Standing in a Family's WayI am writing...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Standing in a Family's Way

I am writing regarding the article entitled, "One Family's Struggle to be Together," by Art Kramer in The Sun on March 12.

It frustrates me when groups of people try to get in the way of someone such as Cynthia Morin, who is only trying to provide what those three children need most in life -- a stable adult who loves them and will provide for them and support and understand them. . . . I see and know many families who have adopted children from other races in this country and other countries, myself included, and these are loving and stable families -- both single parent and two-parent families.

But that's not the only issue in this article. How can the relatives and groups such as the National Association of Black Social Workers fight Cynthia Morin when the biological mother of the three children who are in Ms. Morin's custody wrote in her will that she chose Ms. Morin to adopt her children?

. . . The biological mother . . . knew that Ms. Morin would be the best parent for her children.

Renate Flannelly

Bel Air

Ma & Pa Trail

The following is in response to the article that appeared in The Sun for Harford County on March 18 by Phyllis Brill, entitled, "Six-Mile Trail is Planned from Bel Air to Forest Hill."

Concerning the planned trail to be built on the Ma & Pa railroad bed through Harford County, it was stated that it was to be a hiker-bicycling trail.

I want to inform readers that this trail is to be for the use of horseback riders also. The planners of this trail effort represent all three potential users and from experience on other trails of this type, such as the Northern Central Trail in Baltimore County, I can assure you that horses, bikes and hikers can all fit nicely in the planned scheme for the Ma & Pa trail.

This trail is destined to be one of the finest recreational facilities that Harford countians will be able to enjoy. With so much development taking place in the county right now, it is past time to preserve a piece of history as is this railroad bed, and, provide a place to enjoy what remains of Harford's natural spaces.

I urge all Harford countians to get on board and help to make this trail a reality. It is a true example of a federal, state, county and private partnership. For information on how you can help, call the Harford County Department of Recreation and Parks at 638-3570.

E. J. Hornick

Aberdeen

The writer is president of the Foundation for the Preservation of the Ma & Pa Railroad.

Building Bridges

On behalf of our congregation and Jewish community, I wanted to thank Superintendent Ray Keech and Deputy Superintendent Al Seymour for taking time out of their schedules to meet with Robert Christopher and myself about calendar issues.

Local media can very often provide the bridge that allows for opening the channels of communication on resolving community issues. In this instance, past articles appearing in our local newspapers, The Sun and the Aegis, has helped to set a new foundation in community relations.

On March 2, such a meeting occurred between representatives of the Jewish community and Dr. Keech and Mr. Seymour breaking the "deafening silence." This was a result of both the persistence of our community and the letter to the editor appearing in The Sun for Harford County on Feb. 19 on cultural diversity. Both the local section of The Sun and its zoned editorial pages as well as the Aegis continue to play an important role by publishing articles and covering events which increase public awareness. . . .

It is our hope that the Board of Education will join hands in this partnership promoting cultural diversity by supporting the initiatives of Dr. Keech and his staff relating to the calendar issues.

Stuart Jay Robinson

Bel Air

The writer is a vice president of Temple Adas Shalom, Havre de Grace.

Police State

The well-founded premise of our checks and balance system is that no one branch of government should be afforded too much power. We Americans abhor the dictatorships and police states we have seen come and go when they have pushed their own citizens too far. It is for that reason that our Constitution, the foundation of our liberty, guarantees our rights of privacy and property.

House Bill 666, the "good faith" bill, mangles the Fourth Amendment and strikes at the very spirit of our system.

The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution has two parts. The first protects us from "unreasonable" searches and seizures. The second demands that search warrants be granted only upon showing of probable cause, and that warrants particularly describe the place to be searched and the things to be seized.

The Fourth Amendment is the most important provision of the Constitution, more vital to our freedom than all the rest. Without it, we will have no protection whatsoever. The police will have the authority to conduct searches and seizures without any warrant if they believe they have "objectively reasonable" grounds to break into a house. Our homes will no longer be secure.

The Fourth Amendment stands as the hallmark of our entitlements as American citizens. Any elected representative who supports the destruction of one of our most important rights is mistaken about his role as a public servant. It is the responsibility of our representative to preserve our rights, not to confiscate them.

The key to protecting ourselves from crime and unsafe streets lies in superior police work, not in turning over all our rights to the state.

The approval of House Bill 666 is a step toward the establishment of a police state, not a step closer to safety.

Frank Soltis

Fallston

Madame Parrott's Council

Enthusiastic kudos to Mike Burns for his commentary concerning Harford County Council President Joanne Parrott and the weekly County Council follies. It has been more than 15 years since I left big-time, big-top, urban politics to join academe and live in Harford County, but some things just never change.

I hope that Mr. Burns isn't shocked by Madame Parrott's heavy-handed administrative tactic and her ongoing vendetta against Susan Heselton. As keen an observer as he should have seen it coming as far back as the fall campaign.

Ms. Parrott ran a campaign that an East Side Newark ward boss would have been busting his buttons over. Namely, promise everything and anything while smearing your opponent's record with late-breaking negative television and newspaper ads. The crowning glory was how she paid for her "October surprises." Fueled by a dump truck load of money from developers, Ms. Parrott sprinted past Theresa Pierno and won a close election.

I'm afraid this won't be the last of Mike Burns' commentaries on County Council and Madame Parrott's inner sanctum,the omnipotent Personnel Committee. The most perplexing and disappointing revelation in Mr. Burns' column, however, was the behavior of the other members of the County Council. Their abdication of even the appearance of independence might be the clearest indication that President Parrott's actions against Councilwoman Heselton have achieved their desired effect.

J. Pinto

Bel Air

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