December 22, 2008

Hard times also add to abuse of children

As David Kohn's article "Hard times mean more abuse" (Dec. 14) suggested, the stress of economic downturns can be played out in more conflict between domestic partners. The stability of a marriage and a family functioning are often thrown into crisis as a result of a loss of job, income or even a foreclosure.

But the article did not address the related issue of child abuse.

Children are often the targets of the frustration and stress of the parents. And emotional stress and lack of stability can often be precursors of child abuse.

The scars of childhood abuse often lead to future problems and illness.

Unfortunately, the need for mental health services and other social services goes up at the same time those resources are often cut because of the economic troubles that add to abuse.

Stanley E. Weinstein, Baltimore

The writer is president and CEO of the Woodbourne Center, a care system for children and families involved in the child welfare or juvenile justice systems.

Choose green leader as development chief

The resignation of the state's economic development chief gives Gov. Martin O'Malley a great opportunity to create jobs in clean energy industries ("Edgerley, state economic development chief, resigns," Dec. 17).

The state secretary of business and economic development is charged with stimulating economic activity in emerging sectors.

In the midst of so much terrible economic news, one bright spot is the opportunity for clean energy business development. A recent report estimated that 36,000 green jobs could be created in Maryland in the next two years with a targeted stimulus program.

I urge the governor to name a secretary who really understands that opportunity and is dedicated to capitalizing on it.

Elizabeth Ridlington, Baltimore

The writer is a policy analyst for the Frontier Group, a think tank that works with environmental groups.

How far will we go to keep killers alive?

A ban on capital punishment seems like a well-intentioned idea ("Execution isn't path to a peaceful society," letters, Dec. 18). But to what extent should we go to ensure that a convicted murdered is guaranteed a full life?

Should we preserve a killer's life to the best of our abilities, regardless of cost? Should we assure that person access to a heart or kidney if he or she needs one, even though many others are in need?

That would not seem very just.

Perhaps, before outlawing the death penalty altogether, we should consider the issue more fully and set better guidelines.

George B. Wroe, Glyndon

MARC should offer regulars first chance

I agree with the reader who complained that the Maryland Transit Administration is being unfair to MARC monthly ticketholders for its Inauguration Day trains ("MARC makes patrons pay twice for big day," letters, Dec. 18).

I have had a MARC monthly ticket on the Penn and Camden lines for more than 18 years.

And I think the least the MTA could have done was to offer the Inaugural Day tickets to regular MARC train riders before selling them the general public.

Kathleen A. Roso, Catonsville

Extravagant praise for untested liberal

Wow, what a difference one's political persuasion makes to The Baltimore Sun. A case in point is Jean Marbella's tribute to a liberal Democrat, Caroline Kennedy ("A little Camelot appeals to recession-weary," Dec. 17).

While Ms. Marbella, along with other Sun columnists, seemed to take great delight in mocking conservative Republican Gov. Sarah Palin's candidacy for vice president, she had nothing but accolades for Ms. Kennedy after she indicated her willingness to accept a Senate appointment. "Caroline is in a class all her own," wrote Ms. Marbella - "a charming child" and "graceful adult," she added. She also said Ms. Kennedy's "largely private life" had the effect of "making her that much more intriguing."

The column contained other almost reverent references to Ms. Kennedy's largely irrelevant qualifications for the position she seeks.

And, as a conservative, I found the column typically slanted to support The Baltimore Sun's liberal agenda.

Richard Seymour, Baltimore

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