-handed political spin. And that's a shame, because The Sun can do so much better.

The Sun has done a terrific job reporting on the problems with international adoptions and the dangers of Factor VII in Iraqi operating rooms.

I urge the paper to report more fully and accurately on the devastating -- and criminal -- tragedy of clergy sexual abuse, which is taking place a lot closer to home.

Helen Daly

Baltimore

The writer is a spokesperson for Survivor's Network, a support and advocacy group for survivors of sexual abuse.

Why reveal names of alleged abusers?

Once again The Sun has printed an article about and a picture of a teacher accused of a sexual offense against a student ("Pupil alleges abuse," Dec. 5).

It is right that The Sun does not publish the name of an alleged victim of abuse. Yet The Sun apparently has no qualms about publishing the name and picture of the alleged abuser.

I have no sympathy for child abusers. But I do think the abuse should be proven before the man is tried and convicted in the local newspaper.

If the accused is guilty of abuse, of course he should pay the price. But why not wait until he has had his day in court to reveal his name?

Peg McAllen

Towson

Charter schools can offer new hope

How refreshing it is to see creative ideas and a sense of urgency focused on the train wreck that is the Baltimore school system ("13 charter schools sought in city," Nov. 30).

While defenders of the status quo continue their self-serving claims that more time is needed to fix problems they have failed to fix for decades, charter schools offer hope.

What is distressing is the effort by Baltimore's school board to handicap that hope by limiting funding for charter schools.

The charter schools that succeed will rescue hundreds of children from a life of ignorance and poverty.

Charter schools that fail will have to close up shop.

Why aren't public schools held to the same standard?

Cindy Mumby

Bel Air

Brake on building would be a boon

The city's rush to approve every developer's request to build on every plot of ground has left the city's harbor area over-built. And this, coupled with a sag in the housing market, means that real estate prices have fallen and properties sit on the market.

The City Council's affordable housing bill will certainly dampen the rush to build, and I applaud it ("Housing proposal facing friction," Dec. 5).

Jim Astrachan

Baltimore

Keep illegal aliens off our state roads

The Sun's recent editorial on drunken drivers danced around one point and missed another one totally ("Failing the breath test," Dec. 1).

Adopting its best air of political correctness, The Sun called the allegedly offending driver's immigration status "undocumented."

The man was an illegal alien. He obtained a driver's license in North Carolina, a state that, like Maryland, does not require proof of citizenship to get a license, and used that license to obtain one in Maryland.

When are we going to get serious and start taking this invasion of illegal aliens seriously?

Not all drunken drivers are illegal aliens. But no illegal aliens should be driving with state-issued licenses.

Dean Danielson

Denton

Offer organ donors transplant priority

If more people were as generous as Julie De Rossi was, there wouldn't be such a large shortage of human organs available for transplant ("Transplanted lives," Nov. 30).

However, as it is, more than half of the 93,000 Americans on the national transplant waiting list for an organ will die before they get a transplant.

Most of these deaths are needless. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 organs which are in transplantable condition every year.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage --- give organs first to people who have agreed to donate their organs when they die.

Giving organs first to organ donors would convince more people to register as organ donors. It would also make the organ allocation system fairer.

People who aren't willing to share the gift of life should go to the back of the waiting list as long as there is a shortage of organs.

David J. Undis

Nashville, Tenn.

The writer is executive director of LifeSharers, a nonprofit network of organ donors.

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