LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Recovery homes help many people better their lives

The recent murders in an alcohol/drug recovery home in Remington have pointed media attention at halfway houses and recovery homes ("Triple homicide brings attention to city's unlicensed group homes," Jan. 12). This attention, although understandable, is very unfair. Most of these houses are providing an extremely important service that makes our communities safer and more stable.

One of the biggest factors in determining whether a person in recovery makes it for the long term is whether he or she has a safe, sober place to live.

It is very frustrating for treatment programs to have to send addicts and alcoholics back to the same environment from which they escaped. And recovery homes and halfway houses provide an important piece of the solution for the epidemic of drug addiction that affects all of us.

It is important that the communities not overreact to this isolated, senseless tragedy and start blaming the victims. There is no evidence of increased crime or violence in or around these homes. In fact, the evidence points in the opposite direction.

The recovery homes offer support and encouragement to people who are trying to make their lives better; criminal behavior decreases, employment increases and length of sobriety increases.

Of course there are some exceptions to any rule, but the majority of recovery houses (regulated or not) are helpful to people seeking a better life.

Robert White

Baltimore

The writer is a senior advisor to the Maryland chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

Prince's Nazi uniform was disrespectful

I am appalled by Prince Harry's behavior ("Harry's latest antics hardly surprising behavior for a royal," Jan. 16).

Wearing a Nazi uniform to a party is in absolutely poor taste and disrespectful to those who witnessed World War II across the world.

As a Holocaust survivor, I have spoken to thousands of schoolchildren over the past 20 years. I am sure that none of these children would wear a Nazi uniform with little regard to its true meaning.

Rubin Sztajer

Timonium

The writer is a survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Prince Harry chose to wear a Nazi uniform to a private costume party. This is unforgivable. Later, he said he was sorry. But as a 20-year-old, educated prince, he must know that what he did is wrong.

On April 29, 1945, the concentration camp in Dachau was liberated.

My brother was one of the few survivors of the camp. He came home to tell his story about the camp, and died a few months later.

I was a young girl at that time, but I never forgot what my brother told his family that he witnessed in the concentration camp: disease and starvation and the odor from the burning bodies that were a reminder to camp inmates that death could be upon them at any moment.

Prince Harry is a person without sensitivity and respect for what happened 60 years ago.

Genoveffa Cook

Severna Park

Communists' crimes span whole century

If Prince Harry had worn the uniform of a communist soldier, with a hammer-and-sickle armband, no one would have given him a second glance ["Prince invited to Auschwitz," Jan. 15).

Despite a century of murder and starvation that have cost at least 100 million lives, communism has managed to maintain a gloss of respectability in our colleges and living rooms.

The Nazi swastika represents an unpardonable evil that should never be forgotten.

What a travesty that an ideology with far greater breadth and depth of history can get away with murder.

Manfred Smith

Columbia

Inaugural bitterness naive and childish

G. Jefferson Price III's column regarding the inauguration ceremonies dripped of cynicism and bitterness ("Bush's inauguration nothing to celebrate," Opinion * Commentary, Jan. 18).

I, and millions of others like me who voted for President Bush, are neither "high-rollers" nor "holy-rollers." We are merely informed citizens who, we believe, voted for the right man to lead this country.

For Mr. Price to suggest that the president should cancel the inauguration ceremonies, then attack Mr. Bush personally because he (Mr. Price) didn't like the outcome of the election, is naive, childish and unrealistic at best.

Michael Nevin

Bel Air

Listening to readers a welcome change

Congratulations to The Sun. It listened and responded to us readers ("Readers were heard: Crossword to return," Jan. 16). Thanks.

My wife has agreed to return to the breakfast table with me. She takes the New York Times crossword and I take The Sun's - without the two of them, we could only argue over "Hagar the Horrible" and "Shoe."

Oh, and now we can find out what happened to Margo and the "Apartment 3-G" girls.

Bob Curtis

Bel Air

Bravo to The Sun for acknowledging a mistake and correcting it by bringing back the crossword puzzle.

I voiced my dismay over the elimination of the daily puzzle, but never expected it to return. Thank you.

Beverly Rouzer

Randallstown

I wrote to complain when The Sun ceased to print both crossword puzzles. Now I'm happy to report I just finished The Sun's puzzle. It was back to the good ol' days.

I so appreciate The Sun recognizing the needs of a large number of readers and giving us back the puzzle.

If I can write and complain, I must write and thank you - so thank you very much for listening to us.

Senora McGuire

Baltimore

Friedman's absence diminishes The Sun

The absence of Thomas Friedman's column from the Opinion * Commentary page is a huge loss.

As the most intelligent, evenhanded and informative of the current commentators on the Middle East, his voice and his expertise are sorely needed in The Sun.

Please bring him back to your famished readers.

Iris Harr

Baltimore

I want you to bring Thomas Friedman's column back to The Sun. He was the only columnist that I made sure to read. None of the others comes close to his talent and insight.

As far as I am concerned, if The Sun wants to save money, just fire all the other columnists and editorial writers instead.

Carl Oppenheim

Owings Mills

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