Painful 'Deadly Dust'
Congratulations and our admiration are extended to staff writer Michael Ollove and photographer Michael Lutzky for their painstaking work on "Deadly Dust" in the Oct. 25 Sunday Sun.
Their story of my parents and our neighbors affected by asbestos in many insidious forms is a masterpiece of reporting and photography.
Those of us who spent time with them were treated with respect and compassion as we related our very personal and painful encounters with the results of asbestos exposure. It is a story which needed telling and was told in a most impressive manner.
Our hope is that through this and similar efforts in the media the dangers of asbestos exposure will soon become common knowledge and that, in the future, no more lives will be irreversibly damaged by the deadly dust.
Lynn Busch Moreland
Dundalk Your outdoors writer, Peter Baker, struck a major blow for the anti-hunting fraternity with his Oct. 25 column on Amy Cleaver.
We have always known hunting for what it was -- not a "sport" but simply a blood lust, an excuse for killing.
Peter Baker certainly reinforced this opinion with his column. Let me quote:
"The Cleavers found two moose standing in the road. [Amy] Cleaver said she got out of the truck, shouldered her grandfather's 30.06, 'and I just aimed and shot.' "
According to the column, the bullet struck the moose in the lungs, and it wandered only 100 yards before collapsing. What a glorious end to a magnificent animal.
But Amy Cleaver pretty well sums up the feeling of these so-called sportsmen when she said, "I really like it."
What wonderful sport. Like shooting fish in a barrel. Until a few years ago, moose were protected in Maine, and developed absolutely no fear of humans.
So now we simply drive down a road, stop the car when one of these dumb, curious animals ambles onto the roadway, and shoot it.
Hunting is no longer a sport -- and certainly not a need to put food on the table -- it's simply an excuse for killing.
And we must thank Peter Baker for proving our point.
Schulz at 70
As a comic strip buff, I tip my hat to "Peanuts" creator Charles "Sparky" Schulz, who turns 70 on Nov. 26. Debuting in nine newspapers on Oct. 2, 1950, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, et al now appear in about 2,000 newspapers worldwide.
Happy Birthday, "Sparky"! Thanks for bringing such delightful and incisive humor to hundreds of millions of people daily.
Thomas Iler's Oct. 27 letter on Catholic schools was misleading.
Yes, Catholic schools seem to outperform public schools. But, it is important to note, they tend to select academically superior students to start with, they serve proportionately far fewer handicapped students than public schools, and they can expel disruptive students far more easily than public schools.
Further, while Catholic schools do not exclusively serve the rich, they do serve families with average incomes about 23 percent higher than public schools. And academic performance, at least as measured by such tests as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, is directly proportional to family income.
Catholic schools cost less to operate than public schools because they serve few expensive-to-teach handicapped children, offer fewer courses than public schools, and pay teachers less.
We must also note that Catholic school enrollment has declined from 5.5 million students in 1965 to 2.5 million today, because of increased Catholic satisfaction with public schools and decreased Catholic satisfaction with the way their church is run.
While Catholic schools are declining, fundamentalist Protestant school enrollment is increasing. As a great many fundamentalist schools actively promote prejudice against Catholics and other non-fundamentalists (see Albert J. Menendez' book, Visions of Reality: What Fundamentalist Schools Teach, just published by Prometheus Books), any government program of tax aid for Catholic schools would also support private schools which denigrate Catholics, Episcopalians, Quakers, Unitarians, Mormons, and others.
Let's not forget that Maryland voters twice, in 1972 and 1974, voted down tax aid for nonpublic schools and that the latest polls show opposition to voucher plans running between 62 percent and 68 percent.
Our publicly controlled public schools serve 90 percent of our children, including 75 percent of Catholic children. It is they that deserve increased support.