Has Schaefer's time as key player gone?I...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Has Schaefer's time as key player gone?

I am puzzled as to the reason that former Gov. William Donald Schaefer thinks he has the business savvy needed to manage the state comptroller's office. Nothing in his elected life leads me to believe that he has the credentials to handle the job.

In fact, were this a position to be filled by a personnel director, I doubt that Mr. Schaefer's resume would pass the first round cut. But the state election laws do not list any qualifications outside of residency and age.

It is a pity that most voters will not have a chance to choose a comptroller based on a fair comparison of the candidate's financial competencies.

Like the late Louis L. Goldstein, Mr. Schaefer has a long history of service to the public, but his last two jobs were spotlight positions -- more like chief executive officer than chief financial officer.

Maryland needs a comptroller who understands the international marketplace, not Harborplace.

Lynda Gomeringer

Baltimore

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The "centerfold of the 1998 political season" hardly describes William Donald Schaefer's re-entry into the rarefied atmosphere of Maryland politics ("With Schaefer bid, all bets are off," July 10).

What this state needs more than ever is fresh thinking in Annapolis. Mr. Schaefer, while an eminent statesman, has had more than his share of time in public office in this state. Looking for salvation in icons may be comforting, but it is not the means by which we grow as a people.

As they say in the securities business, past performance does not indicate future results.

Frank O'Keefe

Baltimore

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Anyone who knows anything about city politics knows that former Gov. William Donald Schaefer would have nothing to do )) with Eileen Rehrmann after she hired Larry Gibson ("Tough Timing for Glendening," July 12). All the state needs is Mr. Gibson's influence in the governor's mansion.

Mr. Schaefer's candidacy gives him the perfect out for not campaigning for the governor. He will be too busy campaigning for himself. Talk about savvy, no one can hold a candle to him.

Antonia Villi Miner

Baltimore

Orange Order parade is meant to perpetuate conflict in N. Ireland

Growing up as a Protestant child in Northern Ireland, I used to look forward to the annual Orange marches as a free summer attraction, with their fife and drum bands, their fringed silk banners on poles as tall as buildings and their wooden triumphal arches painted with arcane symbols.

Boys at my boarding school used to tell stories after dark in the dorm, celebrating the Battle of the Boyne or the Apprentice Boys of Derry.

Now, as an expatriate living in Baltimore, I have become an agnostic, but I greatly appreciate the education both my children have received at Catholic schools. It is only looking back that I fully realize the pernicious influences I took for granted as a child.

My schoolmates' tales of Protestant heroism were mixed with scurrilous misinformation about Catholics, their domestic habits and their way of life -- prejudices that took me years (and the friendship of some wonderful people) to shake.

I recall returning home one July and seeing the arrogant strut of the Orangemen on parade as but another kind of goose-step, a clear flaunting of ethnic superiority.

I realized that those colorful symbols had only one purpose: to prolong the enmity between Protestant and Catholic in our strife-torn country.

If the banning of the Drumcree march has the effect that its leaders fear, that of putting an end to the Orange Order as a way of life, all I can say is that it is high time. Such organization has no place in a country whose citizens are desperately trying to seek peace.

Roger Brunyate

Baltimore

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It has often been stated that organized religions are a major cause of world problems.

We need only look at the current Irish impasse in Portadown to find a cause for agreement with this allegation.

What a wonderful Christian message could have been sent by the Irish to the rest of the world if true Christianity were being lived by those "followers of Christ."

Wouldn't it have been heartwarming to see those Catholic-Christians swallow their pride, turn the other cheek, and welcome with open arms their Protestant-Christian brothers, as difficult as that noble act would be?

Wouldn't it have been just as heartwarming to see those Orangemen, instead of marching with arrogance, rather walk up to their Christian brethren with open arms of love, just this one time, for the sake of peace?

It is obvious that Jesus' intended message did not get through to his followers. Almost from the beginning of Christianity, love took a back seat. The lessons that Christian leaders have taught emphasized the means by which they believed Christ's message should be followed, such as rules and regulations, church services on Sunday, the evil of sin and studying the Bible.

The emphasis was misplaced. The means soon became the end, and love became a distant byproduct. Christianity as well-intentioned as it may be, and despite all the good it has done, needs a second coming of Christ.

As someone once said: Christianity is a wonderful concept.

It's a shame nobody has ever tried it.

William F. Eckert

Ellicott City

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The majority of American lodges has voiced strong disapproval of behavior detrimental to the peace process and are committed to supporting lodge officers who are trying to dissuade any further unrest.

This is not the time to doubt the peace process. It is time to redouble our efforts to support peace in Ulster.

John Robertson

Westminister

Putting roots in city changes outlook

The article "Planting roots in city gardens" (July 6) delivers hope to frustrated, would-be farmers who happen to be in an urban environment.

A simple thing like walking on soil instead of concrete and asphalt can change some people's outlook on life, so it is unfortunate that so few horticultural opportunities are presently offered to city residents.

If the waiting list for garden spots was no longer then the waiting list for jail cells, how many more people would be nurturing tomatoes rather then criminal records?

The energy Baltimore City expends in just one day of drug war activity probably exceeds a year's worth of its efforts aimed at creating positive lifestyle changes for its citizens, while our city environment grows old and gray beneath rented shadows.

D. P. Birch

Baltimore It is encouraging to read your article "Police at BWI go undercover to stop theft" (July 12). Looking for unattended bags and advising travelers to keep their bags by their side is encouraging.

However, I want to know why the baggage area is unprotected. Anyone can pick up a bag from the carousel and walk off without being challenged. Why do we have baggage checks when no one asks to see them?

In Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport, showing baggage checks for identification is required before being allowed to leave the area. The guards keep the baggage checks.

BWI has an open invitation to thieves to help themselves to other people's property.

I am particularly concerned for passengers who have missed their flights for various reasons, but their baggage is put on board the missed plane and ends up on the carousel.

Isn't it about time BWI put guards at the baggage claim area to collect claim checks? Otherwise, why do the airlines issue them? It is time for this fiasco to be corrected.

I'm certain this will result in less thievery.

Walter Boyd

Lutherville

Cruise ships in harbor could ruin Chesapeake

Lynda Maxwell's dream to have 25,000 cruise passengers disembarking at Baltimore's harbor each year to add to economic development in the area is a prime example of tunnel vision shared by many short-sighted, self-serving individuals, industries and public officials ("Port may get to welcome more cruise ships," July 12).

Ms. Maxwell is president and owner of a Columbia travel agency. However, the inevitable pollution from such an influx of local and foreign cruise ships into the harbor would exacerbate the Chesapeake Bay's decline as ships deliver unknown organisms from one body of water to another.

In addition, as any observant cruise passenger can attest, dumping and pollution of waters by cruise ships is almost standard despite established regulations.

I urge our Maryland legislators to vehemently oppose all proposed legislative changes that would permit this devastating incursion into our waters.

Tunnel vision may put money into local coffers, but it would waste the billions of dollars spent and the more than 25 years of effort by Maryland, other bay states and local organizations toward bay restoration.

It is the Chesapeake Bay that has made Harborplace and Baltimore attractive to visitors, not the other way around.

Pass this legislation and we can kiss the bay goodbye.

Jo Owen

Lutherville

Growth of rats in city qualifies as emergency

The damage of fires and floods is more immediate than the damage done by rats. However, the rat scourge that has been spreading across Baltimore City in recent months has the making of a local disaster and would seem to call for a relief effort similar to those mounted against other disasters.

If resources are not allocated now to rat eradication, we may well have another major drain on city coffers as rodent-borne diseases multiply and compound the burdens of the overburdened health department, and more property owners flee the city, taking their tax dollars with them.

Jo Ann O. Robinson

Baltimore

Baby's life discounted in sentencing of teens

What is the worth of the life of a baby? According to the sentencing of Amy Grossman and Brian Peterson, 2 1/2 years in prison is all we are willing to give for the death of their infant son. How has our society come to a place where so little value is placed on the life of a helpless and innocent being?

Not only am I appalled by the light sentences handed down, but I am also very worried by the message we are sending other teen-agers who find themselves in difficult situations.

What happened with the two teen-agers is more than just an accident handled poorly, it is a tragedy.

Lack of accountability seems intrinsic among our youth and even accepted by society to some degree.

Susan C. Euker

Phoenix

Attack on Teddy Roosevelt was no way to recall battle

I write to express our disappointment that The Sun chose to observe the 100th anniversary of the Battle of San Juan by publishing an attack on the 26th president.

Joseph R. L. Sterne, in "Up the Hill to the White House" (July 1), accuses Theodore Roosevelt of fighting in the Spanish-American War in order to advance his political career.

This is a case of reading events backward.

If he had been killed going up San Juan Hill, as men were all around him, TR's career obviously would have ended.

Mr. Sterne might profit from contemplating these words from TR: "It is not the critic that counts . . . The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena."

It was insulting to the memory of a great American for the Sun Journal to publish Mr. Sterne's cynical article on the 100th anniversary of the day when TR put his life on the line in the service of his nation.

John A. Gable

Oyster Bay, N.Y.

The writer is executive director of the Theodore Roosevelt Association.

We would like to clarify some of the facts in the controversy over Myrtle Grove, which was the subject of your article "Md. sues on plan for farm on Shore" (July 10).

The article describes the Maryland attorney general's decision to enter the long-standing legal battle to protect Myrtle Grove, a historic estate on Maryland's Eastern Shore, over which the National Trust holds a conservation easement.

The suit filed by the Maryland attorney general expressly states that the National Trust has been named as a defendant "solely as trustee of the Myrtle Grove charitable trust and for no other purpose."

In fact, the National Trust, together with countless other conservation groups and landowners in Maryland, has for months urged the state to bring this lawsuit.

Our reason for asking the attorney general to bring the lawsuit is to help us in our efforts to prevent the current owner, a private family trust created by Washington developer Herbert S. Miller, from subdividing the property.

The position taken by the attorney general is precisely the same position that has been taken by the National Trust for more than a year in separate litigation in the District of Columbia courts.

Indeed, the National Trust is taking action to ask the Talbot County Circuit Court to realign our position in the case as a co-plaintiff with the attorney general against the Miller family trust.

The National Trust is committed to preserving the historic and natural values of Myrtle Grove.

We are delighted that the attorney general has chosen to file this action to that same end, and we are confident that, with the state's involvement, this important historic property will be protected in perpetuity.

Richard Moe

Washington

The writer is president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Pub Date: 7/18/98

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