Letter To The Editor


May 18, 2007

Comic book program a disservice to pupils

State schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick must be the cleverest bureaucrat of all time. Her plan to encourage the use of comic books as part of the reading program in Maryland's classrooms ("Grasmick urges expanded use of comics in reading," May 3) will have parents of means enrolling their children in private schools in droves, allowing her to cut thousands of dollars from the state's education budget.

Never mind that the pilot study "did not look at whether comic books helped children learn to read" - "teachers and students were satisfied." Isn't that enough?

I wonder how satisfied Maryland's public-school-educated students will be when they're working minimum-wage jobs? Their contemporaries from other school systems, forced to trudge through the classics, will take the higher-paying jobs that require critical thinking skills.

If satisfaction is our goal, maybe there are better ways to achieve it. I know my children would be very satisfied with a school lunch that consisted of cookies and candy. Maybe we could teach GameBoy skills in phys ed.

Or maybe, just maybe, we owe our kids something more than feeling satisfied - something like competence, or even the true satisfaction that comes from wrestling with difficult material and mastering it.

Stacy Mellinger


Council protected city's greatest asset

Kudos to the City Council for supporting the wishes of the community over the threats from developers by stopping the 23-story Icon project on Canton's waterfront ("City panel kills tower project in Canton," May 16).

Big is not better on the waterfront. The waterfront should have thoughtful planning and development that preserves the view from the water as well as from the land.

Baltimore's greatest asset is the waterfront. We should not compound the errors that have already been made by allowing additional high-rises to be built at the water's edge.

Baltimore will gain far more riches in the long run by keeping access for all and creating green space rather than cement towers.

Kathy J. Helzlsouer


Planning agency didn't respect Canton

The real travesty in the defeat of the Icon project was the ineptness of the city Planning Department, which not only didn't do its job but also overstepped its boundaries in cheerleading the project.

City planners did not respect the Canton community, so why should the developer?

Canton community leaders are not against development, but are for development that takes into account the uniqueness of Canton and its history.

City planners should take some time and study the historic aspects of this area. Creative planning might not bring in many tax dollars, but it would help unite our historic past with the development that is taking place in Canton.

Raymond D. Bahr


Defeat of Icon tower costly to Baltimore

Congratulations to the City Council on defeating the Icon tower ("City panel kills tower project in Canton," May 16). A shining new tower is the last thing this city of lead-painted rowhouses needs. Increased tax revenue for our police is just superfluous in Murder City.

Way to leave your egos at the door, council members, and do what's best for the city now and in the future by discouraging other developers.

Nick Gromet

Patterson Park

Immigration deal a betrayal of nation

According to a report in The Sun, "Senators negotiating a bipartisan immigration reform bill have settled on the details of a plan that would immediately grant legal status to all illegal immigrants currently in the United States" ("Deal near on immigration," May 16).

Every lawmaker who votes for this plan should be driven out of office.

They will have given these millions of criminals a legal status equal to that of law-abiding U.S. citizens.

They will have provided these millions of criminals with access to Social Security, welfare, health care and educational services that the rest of us have been paying for all of our lives.

They will have betrayed you, me and the nation.

Richard Seymour


Baltimoreans wrong on the need for ICC

I'm tired of people from Baltimore who haven't a clue about whom the Intercounty Connector will help and hurt complaining about the building of the ICC and how it will increase congestion and be ecologically unsound ("ICC will undermine state's green trend," letters, April 15, and "Build better transit, not more highways," letters, May 10).

I live in Olney and commute to Bethesda every day, and I can tell you firsthand that the ICC is sorely needed.

Currently, there are only two routes across Montgomery County from Interstate 95 to Interstate 270 other than the Capital Beltway: Randolph and Norbeck roads.

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