Veteran UpsetThe Oct. 6 report about the...


Veteran Upset

The Oct. 6 report about the "love-in" which transpired in the Essex Division of the District Court of Maryland between Judge Charles E. Foos III and a group of recidivistic "anti-war" (anti-American?) protesters was greatly disturbing to me as a World War II veteran of over four years of service.

No punishment was imposed upon these protesters, who have many times been charged with trespassing, malicious destruction of property, etc. The cases of some of them, who were actually in contempt of the court's processes by failure to appear, were placed on the inactive docket.

Had the views of this crew -- judge and defendants -- that "war is senseless" prevailed in the early 1940s, we would all still be marching to the cry of "Heil Hitler!"

John O. Herrmann


Cruel and Unfair

I am sorry to say that anti-Semitism is alive and well in Baltimore. One recent morning on the subway on my way to work downtown, I had the unpleasant opportunity to witness a display first hand.

One black man was explaining to another how Jews have control of all industry. He went on to explain to his traveling companion that the Jews are the reason that the black people are oppressed; that they band together and work together to keep others out.

In my 30-something years of being Jewish and proud of it, I have come across many forms of prejudice and anti-Semitism, and it still stabs me to the quick to hear or see it. If the opportunity had arisen, rather than just overhearing the conversation I would have liked to have participated.

The main point I would make is although I could easily spend all day defending my Jewishness with facts and opinions, more importantly people should note that stereotypes are unfair and dangerous. Stereotypes and prejudice are the reasons for holocausts and riots.

As a member of a race that has been stereotyped and prejudiced against as long as the Jews, I would think the gentleman who made those comments should be able to realize that generalized comments against a group of people are cruel, unfair and only serve a negative end.

Before opening his mouth to demean another race, religion, nationality, etc., he should fully consider the subject to be discussed, the facts, the opinions and personal knowledge. He might find some redeeming qualities there that would cause him reconsider his opinion.

How better to learn to live as one people, in peace, without prejudice, than for each of us to take the first step ourselves and take the time to meet someone a bit "different" than ourselves, whether the difference be in race, religion, nationality or whatever.

I hope that the gentleman on the subway will come to realize that his bias is hurtful, cruel and unfair and that the best way for people to live and prosper together is to lead lives following the principles of fairness and mutual respect.

Shelly Shannon



In a Sept. 24 column, "Feminist Ms. Take," Cal Thomas claims that "feminists assert that women cannot achieve complete liberation without a career, an abortion, a divorce and an attitude."

This is a false representation of the feminist viewpoint. Feminism involves choices for women, and does not endorse one choice over another.

It is obvious that Mr. Thomas has an attitude, and it is one of stereotyping and bias against feminists.

I would hope that Mr. Thomas, as a spokesman for the religious right, would be truthful and more Christian-like in his viewpoints.

Fred Davis


Bill Shepard

Reporter John W. Frece's article on a proposal to build a gambling casino on Indian-owned land in southern Maryland (Sept. 30) quoted various candidates for governor on their opinions.

He quoted Parris Glendenning, Mary Boergers, Ellen Sauerbrey and Mickey Steinberg. He said that two candidates (potential candidates), Robert Neall and Clayton Mitchell "could not be reached for comment."

What about Bill Shepard? Did Mr. Frece try to reach him? Or is he purposely ignoring a topnotch candidate for governor who got 40 percent of the votes in the last election against William Donald Schaefer?

This isn't the first time this has happened in The Sun. Why can't Bill Shepard get fair treatment from your staff writers?

David E. Boyd

White Hall

Trouble Abroad

Thousands of our citizens are hungry, homeless, without medical insurance or unemployed. Yet our government continues to send troops, money, supplies, etc. to countries around the world.

Our illustrious president continues to police, feed and clothe various nations and increase our taxes on the premise that he is trying to reduce the national debt. Our boys are being murdered to no avail.

Our first president, George Washington, said we must "avoid foreign entanglements."

! America, wake up!

Douglas E. Clark


Communications Contract Handled Fairly

The Sun's Oct. 3 editorial regarding the State of Maryland's contracting process was inaccurate and irresponsible journalism. It was a malicious attempt to discredit the Maryland Department of General Services (DGS), the Maryland Board of Public Works, the Office of the Attorney General and state employees.

In an appeal by a losing vendor of a telecommunications contract for Electronic Automated Branch Exchange (PBX) switching equipment, the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals described the DGS action as "a good faith attempt," "devised in good faith" and "good faith efforts."

Nothing in the board's decision suggested that DGS acted illegally or with any intention to favor one vendor over another, as alleged in The Sun's editorial.

The editorial was obviously based on a biased news story that appeared in The Sun the day after the Board of Appeals' decision. This story put speed far ahead of reporting accuracy.

When asked for comment minutes after DGS received the decision in the mail, DGS responsibly advised the Sun reporter that we had not fully reviewed the 34-page opinion and therefore we certainly were not in a position to comment on it yet.

The next day, September 22, The Sun printed a distorted article about the board's decision. Then on Oct. 3, without seeking any comment from DGS, The Sun printed its editorial, which was not objective or factual.

Let me set the record straight.

The State of Maryland is served by a comprehensive and most adequate set of procurement laws, regulations and practices. There is an appeal avenue available to vendors, and procuring agencies can be overruled.

Though we disagree with this opinion of the Board of Contract Appeals, we recognize that we work in a system of due process and will respond to the board's decision. No contract was ever executed, nor were any dollars expended on this procurement. That fact and the existence and function of the appeals process has been missed by The Sun.

Nothing, not a single word, in the board's decision suggests that DGS acted illegally. In fact, the decision repeatedly said DGS acted in good faith. Why wasn't that printed in The Sun?

The state's PBX Request For Proposals (RFP) was advertised openly in the Maryland Register on Jan. 26, 1993. The 242-page RFP specifying the contract's technical requirements, as well as 84 pages in three addenda clarifying vendor questions and comments, was mailed to 24 telecommunications firms. Six proposals were received.

A team of seven telecommunications professionals (each with an average of more than 14 years of telecommunications experience) from various state agencies . . . evaluated and assessed each vendor's proposal.

Literally hundreds of technical factors and unit prices were received and evaluated over a four-week period before the vendor who offered the best combination of price and service requirements was selected.

Your editorial fails to mention the complexity of PBX equipment and the PBX procurement, but instead implies the procurement of PBXs is as straightforward as buying a bar of soap. That implication is preposterous. PBXs are extremely complex, high-tech switching mechanisms comprised of software and thousands of circuits and electronic components. . .

It was untruthful for The Sun to editorialize that the state engaged in an attempt to give a winning edge to any vendor. I strongly object to the blatant and offensive implication that any of these professionals acted illegally. Your editorial said the contract award permits a five-year monopoly. What you failed to say was that by aggregating anticipated statewide demand over a five-year period, the contract will save the state $1.3 million.

This is compared to buying PBXs, one at a time, as the state has done in the past. This is not only equitable and smart multi-year competitive contracting and good business; it's a good deal for Maryland taxpayers.

DGS is the state's major support department, providing engineering, construction, building operations, maintenance, real estate, telecommunications and logistics support to thousands of offices and agencies of state government.

This department successfully administers a wide family of contracts that exceed $1 billion annually. Over the last seven years, DGS has administered more than 57,000 contracts ' the vast majority of these were awarded by competitive sealed bidding to the low bidder and a smaller portion by competitive negotiation.

Less than one-half of 1 percent of these contracts were challenged by competing vendors. Less than 1/70th of 1 percent were overturned by the Board of Contract Appeals. This record is testimony that DGS' procurement process is openly competitive, fair, and in strict accordance with the law.

In addition, the DGS telecommunications section has responsibly renegotiated contracts that have saved the state more than $15 million over the last two years. This 28-member staff has also established the most successful Telecommunications Relay System for the hearing and speech impaired in the entire country.

Since The Sun has no competition in the Baltimore market, readers expect and should insist on accurate, objective news reporting and editorials. . .

Martin W. Walsh Jr.



The writer is secretary of the Department of General Services.

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