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Dragging students into Calvert School dispute was...


Dragging students into Calvert School dispute was wrong

With its May 9 editorial cartoon, The Sun put the children who attend the Calvert School front and center in the controversy surrounding the school's acquisition of the apartments at 4300 N. Charles St.

I am a parent of two Calvert School children. For months, I walked them to and from school through picket lines. I did this because, while most tenants at 4300 N. Charles St. were lovely people, a small, bitter, vocal, well-connected group was so unreasonable in their opposition that I was anxious over my children's safety.

Furious over the nuisance of having to move from apartments they rented, they were oblivious to the effect their tantrum was having on the children.

The Sun continues to be a party to this. I resent the intimidation, and now slander, of my children.

They are not at all as the cartoon portrayed them.

Douglas Comer


What was the purpose of dragging Calvert School students into the property dispute between the school and a group of renters in the May 9 editorial cartoon?

Like the tenants of 4300 N. Charles St. who targeted the children with "Stop Calvert" signs as they entered and exited school each day for five months, The Sun's offensive, mean-spirited and misguided portrayal of Calvert students illustrates the lack of substance in making the school the bad guy in what is really an issue of unhappy tenants.

The Calvert School offered to help the tenants find new places to live. Instead of accepting this offer, a group of tenants used their influence to try to make the school look as if it were throwing poor and elderly people out on the street.

I believe The Sun's cartoonist got it backward; it's the little old man in the cartoon who should be saying: "Money Talks -- Tenants Walk!"

Karen McGee


County voters will remember what the Baisdens suffered

The Sun's coverage of the Baisden story is courageous and greatly appreciated ("Community rift shines light on county methods," May 8).

I thank the Baisdens for their tenacity in fighting the county administration. And congratulations to Baltimore County Circuit Judge Robert N. Dugan for his judicial courage in calling a spade what it is and criticizing Baltimore County's popular administration.

What the Baisdens went through with the county administration unfortunately is all too common.

New county executive hopefuls would be well-advised to pay attention to the Baisdens' story and the Investment Building story, because these issues and the administration's methods will be remembered by voters come election day.

Marina D. Eddy


Phone bills already carry more than enough fees

Did The Sun decide to run an April Fool's joke on May 9 or is it the citizens who are being fooled again?

The Sun reported that Verizon has failed to collect taxes due certain localities ("Verizon fails to collect taxes," May 9). My bills already show a: telecommunication "Access of Md." fee; gross receipts tax surcharge; 911 fee, state; 911 fee, Baltimore; federal tax; state tax; local tax; federal universal service fund fee; federal excise tax.

Maybe the reason another tax isn't included is they have run out of names. Am I the only one who is beginning to think that my phone bill is just another way government sneaks into my wallet?

May I humbly suggest that, instead of retroactively collecting this tax, the tax be cut. Let the people have their own money and decide what to do with it.

Steven M. Sass


Cutting the state's gas tax would give immediate relief

A recent Sun headline announced "No 'quick fix' for gasoline prices planned" (May 8).

If the state would not collect gasoline taxes for several months (until the crisis is over), this would certainly be a "quick fix." The temporary reduction in gasoline prices would benefit everyone.

Maryland has big surpluses in its budget. Why make them bigger? Let's return some of the money to the people.

Jerome Steinberg

Owings Mills

Leash laws, muzzles are better ways to control dogs

Banning pit bulls will not end animal-bite problems ("Time to ban pit bulls," editorial, May 7). People have been hurt and killed by dogs of all kinds of different breeds. And many pit bulls, treated well in loving homes, are harmless animals.

Enforcing leash laws and giving heavy fines to those who don't obey them would make more sense.

And one effective way to protect humans from dogs would be a mandatory muzzle law. All dogs, no matter what breed, should be required to wear muzzles when they are not inside their homes or well-fenced enclosures.

Elke Straub


Pets are fellow creatures that provide warmth, joy

Reading Jim Sollisch's column "People shouldn't treat their dogs as if they were human"(Opinion Commentary, May 6) reminded me of the Pet Assisted Therapy Program I was involved in while at Actors & Others for Animals in Los Angeles.

Every week, we would bring cats and dogs to visit people in nursing homes or hospitals.

What Mr. Sollisch's article especially reminded me of were the elderly residents who, while holding a cat or petting a dog, would tell me stories about their own beloved pets and, with tears in their eyes, say that they didn't so much miss their homes or their possessions but that they dearly missed their little companions.

What Mr. Sollisch doesn't understand is that a companion animal is not just a possession but a friend, a sentient being that we care for and that cares back.

Denise Cellinese


Choices for phone service bring consumers lower rates

Andrew Ratner's article examining the Tauzin-Dingell bill and the "Voices for Choices" advertisements characterized the situation as "special interest vs. special interest" ("Telephone giants mimic little guys," May 5). But this issue really is about business and residential customers.

In states where deregulation has been successfully implemented, consumers' rates dropped considerably -- in some cases the basic monthly charge dropped to less than $10.

Consumers have a lot to gain from the defeat of the Tauzin-Dingell bill.

Thomas. N. Maze


Can't Republicans think for themselves?

Are there no Republicans in Congress with minds of their own?

Must fellow Republicans sit silently while their president betrays the health and welfare of the nation to reimburse his campaign contributors? Will not Republican children also drink President Bush's arsenic-laden water, breathe air heavy with pollutants and live in a world destroyed by global warming?

Must prize wilderness areas, our nation's birthright, be plundered for the profit of a few big-oil fat cats?

Republican need to wake up and start thinking for themselves.

M. D. Clifford


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