May I suggest that that the diagnostic term schizophrenia be restricted to its intended medical use.
To do otherwise will always contribute to the stigma and trivialization of a most misunderstood physical disease.
This was suggested by your Sept. 16 description of the design of the Columbus Center as "intentionally schizophrenic -- half festive exhibit hall, half serious science lab."
San Gabriel, Calif.
Security on MTA
At the Mass Transit Administration, we take the security and safety of our riders as a matter of paramount importance. We wish to respond to Peter Jensen's Nov. 12 article about crime on the light rail system.
Specifically, we want to reiterate that the number of incidents experienced on our entire system has fallen this year, significantly more so than the rate of crime in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.
This fact indicates a great decline in criminal activities on our bus routes and on the Baltimore Metro, and shows that the MTA Police have been successful in protecting our passengers.
The fact is that, if crime on the light rail is up slightly, it is still infrequent. Meanwhile, ridership has grown greatly because of new stops as the system extends. It is not surprising that crime should increase as ridership does -- but crime has grown only slightly while the number of commuters has jumped substantially.
Crime is still a matter of vital significance to our administration. We know that if passengers don't feel safe, they won't ride. That is why we will ensure their safety to the best of our abilities.
The decline of criminal activities on our system proves that we are indeed capable of protecting our commuters, as the number of incidents continues to drop. And as light rail ridership grows, we will improve our efforts to patrol facilities. I am committed to making the MTA a successful and secure operation.
Already, some of the steps we have taken -- particularly stepping up patrols on the southern part of the line -- is paying off.
The graph displayed alongside Mr. Jensen's article showed a decrease in crime, and, in September, the light rail experienced 13 percent fewer incidents than the previous month. That goes to prove not only our commitment but that our system is working.
John A. Agro Jr.
The writer is administrator of the Mass Transit Administration.
The White Man
It was unfortunate that Louis Farrakhan felt compelled to include an accusative allusion to "the white man" in his call for unity between the religions of the world.
Did The Sun article (Nov. 22) gloss over this arguably racist thrust of Mr. Farrakhan's message, or was that specific comment more of an inadvertent throwback to his old ways?
Surely, unity within the black community would be a wonderful thing and perhaps must be achieved before all communities coexist peacefully, but an individual will not know peace until he stops judging, labeling and misrepresenting others.
Attorney General's Work
Peter E. Keith (letter, Nov. 11) and I must have read two different articles Oct. 26 by Eleanor M. Carey, entitled "The Attorney General Should Do His Job."
Mr. Keith claims that Ms. Carey's criticism of the attorney general's handling of state procurement matters, in particular the $49 million sole-source keno award to GTECH, was a general attack on some 240 assistant attorneys general who are assigned to advise state agencies. It was not.
I served with Ms. Carey as a deputy attorney general under Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs. I know the extraordinary attention she paid to the hiring of men and women with integrity, intelligence and commitment to the people of Maryland.
I also know the high regard she had and continues to have for them. Many of those lawyers, who came from diverse backgrounds and races, are still in the office.
Ms. Carey's article was in no way a criticism of Attorney General J. Joseph Curran's assistants. Its focus was the absence of activism and vigilance at the top.
It takes great energy on the part of the attorney general, deputies and division chiefs to make sure that assistants throughout the office have the training, oversight and support they need to make state agencies obey the law.
Without that top-level back-up, assistants assigned to agencies will at times find it difficult to oppose the wishes of their agency clients when the law so requires.
As Ms. Carey expressly recognized, assistants perform this critical function every day. They interpret the law and help agency officials obey it.
But as Eleanor Carey and I know from our experience as deputy attorneys general, the personal involvement and support of the attorney general and top staff are often the deciding factor. Unfortunately, they were missing when the keno contact was being drafted and awarded to GTECH.
Paul F. Strain
The Sun and Mubarak's Regime in Egypt
The cartoon you published about Muslims in Egypt waiting to shoot at tourist buses (Nov. 21) is not only biased and misleading but has no basis in fact, either.
The cartoon does not bring out the fascist composition of the Egyptian government.
President Hosni Mubarak has never been freely elected to be the president of Egypt. His regime is based on terror and torture and is able to survive only owing to security provided by the CIA and Mossad.
When will The Sun let its readers know that the Egyptian people do not want a regime which muzzles the press, owns the media, arrests people on mere suspicion, tortures even women and children and has stormed many places of worship?
Does Mubarak, the dictator of Egypt, require the support of The Sun to mask his dastardly attacks on the Muslims of Egypt, or does The Sun simply says "yes" to every dirty government President Clinton supports?
These are not rhetorical questions. Americans should be told why the media here support a regime which is hated by its own people [and] is the antithesis of America's own ideology.
Charges of terrorism against the Islamic resistance in Egypt need to be investigated impartially and should not be based merely on the word put out by the dictator's agencies. Honest journalism must provide both sides of the story.