Part of the Problem
Your May 27 editorial, "Gallo in Baltimore," celebrated, perhaps appropriately, the benefits to its finances and reputation that will accrue to our city from Dr. Robert Gallo's decision to bring his new AIDS research institute to Baltimore.
But nowhere in the essay could one find mention of the benefits to Baltimore's victims of this terrible disease -- increased attention to their plight and the latest world class treatment that will become available.
This singleness of focus on the bottom line is a compelling example of the value system that many of us politically incorrect liberals believe is seminal to the decline of what is less and less a great country.
That value system is, simply put, money and power over people. The Sun, along with most other media, reinforces this ethic in its pages numerous times a day via the stories it focuses on and the way it reports them.
Then, in its editorials and other opinion spaces, it expresses shock and bewilderment at the mushrooming violence, homelessness, corruption and inner emptiness that afflicts us.
Richard G. Berman
In his attack on Peter Jay (letter, May 28) Michael A. Pretl, president of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse, has elevated hypocrisy and dishonesty to art forms.
Mr. Pretl first chides Mr. Jay for correctly stating that Gov. Parris Glendening's new handgun commission is stacked with gun control advocates.
He then justifies this action on the grounds that the "commission should not have its serious work frustrated by [the] inclusion of singleminded National Rifle Association types."
Why does Mr. Pretl then accuse Mr. Jay of joining forces with "those who denounce the very notion of dialogue on issues of gun safety"? Sounds very much like a classic example of the old political tactic of accusing the other side of doing what you are doing.
Mr. Jay's statement concerning Parris Glendening's "gun ban legislation" is belittled on the grounds that the term "gun ban" is "obviously loaded."
Mr. Pretl then goes on to state, "Neither the governor or Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse have ever proposed a ban on guns as either a short-term or long-term goal."
Perhaps Mr. Pretl will be gracious enough to explain why MAHA's Jan. 17 press release entitled "Governor Promulgates Handgun Roster Board Regulations Proposed by MAHA" contains at least four references to banning guns. Further, Vinnie DeMarco, former MAHA executive director, was quoted in the Towson Times, "We don't believe people should own handguns."
In addition to his new duties as co-chairman of the new gun control commission, Mr. DeMarco is currently employed by Handgun Control Inc., which was formerly known as the National Coalition to Ban Handguns.
The citizens of Maryland will see Parris Glendening's new gun violence commission for what it really is, a thinly veiled political payback and a desperate attempt to lend creditability to MAHA's anti-gun agenda.
The arrogance of this inept administration has produced yet another chapter in the saga of questionable schemes, campaign paybacks and political appointments that even The Sun cannot ignore.
In retrospect, it is not Mr. Jay but Mr. Pretl and MAHA who are opposed to dialogue with the opposition. Mr. Pretl knows that an open dialogue will present law-abiding gun owners with the opportunity to unleash the weapon he fears the most -- the truth.
John H. Josselyn
The writer is legislative vice president, Associated Gun Clubs of Baltimore Inc.
Is Gov. Parris Glendening goofy or what? First it is pensions and now it is pay-offs.
The three jurisdictions which voted him into office are certainly getting what they voted for.
John B. Dixon
As one of the students interviewed by David Folkenflik for his June 4 article, "Community college a door to university for many," I found very disturbing an error and distortion of my comments in the section of the article pertaining to me.
In addition to simple and specific facts, my name and grade point average were misstated, and the omission of a portion of my statement regarding the transfer of honors seminar credits from Carroll Community College to Western Maryland College resulted in a significantly different interpretation of my remarks from what a full version of my statement would have said.
I informed Mr. Folkenflik that the acceptance of honors seminar credits were pending the evaluation of course descriptions.
I alone am responsible for their submission to Western Maryland College. The only "difficulty" in question is how they are to be credited toward my degree.
Mr. Folkenflik's slant on my comments shed a negative light on what could have been a very positive article on community colleges.
His version of my words perpetuates the myth of transfer problems for community college students. This is an egregious injustice.
Carroll Community College provides its students with ample opportunity for personal and academic growth as well as a competent avenue for transfer to four-year institutions.
Without community colleges and institutions such as Western Maryland College that offer transfer scholarships, the attainment of higher education for students like myself would be an impossible dream.
Sharon Campbell Snyder
State Elections Board Is Not the Problem
Your editorial (May 28) calling for the replacement of the entire State Administrative Board of Election Laws was truly shocking.
This bipartisan board, three Democrats and two Republicans, has been the only entity in the state that has actually taken a serious interest in the problems that occurred in the last election and made an attempt to clean them up.
You are right, their performance has been embarrassing -- embarrassing to Gov. Parris Glendening and his media apologists who want to sweep the entire mass under a rug.
If, as you say, "They have done little to fix the serious flaws in electioneering that surfaced last November," it has been because of the constant obstacles thrown in the way of this citizen board by the attorney general's office.
The assistant attorney general who advises the Baltimore City Elections Board knew prior to January 1 that the city had failed to purge over 40,000 ineligible voters. The attorney general did nothing to bring this agency into compliance with the law.
Instead of removing the ineligible voters, the attorney general now advocates placing those that fail to respond to a future mailing in an inactive file.
This will allow someone on a future election day to show up at the polls, claim to be that individual and vote. Since a prior memo from the attorney general has said that it is not permissible to require identification, this process invites fraudulent voters.
The whole purpose of the five-year purge is not to deny people the right to vote. It is to prevent the buildup of names of unlikely voters for whom unethical political bosses can have phony votes cast.
During the recent session of the legislature there was a serious effort to reform Maryland election laws.
The major deficiency is the lack of legitimate Republican judges at many polling places in Baltimore City. The bill to allow election judges to be appointed across jurisdictional lines when necessary actually passed the House of Delegates but was killed by Baltimore City senators, who apparently do not want bipartisan oversight of the election process.
It is also outrageous that the governor has complete control over both the Democratic and Republican appointments of the state elections board. The party cental committees should be allowed to recommend a list of names from which the governor would have to select.
It is interesting that the only appointments that Mr. Glendening failed to make during the sessions were those of the state election board members.
No doubt he hoped to quietly dump this board that voted for an independent investigation of the election and referred probable felonies to the special prosecutor for action. It is interesting that The Sun has chosen to give him editorial cover.
Ellen R. Sauerbrey
The writer was the Republican candidate for governor in 1994.