Of The Sun's Oct. 15 editorial, "Blockading Penn Station," it can be said that damned if you do, damned if you don't.
Every major terminal in the United States arranges for dedicated ground transportation to serve arriving passengers. Imagine arriving from New York to Baltimore's Penn Station, expecting a cab to be there to take you to your destination, only to have to scramble out in the streets carrying luggage to locate a taxicab.
We realize when people see a long line of taxicabs parked on Charles Street, they wonder why there are so many waiting cabs. But remember when a train arrives, people disembark all at the same time and the taxicab line is rapidly depleted.
As far as the "cozy relationship" between Amtrak and the cab company, we consider this is an innuendo, unfair and insulting. There exists no cozy relationship.
There is, however, a professional business contractual relationship which is founded on a jointly held belief that customers arriving at Amtrak's Penn Station should get the best possible cab service available. And Baltimore's system is considered to be one of the very best in the country.
Yellow Cab provides clean cabs, good professional drivers and even employs, at its expense, full-time starters assisting passengers to arrange for taxicab service and provide these passengers with consumer information booklets detailing what the passenger has a right to expect.
By providing for this taxicab arrangement with Yellow, Amtrak has provided its customers with convenient, dependable and accountable taxi service.
During this period of construction, we will all have to make adjustments. However, at the end of next year passengers will be afforded even more convenience with the inclusion of more parking spaces . . .
In the meantime, we will continue to do our best to make travelers feel welcome in Baltimore and to make it easy for them to locate a taxicab to get them to their destination.
Mark L. Joseph
The writer is president, Yellow Transportation.
Waiting for Brady
Glenn McNatt's recent column, "Second Thoughts that Save Lives" (Nov. 13), refers to the Brady Bill as requiring a national "seven-day waiting period" for handgun purchases.
Please be advised that the Brady Bill actually requires only a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases.
Mike Littwin's Nov. 22 column, "Sparing Bambi the My Lai way: Killing to save," struck home with me.
Mr. Littwin went out of his way to denigrate Maryland deer hunters by comparing them to "Dr. Kevorkian with a gun" and using lines like "to blow Bambi away . . ." and "blow the animal's head clear off."
Let me assure Mr. Littwin that no one is allowed to hunt in Maryland with armament capable of blowing a deer's head clear off.
While such a weapon would certainly assist in culling the herd, the extra cost at the taxidermist would far offset any advantage gained.
Nowhere in his column did I read where anyone was dragged, kicking and screaming, into the woods and forced to blow Bambi away.
Personally, I wouldn't want to be bound to a desk and made to write for The Baltimore Sun all day, but hey, that's just me.
If Mr. Littwin's purpose in life is to keep a keyboard from floating away, then so be it. Some Maryland residents see themselves as a little more resourceful.
Furthermore, I resent Mr. Littwin using valuable paper (made from trees taken from our ecosystem) to force his hypocritical opinion on others.
He admits to being an avid burger eater but would rather be anywhere else "when the poor animal gets it." As a matter of fact, he states that he doesn't even want to think about it. Typical of someone who looks to others for his needs.
I can't speak for every deer hunter in Maryland, because each has his or her own reason for joining the hunt . . .
Timothy L. Krahling Sr.
I hope the Nov. 21 article about the Prince George's County Police Department is not a sign that The Sun is using the news pages to take sides in the Maryland race for governor.
It sounds as if County Executive Parris N. Glendening inherited a troubled department and has taken substantial steps to turn things around, including increasing the number of African-Americans and women.
For the sake of fairness, your heading should have mentioned the progress made in the department.
George F. Will's latest exercise in twisted logic (Nov. 18) holds that since the upsurge of inner-city violence is largely the product of young, unsocialized, fatherless males, the solution to the problem is to cut off all government aid to the unmarried women who bear them and -- if necessary -- place them in adoption or (God help us!) well-financed orphanages.
Will's guru in this matter is social scientist Charles Murray, who in a recent Wall Street Journal article resurrected the ugly and discredited term "illegitimacy," asserting that out-of-wedlock birth has now become "the single most important problem of our time -- more important than crime, drugs, poverty, illiteracy, welfare or homelessness because it drives everything else. . ."
But there is another logic, which argues just as plausibly that poverty is our most pressing problem because it drives everything else, including "illegitimacy."
This logic, however, compels a very different solution, namely more government aid, not less, in order to reduce the poverty that drives the illegitimacy which Will and Murray believe to breed violence.
No doubt this logic will be as unpalatable to some as the Will-Murray variety is to others. What remains indisputable, however, is that the United States does proportionately less for its disadvantaged children, some 40 percent of whom now live at or below the official poverty line, than any other nation in the Western world.
And most of these children are being raised by single mothers.
What Will and Murray fail to understand is that cutting aid to these mothers will not stop them from having babies (financial disincentives have never affected birth rates, especially among the poor), and that arguments about whether illegitimacy or poverty are more fundamental are beside the point.
Both are detrimental to society, mutually reinforcing, and contribute to violence.
And if we really mean to curb the violence they spawn, we had better start addressing the unmet needs that fuel so much of our social pathology: jobs that pay a living wage and enable men and women to consider marriage a viable option; decent and affordable housing and health care; quality public education for all children; and, perhaps most important of all, safe neighborhoods, where children are not made violent simply because they know no other way to protect themselves from real or imagined predators.
It means, in short, real investment in human beings instead of the utterly unworkable and draconian solutions envisioned by "thinkers" like George F. Will and Charles Murray.
Defending Dr. George Elias
I am appalled by the conviction against Dr. George Elias.
Having been a patient of Dr. Elias for many years, I have never met or known a more caring, compassionate or professional person.
Being a cancer patient, even as a layman, I am well aware that the examination of a competent doctor involving a skin lesion on one's thigh and its possible implications would require the most thorough and complete examination of the entire groin area.
How is it possible such a miscarriage of justice be made by members of the legal profession in this matter, particularly when there apparently was no informed medical panel or review consideration?
We now appear to live in a time when so many have been victims of overzealous prosecutors.
It is no wonder many of our courts and much of our legal system is in such disarray today.
I want to add a few words of support of Dr. George Elias.
I was his patient for six months and always found him very professional, gentlemanly and kind.
I can understand that a woman might be embarrassed by certain examinations, but they are necessary to prevent the spread of cancer. I think Maryland will be poorer if it suffers the loss of an oncologist like Dr. Elias.
Sr. M. Evelyn, R.S.M.