Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 03, 2007

More reason to serve better food in school

I was pleasantly surprised by The Sun's article "Good for you, schools' bottom line" (Nov. 26), which presented reassuring findings from a University of Minnesota study that suggest, contrary to past findings, that healthy school lunches may not cost schools more and that children may not object to eating nutritious meals.

I hope this research will add more fuel to the fire of the movement to promote healthy food for the nation's children.

As is widely recognized, abnormally high levels of caloric intake contribute to weight gain among children. And the prevalence of overweight children has been increasing drastically over the past several decades.

According to the American Heart Association, the prevalence of overweight children ages 6 to 11 jumped from 4 percent in a study conducted from 1971 to 1974 to 17.5 percent in one conducted between 1999 and 2004.

Being overweight puts children at added risk for health problems such as asthma and cardiovascular disease.

Certainly, it will be important for researchers to further probe these findings and attempt to replicate the study in other regions and types of communities nationwide.

But if the findings of the University of Minnesota study can be corroborated, it would be shameful (and foolish) for schools to continue to serve unhealthy meals.

Chelsea Cooper

Baltimore

The writer is a graduate student in international health at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Same-sex marriage adds a paltry sum

A paltry increase in state tax revenues in exchange for making Maryland a mecca for same-sex marriages strikes me as a rather poor deal ("Gay nuptials could bring tax gain to Md.," Nov. 29).

To realize an annual revenue gain of only $3.2 million, Maryland would have to authorize marriages of countless numbers of nonresident same-sex couples who, as The Sun's article puts it, "would flock here to tie the knot, tourism dollars in hand."

Opening a state to gatherings of, let us say, unconventional groups is nothing new. South Dakota hosts a convention of thousands of Harley-Davidson bikers each year, and crowds of folks ranging from astrologists to witches periodically convene elsewhere.

But the bikers, witches, etc., go back home after the party is over. Same-sex couples married in Maryland likely would stay here rather than return to places where their unions are not recognized.

Barry C. Steel

Phoenix

A matter of rights, not state revenue

As a gay couple, we find it both interesting and sad that an argument for our right to be joined by marriage would be based on the possibility of financial gain for the state rather than on our civil rights ("Gay nuptials could bring tax gain to Md.," Nov. 29).

Thankfully, as we celebrate our 28th year together and the first anniversary of our civil and religious marriage last November in Canada, we have hope once again that the powers-that-be will finally do what is right.

Richard Crystal

Rick Wasserman Baltimore

Hard work is ahead on path to peace

Like many people, I am encouraged by the Annapolis Mideast peace conference ("Hard work awaits Israel, Palestinians," Nov. 29).

However, I have seen us go down this road before.

I believe that the only way the peace process will come to a just and fair ending will be for America to be there after the cameras go away and the negotiating begins on the tough issues.

There is no guarantee that active participation will work - just look at the waste of the good efforts made by President Bill Clinton during the Camp David process in 2000.

But the process surely will never get off the ground if we are not leading the way.

Steven M. Clayton

Ocean, N.J.

Reports from Israel betrayed real bias

I don't know what the exact role of the public editor is supposed to be, but based on Paul Moore's column lavishing praise on departing Jerusalem correspondent John Murphy, I am clearly not part of the public for which he writes ("Murphy reflects heritage of excellence with last story," Nov. 25).

Mr. Moore, in a burst of corporate self-congratulations, refers to Mr. Murphy's recent article on young Palestinians in Israeli jails ("The young prisoners of the West Bank," Nov. 18) as "comprehensive" and "balanced."

It was neither.

As is so often the case with The Sun's reporting and editorial policies, the article offered little context.

While any sensitive human being deplores the fact that Palestinian children are in jail, Mr. Murphy's article did not come close to giving an objective perspective on why it is, tragically, necessary for Israel to detain these youths.

The killers of Hamas and Fatah teach hatred of Israel in school, in direct contravention of numerous peace agreements.

They convince children that they will become martyrs if they will strap explosives to themselves and blow up Israeli buses and pizza shops.

The fault for the incarceration of these young people lies with Palestinian leaders, not with Israel.

Mr. Moore decries the closing of The Sun's Jerusalem bureau. I say good riddance.

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