Liberty ship honors merchant marineAs an enthusiastic...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Liberty ship honors merchant marine

As an enthusiastic supporter of Project Liberty Ship since the arrival here of the SS John W. Brown some years ago, I should like to supplement to the interesting story by Ernest Imhoff and Fred Rasmussen (June 22) about their voyage on the old ship from Baltimore to Philadelphia.

First, consider the significance to Baltimore of the restoration and display of this merchant vessel built here in 1942. Baltimore is the only port in the United States with floating memorials to the three sea-going services in World War II.

The Navy is represented by the USS Torsk, the last submarine to sink a Japanese vessel. The Coast Guard has supplied the USCGC Taney, the last ship afloat to have been at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

The Brown is one of only two operating Liberty ships in the country. It memorializes the merchant marine, whose casualty rate in World War II was higher than any of the military services except the Marine Corps.

Like Torsk and Taney, the Brown is open to visitors and is also anxious to receive financial contributions with which to carry on the restoration.

An imaginative and successful fund-raiser has been under way, inspired, like almost everything else in Project Liberty Ship, by Capt. Brian Hope, former master mariner and now a bay pilot.

Under the "Adopt-a-Rivet" campaign, contributors receive an original rivet driven while the ship was under construction at the old Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyard in August 1942.

David R. Owen

Towson

Paterakis has the best site for new hotel

There are too many people holding themselves out as experts on what will and will not work in Baltimore. Lately, the "experts" -- have been claiming that the newly proposed hotel is too far away from the Convention Center it is supposed to service.

This claim is nonsense. Its more of an indicator of the attempt to monopolize all the operations associated with a convention at the expense of the other area hotels.

These disgruntled losers must realize the game is over. They had their chance to voice their opinion before the mayor made his decision. These other developers stepped up to the plate and struck out.

They shouldn't be so sour that the Paterakis team stepped up to the plate, hit a home run and won the game.

Damn the experts! Where were the experts when plans for the enlarged Convention Center were first being considered?

If a hotel is needed so close to the Convention Center, why didn't they just build it on top of the Convention Center to begin with?

The "experts" kept telling us we need a hotel to make the Convention Center work. If convention sales are lagging, don't cop out and blame the lack of an adjoining hotel.

Originally we were told an expanded Convention Center would bring in the tourists and conventioneers. Now that the experts were wrong on that account, they want to blame it on the lack of hotel space.

The most successful hotel site is one that would be able to function independently of convention traffic. In other words, one that would not depend on the Convention Center for all of its business.

Maybe this explains why none of the developers promoted sites next to the Convention Center. Developers like John Paterakis are successful because of their keen business sense and acumen. Why are the opinions of these experts less credible than those of certain real estate consultants?

Inner Harbor East is the most appealing and economically promising site for a hotel. With a great view of the harbor and the city, this site incorporates and will contribute to the stable economies of Fells Point, Little Italy as well as all the businesses between it and the Convention Center.

Roberto Marsili

Baltimore

Depiction of gays perpetuates stereotype

The sole purpose of the June 30 blurb headlined "Gays, lesbians mark Pride Day in N.Y., S.F." clearly was to perpetuate the negative stereotypes of homosexuals.

In three paragraphs, the entire gay and lesbian population was characterized as drag queens and dykes on bikes.

Sure, drag queens in sequined gowns and women on motorcycles are commonly seen at Pride Day celebrations, but they do not represent the majority of the gay population at these particular events or in general.

Dawna Buckingham

Baltimore

Industrial farming pollutes the bay

Large-scale intensified pig farming has poisoned the ground-water of large areas of North Carolina in the last five years. Reports in medical journals of damage to the central nervous systems of people handling the fish caught in these areas have not yet attained public currency.

The fish taken from the rivers of the Eastern Shore possessing huge lesions have, however. The Eastern Shore, coincidentally, is home to large-scale intensified chicken farming.

All the industry upon the Chesapeake has been regulated with regard to effluent permitted, except agriculture. And now, as reported in The Sun July 6, it is publicly known that U.S. industry has been selling toxic waste as fertilizer, spreading cadmium and other brain-damaging elements all over once prime farmland.

Irresponsible disposal of animal wastes and the use of non-organic fertilizers, oil- or toxic waste-derived, are hence recognized as deserving attention in combating the poisoning of our environment.

It would seem simple enough to use the former in place of the latter but this wouldn't make oil and chemical companies money, would it?

Peter Gibson

Baltimore

Slavery was abolished; other insults continue

There is no need for an apology for slavery. The apology was the signing of the 13th Amendment by President Lincoln which ended slavery forever. The apology was the 1964 Civil Rights law submitted by President Kennedy and signed into law by President Johnson.

The insult is the constant opposition by the Republican Party to any and all civil rights laws since then and now.

The insult was Richard Nixon and the Republican Party, which was for civil rights under President Lincoln but turned its back on sons of former slaves and allowed the Democratic Party to take up the torch in guaranteeing equality for all.

The insult has been the Christian Coalition opposing equality for minorities back then and now homosexuals and pushing its kind of religious hatred on those they deem "immoral."

The insult has been reverse discrimination and job preferences that make things still unequal in America. An appropriate apology would be total equality everywhere for everyone regardless of race, sex, religion, creed or sexual preferences.

Christopher Krieg

Baltimore

Rules were made to be followed

It was instructive to see how few of those asked to give their opinion of "the absolutely worst famous American novel . . . in no more than three sentences" actually followed the rules.

Any self-respecting teacher would have to give many failing grades, if the responders were a class.

I suspect that those who respond to book editor Michael Pakenham's invitation will be held to a higher standard than many of those "heroes" of whom he is so "unabashedly proud."

George E. Thomsen

Baltimore

Who rules best provides answer

The column by Neal R. Peirce ("A lesson in regionalism from Canada," June 23) questions why Buffalo, N.Y., is "on the skids" while Hamilton-Wentworth, Canada, is thriving.

The answer should not be hard to find: Canada is ruled by government, while America is ruled by business.

Frances Craig

Baltimore

Is Peter Jay right or voicing myopia?

I would like to take issue with Peter Jay's myopic view (column, July 6) that gun control is bad. Reasonable controls on the sale and use of firearms can and do make our lives safer and more secure.

The security of having a gun in the home that Mr. Jay praises is refuted by studies that show that such guns are many times more likely to cause a tragedy than be used to defend the homeowner. Recently in Harford County, where Mr. Jay lives, a 13-year-old broke into the family gun case, removed a weapon and shot an 11-year-old playmate dead.

The National Rifle Association and Mr. Jay like to repeat over and over the fear that the police cannot adequately protect citizens. The job of the police is made harder by the widespread availability of handguns, especially in urban areas.

In our country it is easier to buy and use a gun than an automobile. This is a big reason why our streets are so dangerous.

Matthew C. Fenton IV

Baltimore

My hat is off to Peter Jay for a common-sense, factual, reasonable, lucid answer to The Sun's constant editorials supporting any measure of gun control.

He speaks for all of us who are realistic in our assessment of the ability of law enforcement to come to our defense in a time of peril.

His understanding of the real world is a great counter-balance to the ivory tower mentality in the liberal media, including that of Sun editorial writers.

Richard L. Liposchak

Baltimore

Rural post offices too costly to keep

The current flap about the need for additional money for the U.S. Postal Service is unjustified. The Postal Service must consolidate its suburban facilities.

The number of unnecessary suburban and formerly rural post offices is excessive. Just in the area where I reside, there are at least three too many post offices -- Long Green, Fork and Hydes. They should be consolidated with the Baldwin facility, centrally located with land to expand when necessary.

This is an example of similar situations throughout the country where smaller post offices should be incorporated into one facility -- serving patrons with greater efficiency and lowering overhead costs substantially.

D. G. Hanson

Fork

Time for Sun to print good about Schmoke

I would love to read something positive in The Sun about Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. There is always something negative.

Mayor Schmoke is not perfect, but I have a news flash: No one is perfect.

Mayor Schmoke is not to be blamed for all that goes wrong in Baltimore City. It started a long time before. Try being fair and telling truths.

Quincy Williams

Baltimore

A modest proposal for saving houses

Regarding the mid-block demolition of homes in Baltimore, why not leave the structure in place and transfer the targeted property to the owners of houses to the right and to the left?

The new owners could then break through the walls, expanding living space in each of the units.

The breaking-through could occur on the first floor for the property on the right, and the second floor for the property on the left. This could be reversed depending on individual circumstances.

I believe that if this recommendation could be followed, the likelihood of disturbing the structural integrity of all properties would be reduced, as would the number of vacant properties and lots.

Robert E. Greene

Bel Air

Congress terms should be longer

Many citizens feel that members of the House of Representatives would do a better job if they were allowed to serve four years instead of two. At the present time, these politicians start preparing for re-election as soon as they enter Congress.

We can't have progress without change.

Joseph Lerner

Baltimore

Constitutional rights should be for all

Whatever in the Constitution of the United States gives a pregnant woman a right to a doctor's help in having an abortion should also give me a right to a doctor's help in committing suicide.

Philip Myers

St. Margarets

Time now for all to forgive Hunt

My wife and I have been in prison ministry for more than 20 years and are at present chaplains at the Washington County Detention Center in Hagerstown. . . .

We never met Flint Gregory Hunt face to face, but someone asked us to write to him. So, about four years ago we began corresponding with him directly and eventually through the assignment of a faithful Christian lady as his pen pal.

We have more than 60 letters in our file. Gregory professed to being a Christian and a believer in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. . . .

About a year ago, some of his letters began to have a heading in Arabic, "Bismillah," which translates to "In the name of Allah, the mercy giving, the merciful." . . .

We received one last letter a month ago, which gave no explanation for his reference to Allah, but contained the following: "Times are rough, but it takes more than that to impede me from my salvation with the Lord" and "I'm praying for forgiveness -- seeking to get my book in my right hand on Judgment Day". . .

In view of the above, it was a great shock to us to read in your paper that Gregory apparently turned to Islam in his last days. . . . But it is not for us to understand all these things.

The past is past and now we can focus our concerns on the relatives of the deceased officer who, according to your reports, have not forgiven Gregory.

According to the Bible, unforgiveness is a sin so great that God says he will not forgive our sins if we do not forgive others.

Ray and Bess Maloy

Gaithersburg

Hunt execution triggers wide variety of opinions

Would the people outside the prison protesting the execution of Flint Gregory Hunt have been there if he had murdered a member of their family? Would they still have said he should not die?

Bob Crooks

Baltimore

The death of Flint Gregory Hunt was indeed a terrible ordeal to some and a blessing to others.

It was a case of revenge. Revenge for killing a police officer. Justice was not served.

If you want justice, give justice to all families who have lost a loved one to murder. I believe in the death penalty -- but for everyone.

Jacqueline L. Redd

Baltimore

Perhaps now that Flint Gregory Hunt is deceased the editors of your newspaper can cease and desist with that fertilizer that has been rolling off your presses.

Poor Flint Gregory Hunt. Your constant portrayal of this individual as a victim sickens me and every other law-abiding citizen.

The point of this entire saga is choices. Flint Gregory Hunt chose a life of crime, he chose to ingest drugs the night of Officer Vincent Adolfo's murder, he chose to steal a car, carry a gun and use it to not once but twice -- the fatal shot a cowardly one through the back as the officer attempted to crawl for his life.

Flint Gregory Hunt made the choices. Good riddance to him and all who make similar choices.

Michael C. Gentil

Baltimore

Although life in prison is confining and lacks total freedom, it provides the inmates with a roof over their heads, beds to sleep in, three meals a day, free medical care, grounds on which to exercise, television, a library and an opportunity for schooling.

It is not the Ritz but it is a great deal more than is had by the honest people who have fallen on hard times and are homeless and hungry. And who pays for this? The taxpayers.

I think the priorities are mixed.

Jane H. Wolf

Baltimore

I only hope that those who created the carnival atmosphere surrounding Hunt's death reflect upon the insensitivity of their behavior and find it within their hearts and souls to apologize to the family of Hunt, his friends and other members of the community, particularly those who suffered the sight of the bloodthirsty crowd that gathered outside of the Maryland penitentiary.

Given that the governor's own task force has acknowledged the problem of racial disparity in the administration of capital punishment in our state, the lynch-mob mentality displayed by the cheers and jeers is astounding, regardless of the pain and motivations of the celebrants.

Susan E. Ritter

Baltimore

Pub Date: 7/12/97

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