Team of 1998 bears little resemblance to...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Team of 1998 bears little resemblance to pride of Orioles past

For the first time, I am totally and utterly embarrassed to be an Orioles fan.

As if it is not bad enough that the Orioles are unable to win, the entire organization has shown a lack of drive, beginning with its lackluster performance against the Indians in the American League Championship Series last season and culminating with the recent series sweep to the expansion Devil Rays and the May 19 "game" against the Yankees.

More importantly, the organization has shown its thorough lack of character with its employment of talentless, classless players such as Armando Benitez.

This is not the way it used to be. The "Oriole Way" is no more.

Not long ago, Orioles fans could quip about other organizations. Now, the Orioles are becoming the butts of jokes. The excuses are wearing thin. It sickens me to realize that my children might never know the pride and joy a baseball team can bring.

I am resigned to continue to support my hometown team and attend the games for which I have already bought tickets, but I will do so for the first time ever with my head slightly down.

C. Calvin Jefferson III

Towson

Never in my life did I think I would be ashamed to be an Orioles fan. Once the class of the major leagues, last week's disgraceful display in Yankee Stadium proved my once-beloved O's not only losers, but sore losers.

The "Oriole Way" truly is a thing of the past, and I, for one, am saddened greatly. What the last players' strike didn't kill within me, this team will.

Bill Martinak

Edison, N.J.

Drug treatment center gave new life to its participants

This response is to Dan Odenwald's article "Center hits hard times," (April 16), concerning the funding woes of the Mattie B. Uzzle Outreach Center.

David Le Tourneur, a former fund-raiser, suggested that success stories among addicts "are rare."

At best, this depiction is ill-advised, uninformed and drawn by one who is outside his sphere of expertise. At worst, it is a deliberate act of sabotage.

However, I can speak authoritatively and credibly to reality. I am an unpaid volunteer enrolled in Morgan State University's social work program and blessed with a degree from Essex Community College in mental health and human services. I also am delivered from the abysmal pit of substance dependence and discipled at nearby Israel Baptist Church.

Regularly, former residents flock back to share their new lives with current occupants and volunteer their services to Melva Jones, our God-sent leader. While some do relapse, they are nevertheless blessed with life-saving knowledge, which they might not otherwise have gleaned had they not been granted sanctuary at "Mattie B's."

While the dormitory is the crown jewel, other functions, such as substance-related education of children, are equally vital.

Any money tendered to this center is not to a lost cause.

Money used has not been spent; rather, it has been invested.

Each former addict not incarcerated saves the state at least $20,000 to $30,000 annually. Because these once-dying men now choose to live, residents and entrepreneurs no longer lose property and lives to them, while relatives sleep more peacefully.

However the fund-raising efforts pan out, God has his hands on this project and he will continue to bless it and be glorified.

Edgar L. Thompson

Baltimore

Police officer Joseph Folio performed job with dignity

The late Joe Folio was an outstanding police officer, who set an example for all of us to follow ("Joseph C. Folio Sr., 63, won many awards in police career," May 9). He was dedicated to the service of the citizens of Baltimore and performed his duties with pride and respect.

As diligent as he was, Joe always wore a smile and made everyone with whom he came in contact feel comfortable. Once you got to know him, he was your friend.

As a prosecutor and then as a defense attorney, I found Joe Folio to be the model police officer.

He was dedicated to his job but never lost sight of the rights of an individual, whether a defendant or victim. He truly performed with dignity.

We will miss him and the standards he set for members of the Baltimore City Police Department.

Howard L. Cardin

Baltimore

One person's political pork is lifesaver for community

Having been born and raised in Cumberland and having seen the majority of my generation leave the area because of the economic decline, it is difficult to continue to read the criticism of the letter to the editor "Fed up with pork, no matter who serves it," May 1.

It saddens me to return to my home and see how depressed the area has become.

I commend House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. for doing what he was elected to do, which includes spending money to generate money for the county and its people.

The Western Maryland Railroad is a great source of tourism dollars for the Cumberland-Frostburg area and would unlikely be able to continue without the rail depot.

To an area that cannot lose more business, $600,000 for the depot was well spent. And yes, it is in the best interest of its citizens. I am glad Gov. Parris N. Glendening agrees.

The "fat cats" who live in Baltimore and the surrounding counties are unable to relate to the deprivation the citizens of Western Maryland have faced.

I just wonder if it would be considered political pork if the money were being spent on another project in Baltimore County.

Mary Stakem

Baltimore

We abuse animal 'friends' by using them for research

In the letter about how animal research has given us new drugs ("Progress in our fight against cancer came with animal research," May 18), the last sentence read, "We can learn a thing or two from our friends in the animal kingdom."

It should have read, "We can learn a thing or two from the deaths and sufferings we inflict on our friends in animal kingdom."

It is absolutely terrible that people who are into animal research write letters to the newspapers or make statements that lead people who are uninformed about what actually goes on in research labs to think that our "animal friends" are so happy to be used for research. They aren't happy about it at all. But because they have no voice, they have no choice. Animal abuse by any name is still animal abuse.

Janet Paul

Pasadena

Giving an unapproved drug is playing lottery with lives

Concerning your article "Breast cancer gene therapy shows success" (May 18), let me get this straight: Herceptin has great promise in lengthening the lives of breast cancer victims.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will not make it available "until it wins FDA approval," but in the interim, the National Cancer Institute will run a lottery to distribute small amounts that are now available.

How can any amount of this drug be distributed without FDA approval? Why not wait until it is FDA approved instead of baiting women to gamble on their luck for life?

Linda P. Ford

Owings Mills.

Missile systems are not the country's best defense

In your article "Missile-defense debate heats up" (May 19), it was made clear that there are many in our government who feel the only way our nation can be safe from a nuclear threat is behind an umbrella of lasers and counter-missiles.

But such thinking led to the rearmament process during the early 1980s, which nearly destroyed the strategic arms limitation treaties (SALT I and SALT II). SALT II was the most monumental arms reduction plan to date, destroying thousands of missiles in the Soviet Union and United States.

Do we want to encourage other nations to build up their nuclear arsenals, or do we want to divert this defense money to more useful causes? Diplomacy is a far more effective defense than that most complex missile-defense systems.

Michael Mathieson

Glen Arm

Pub Date: 5/23/98

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