Lawyer BashingBy signed letter of confession last...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Lawyer Bashing

By signed letter of confession last month, Dr. Neil Solomon admitted to numerous violations of the Hippocratic Oath, including unethical conduct with female patients.

Let it be remembered that when he was sued by some of his women victims, the first statement he made to the public intimated that the lawsuit was a lie and a fraud and that this case was merely lawyers trying for a "windfall" of money. This doctor, as well as many of his former colleagues, blames lawyers for their financial problems.

Let it also be remembered that without lawyers the case would never have been filed in court; Dr. Solomon's wrongs would have remained hidden.

The legal profession still remains as the only effective check on the wrongs and negligence of the wrongdoers and sloppy practitioners in the medical profession.

David Judd

Baltimore

Good Lawyers

I am writing in response to the column of Eleanor Carey, a candidate for attorney general, which appeared in The Sun on Oct. 26.

I served in the attorney general's office for four years, including years during which Ms. Carey was a deputy attorney general. I worked with Ms. Carey there.

I was surprised and disappointed by Ms. Carey's suggestion that the 240 assistants who serve in the attorney general's office are failing "to make sure their agency clients are performing their missions within [the] law."

Ms. Carey played an instrumental role in hiring many of the same lawyers she now criticizes and should know that this broad charge is unfair and untrue.

The lawyers in the attorney general's office are hard-working and dedicated. They represent the people of Maryland with extraordinary skill in hundreds of complex legal matters each year.

Many of the lawyers could easily reap greater income in the private sector but instead have decided to use their talents to serve the public.

Ms. Carey has announced her candidacy for attorney general. Unfortunately exaggeration, mis-characterization and false accusation are the norm in politics these days.

But politics notwithstanding, I think it unfair to impugn the competence and professionalism of the attorney general's staff for political gain, particularly when many of those lawyers served with Ms. Carey.

By attacking the 240 state lawyers who work hard to serve us all, Ms. Carey diminishes the stature and quality of the high office she seeks.

Peter E. Keith

Baltimore

True Colors

Orisha Kammefa's Oct. 29 letter prompts me to ask where the etymological paranoia and word-craziness of some civil rights activists will end?

Ms. Kammefa objects to commonly used words -- blackmail, black hats, etc. -- which she perceives as insulting to blacks.

May I remind Ms. Kammefa that the African-American community itself is responsible for choosing the word "black" to indicate people of color.

I have never seen a "black" person; I have seen brown, beige and gold people, but there are very few truly "black" people.

However, since African-Americans object to the adjectives "colored" and "Negro" for no apparent reason other than usage, it seems that this is a discrimination created by themselves.

My personal preference is for "colored" because brown, beige and gold are true "colors" -- and beautiful ones.

A. S. Gray

Baltimore

Towson State Art

It seems that John Dorsey has confused his role as an art critic with that of a reviewer of educational programs when he vTC states (Oct. 28), "Were I a parent whose child was thinking of studying art, after seeing the current faculty exhibition at Towson State University I'd certainly hope he'd go somewhere else."

That he found little to admire in the work exhibited is an opinion to which he is entitled. He was also correct when he suggested that the work exhibited by faculty should be considered when selecting an educational institution. However, Mr. Dorsey used this singular piece of opinion-based information to evaluate an entire art program.

Assuming that Mr. Dorsey's behavior was a result of ignorance rather than malice, it might be beneficial if he were more informed about educational program review.

Typically, when an academic institution seeks to evaluate its performance, it invites an accrediting team composed of trained professional educators.

They spend several days on campus reviewing curriculum, interviewing faculty and students and surveying all resources available. Several months are then spent evaluating the data collected.

It is apparent, therefore, that at best Mr. Dorsey's article was irresponsible. His "review" of our art program was a disservice to the faculty, art students and nationally recognized art alumni of Towson State University.

Daniel Brown

Towson

The writer chairs the art department at Towson State University.

School Choices Will Keep People in the City

Why are folks in my neighborhood deserting Baltimore City and moving to the suburbs? The answer isn't as simple as one might think.

Five years ago, I bought a home in the city in what was then a nice neighborhood and very affordable housing. I had the choice of being a renter in Howard County or a home owner in the city. I took the chance and moved into the city.

The purchase price of $42,000 for four bedrooms (and a $450 a month mortgage) seemed to be a pretty good deal at the time, compared to spending $600 a month for rent in the county and owning nothing.

Living in the city has its advantages. We're only 20 minutes away from the university I used to attend -- Johns Hopkins -- and only a short 10-minute drive to Oriole Park. Friends are surprised that we're only a 20 minute bus ride to the Inner Harbor.

Fort McHenry is nice to visit on a summer day and living near a major hospital does have its advantages.

Being close to the Inner Harbor, school, the new park, or Fort McHenry may have attracted me to the city, but something even more substantial is forcing me and a lot of my neighbors to leave.

You would normally expect someone leaving the city to cite crime, drugs, high taxes, or even racial problems as reasons for their departure.

Certainly, a case can be made for each of these in my neighborhood. Drug dealers stand on the corner on Frederick Avenue every night, hailing my neighbors, trying to solicit business.

It's not uncommon to hear police sirens every night of the week, too, and last year the police helicopter circled our neighborhood at least four or five times, looking for fleeing criminals.

These are major problems, but not the most important.

The main issue for many of my friends, most with young children, comes down to the issue of how to afford private school and still keep the finances intact.

Two years ago, I read with horror how the elementary school in my neighborhood -- Beechfield Elementary -- spent the least amount of money per pupil of any elementary school in the city.

I could also see how my next-door neighbors pulled their child from the local middle school because they feared for their child's safety.

I've also heard with my own ears quite a few of the city school students trying to read (I'm involved with the Boy Scouts) and am appalled at their development.

Those aren't signs of a vibrant and effective school system.

But the issue is much broader than just that. If we had the choice of where to send a child, we'd be a lot more apt to stay in the city.

And by choice I don't mean other Baltimore City schools. I mean having the choice of any school, public or private, in the city or out.

Mayor Kurt Schmoke has all but admitted failure in public education by pursuing aggressively the privatization of some city schools.

History has shown that any industry, education included, that is allowed to monopolize becomes fat and inefficient.

Bring competition into education and we'll all see the city schools improve. The answer isn't more federal regulation, or even higher standards, as Denis P. Doyle asserts in the article that appeared in the Perspective section on Oct. 17.

Baltimore needs school choice, not only to give poor inner-city students the empowerment to rise from the ghetto, but also as a way to keep its population and tax base from fleeing to the suburbs.

Dan J. Vance

Baltimore City

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