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Due to a production error, the Howard...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Due to a production error, the Howard Viewpoints page Sunday was duplicated from the previous week. The Sun regrets the error.

Faking it is as bad as hate crime itself

This is regarding the July 13 article, "Victim of hate crime staged it, police say."

Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker stated, "A horrible crime didn't happen in Howard County."

Huh?

This woman faces charges that could send her to prison for 30 years and cost her up to $42,000. Not to mention she ruined her life, the lives of her family, the lives of local residents and had the local police set up shop nearby.

And why would willful perpetration of a scam, one that knowingly plays on racial tensions, be any different, and any less horrible, than the alleged crime?

I think a horrible crime, actually several, was committed in Howard County. Oh, by the way, I noticed The Sun was quick to jump on this alleged (now debunked) racial incident on July 7, when reporting that a woman was shot in the head, murdered, then burned in a stolen 1996 Honda, even though the police saw no connection between the "incident" and the crime at hand.

Tim Caro

Baltimore

Do not feed the birds

I am writing in regard to the goose and duck problem at the lake in Columbia.

Why is the Columbia Association attempting to control the birds with a border collie? I recognize that there is a problem with the mess that the birds leave behind, by the waterfront and along the sidewalk fronting the restaurants. I am also aware that their presence is mainly due to people feeding the birds with bread from the restaurants or from what they bring from home.

But have you seen the signs which are posted in front of The Tomato Palace and Clyde's? If you haven't or if other people haven't, it wouldn't surprise me. They are very small, very few, they are stuck under trees and have ivy growing on them. Also, they are written in fancy script, which does not translate into, "This is what I say and I mean it."

How about some official-looking signs posted where people can clearly see them? Perhaps the owners of the restaurants could clip inside their menus a request to the patrons to please not feed the geese and ducks food from the restaurant.

And maybe adding a $50 fine wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Deborah Freer

Columbia

MTV's 'Real World' is not 'cool'

What a picture on the cover of your TV book for the week July 7. The world "cool" is printed in large letters over a photo of seven smiling young people who are cast members of MTV's "The Real World." Two days later, The Sun published a preview of the show, which described these "cool" people.

One was a former phone-sex operator. Another believes in sex on the first date. Another is "brazen and drunken" and believes the function of clothing is to reveal, rather than conceal. Still another was evicted from her apartment and is described as wild and unencumbered.

Are these the role models we want for our children? Is this "cool" behavior? Do you want your children to act like this?

Did anyone bother to preview the show before the TV guide was published?

If The Sun is not responsible enough to consider the social implications and promote such a "cool" program, then we must consider our social responsibility and not buy your paper.

Mary Walters

M. A. Boyle

Theodore Jeshe

Ellicott City

It's the secondary smoke, stupid!

It would be prudent at this time for some enlightened Bob Dole supporters to write in big bold letters on the blackboard at Republican Campaign Headquarters, "It's the secondary smoke, stupid!"

Robert M. McDonough

Columbia

The wrong image of Animal Control

When I reported to my volunteer job at the Howard County Animal Control facility recently, my attention was called to a despicable act. Hateful graffiti had been spray-painted all over the outside wall. Among other things, the people who work there were accused of being animal murderers.

While I know that not everyone is capable of the malicious vandalism that was done, I believe that there are misconceptions about the people who work at Animal Control.

I wanted to let everyone know what the staff there is really like, how lucky we are to have such a capable and caring administrator in charge, and that whenever an animal has to be euthanized, a piece of the heart of whoever is doing it goes with that animal.

Margaret Gitelman

Columbia

Why glorify an animal torturer?

Your front-page article on July 1 about the woman bullfighter was gruesome. It glorified a sadistic career which tortures innocent animals for nothing other than the thrill of killing. Perhaps you could have included information about the abuse of animals in the entertainment industry, including the way they tie the bull's testicles before the fight.

There is enough bad news to read about on the front page, other than a woman who claims that bull-fighting is "like a god." I'd rather read about an ambitious, altruistic member of society, even if she doesn't make $1.5 million a year.

ebbie Bastacky

Columbia

Jay's columns a delight

I should like to express thanks for the wonderful columns of Peter Jay. They are so refreshing to read and savor in an otherwise topsy-turvy world.

Especially enjoyable are his farm and animal anecdotes. The most recent account of picking wild raspberries hit a responsive nerve as I had just discovered some on our fence line -- a delectable surprise on a hot June day.

Esther Coale Carroll

Ellicott City

Stifle the suburbs, curb the GOP, and ruin Md.

Our governor has launched a crusade to have the state take control of a broad new program to regulate suburban growth statewide. Why is he doing this? Maryland already has more development restrictions than most states. Not coincidentally, our growth rate has fallen well below the national average and our record of creating new jobs is even worse, putting us in the bottom third of all states. Nevertheless, I think the governor's motives are clear.

In spite of existing restrictions, Maryland prospered along with the rest of the country during the 1980s. Prosperity brought growth and most of the growth occurred in suburban locations where people wanted to live and work. Prosperity also helped the Republicans, who took control of several of those suburban counties, increasing their influence in the legislature and bringing them within a whisker of winning the governorship.

As a lifelong politician and academic, the governor can see the problem. If the suburbs continue to prosper and grow, the Republicans will be a threat to the Democrats' traditional control of Maryland and perhaps a threat to his administration in the next election as well. His answer: More restrictions.

Attempting to mask his proposals in environmental terms, the governor invokes the word "sprawl" and claims that if people are prevented from locating their families and businesses in the outlying areas they prefer, they will be forced to accept the close-in areas that they have already rejected.

No way; they will just leave the state and no one will come to replace them. We are already producing too few good new jobs to keep our own children here. How can we afford to chase more away?

The governor's policies will sap whatever economic energy is left in Maryland and leave us with a population that will get older, poorer and more needy. That may be good politics for the Democratic Party, but it's a lousy future for our citizens.

James R. Schulte

Ellicott City

Pub Date: 8/04/96

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