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Sykesville training facility is state of the...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Sykesville training facility is state of the art

On June 25, I attended an open house for the firearms training facility in Sykesville sponsored by officials from the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions, the Maryland State Police and the Maryland Department of General Services.

The program featured instructional classes depicting officers using decision-making skills related to shoot/don't shoot scenarios.

The facility is safe for students, surrounding communities and environmentally friendly. Additionally, the facility when completed will be one of the most advanced for training in tactical, decision-making and traditional shooting skills.

I congratulate the Police and Correctional Training Commissions and the Department of General Services for developing and constructing a modern facility for the critical task of training Maryland's public safety officers.

When completed, public and law enforcement officials have been reassured the rifle range component will meet or exceed the state's containment standards for noise, lead and firearm projectiles.

Maryland law enforcement officers will have their professional skills enhanced at this state-of-the art training facility as Maryland continues as a leader in law enforcement education and training.

Ken Tregoning, Westminster

The writer is the sheriff of Carroll County.

Cyclist's death merits manslaughter charges

The owners of the dog that caused the death of cyclist Barbara Benjamin in Carroll County should be charged with manslaughter ("Cycling mentor dies after fall from bike," July 4).

Cyclists deserve respect and protection. Instead we get attacked by dogs -- and sadistic youths, impatient motorists and Sun columnists (Kevin Cowherd, July 15, 1999).

A fine "of up to $500" for such an offense is a joke. And I'm not laughing.

Glenn Simpson, Baltimore

Don't forget prisoners held by North Korea

As we mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, and as we remember the sacrifices of those that served and their families, let us not forget those that were left behind.

Over 8,000 men are listed as prisoners of war/missing in action from the Korean War. The majority of those are dead, and our nation may never know their fate nor recover their remains. That is a given, and unfortunately a fact of life.

However, there are still some men who remain "alive in captivity," a fact that our government has known since the end of that war. North Korea still holds Americans, not only from the Korean War, but from the Vietnam War and the Cold War.

The Korean ambassador admitted that fact in 1987 in a meeting with Bob Dumas (brother of Roger Dumas, a Korean war POW) and Jesse Jackson. The meeting was held Dec. 9, 1987, in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New York City.

The North Koreans again admitted that fact a few years ago, in a meeting with Delores Alfond at the United Nations, when they stated that live Americans still remain in North Korea.

Why hasn't our government worked for their return, instead of channeling money to North Korea for the opportunity to dig for remains. Should not living Americans have a higher priority?

The POWs fought for our freedom and the freedom of nations that believed in democracy. Is it not time for us to fight for their freedom? Contact your congressional representatives and senators and ask them why the United States government has abandoned their warriors. The POWs have paid the price long enough. It is time to bring them home.

Rick Will Sr., Manchester

Supreme Court choices may influence election

Roberta Antoniotti, of Planned Parenthood of Maryland Inc., ("Threatening pro-choice," June 22) hits on the one issue that could cause lifelong Democrats like the undersigned to vote for George W. Bush.

There is little to recommend him. But as Ms. Antoniotti states, the next president may appoint three Supreme Court justices. Obviously, she wants justices of the "abortions forever" stripe, such as might be appointed by Al Gore.

She then proceeds to a curious defense of the practice of partial-birth abortions. Curious, because she states that post-viability abortions are outlawed in all states "except" -- and that is where the loophole comes in.

Without the loophole there would be no partial birth abortions, and no debate. But the loophole is big enough to drive a semi trailer load of dead babies through.

The birth process always involves risk. It is not much of a stretch for any doctor to state that any birth, even a perfectly normal one to a healthy mother and child, involves "serious risk" to the mother. After all, driving downtown to work can be construed as offering serious risk to a motorist.

Doctors, who are generally contemptuous of rules and regulations imposed by others, will have no moral qualms about exaggerating the risk.

Ms. Antoniotti argues that the procedure shouldn't be banned, and besides it is banned already. This twisted logic should not amaze us.

It takes a kind of twisted mind to approve sucking the brains out of a living child, all for the convenience of the mother who can't be bothered with raising a child she conceived.

John Culleton, Eldersburg

Ocean City travails spoil Senior Week

I have been a vacationer to Ocean City for over 50 years and have seen it all. So I thought.

I was there as parental support for one of the high school graduates of 2000. Upon arrival, the young man who brought our granddaughter to the ocean stopped by to advise us that they arrived safely. He was stopped by the police for a brake light being out on his way to his apartment.

Then his car was searched. Why? This student did not have body piercing, purple hair, tattoos or anything like that. But the police officer said that he looked suspicious. What was the probable cause?

Later on, a student injured his foot in the pool. Upon going to the Medical Center, aid was refused and a bona fide medical insurance card refused. The requirement was $350 cash. Then he was X-rayed and the foot wrapped in an Ace bandage, advised to go to the hospital when he got home. His foot was broken.

This is a family resort. This year "Play It Safe" was the theme. The body-piercing and tattoo places should not be open for those three weeks or limited to people over 21 years of age. But that is where the money is, along with T-shirts displayed for vulgar amusement.

They say that they do not solicit these students to come there. I must be missing something.

Ocean City Mayor Jim Mathias should forget the window-dressing and address the main issue. Why is a trip for Senior Week the fear of every parent whose child goes there?

Regardless of the values that you taught them and the outstanding future they seem to have, all can be destroyed by a trip to Ocean City for Senior Week.

Why, I ask you?

Mildred P. Herbert, Sykesville

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