Capital Gazette wins special Pulitzer Prize citation for coverage of newsroom shooting that killed five



Local citizens create the plan for Crisfield

The Sun's article "Crisfield a town divided" (June 20) described the debate taking place in Crisfield regarding the city's revitalization efforts.

But in a fairly balanced report, I was disappointed to see that a number of key items were glaringly absent from the news story.

The absence of this vital information perpetuates the misinformation that continues to circulate.

The Crisfield Strategic Revitalization Plan (SRP) is not - as the article says "many business and civic leaders argue" - part of a deal that "effectively turned over control of city assets to a private development firm."

In fact, the situation is quite the opposite.

The SRP is to be created entirely by the citizens of Crisfield, who have the opportunity to decide how they think their city should look, what will add to the city's charm and what kinds of jobs can realistically be created.

As such, the city of Crisfield - along with its redevelopment partners, Crisfield Associates and Torti Gallas and Partners - has hosted three community planning meetings in which citizens were encouraged to share their feelings on how they want revitalization for their city to take place.

The meetings were designed with the sole purpose of encouraging participation by Crisfield's citizens in creating the future of Crisfield.

Nearly 400 attendees took advantage of this opportunity to develop the SRP, which will serve as a guide for future revitalization.

Further, by no means does the public-private partnership agreement between the city of Crisfield and Crisfield Associates give Crisfield Associates "exclusive rights to develop city-owned property," as the article stated.

Under the terms and conditions of the public-private partnership agreement, Crisfield Associates does not direct the use of land.

And Crisfield Associates gives no direction in having the SRP prepared.

Once the SRP is complete, Crisfield Associates is to serve as the city's partner in implementing the plan as the city, and its residents, see fit.

Joseph J. Corrado


The writer is a senior partner with Crisfield Associates.

ER system belongs on the critical list

The Sun has done the public a very valuable service with its front-page article describing the dangerous problem of Maryland's escalating emergency department patient volumes ("Logjams in ERs strain hospitals," June 18).

The article correctly points out that although we in Maryland enjoy perhaps the best-coordinated emergency services in the country, we are increasingly confronted by emergency rooms "on alert" and by patients waiting for hours in the ER for tests, to see specialists or because of a lack of staffed hospital beds for those needing in-patient hospital care.

The Maryland State Surgical Association (MSSA) believes our emergency medical system is in critical condition.

All legislators in the state who are running for re-election will be receiving a survey from the MSSA addressing this problem - its causes and possible solutions.

We seek to determine if our lawmakers appreciate the severity of this crisis and its implications for the health care of all Marylanders.

And we look forward to sharing their responses with the public, the medical community and The Sun.

Dr. Scott E. Maizel


The writer is president of the Maryland State Surgical Association.

Focus on sexuality, gender just a shame

In The Sun's article "First woman elected to lead American Episcopal Church" (June 19), a Maryland clergyman was quoted as saying he was "shocked, dismayed and saddened by the choice" of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to lead the American Episcopal Church.

It does not shock me, but it does sadden and dismay me, that far too many clergy and far too many church leaders expend so much energy and indignation around the issues of gender and sexual orientation.

Yet they say and do so little about weightier matters, such as poverty; unjust economic policies; the lack of jobs, health care and quality public education; the American empire's almost continuous war-making; and the great war crimes of the Bush administration.

The Rev. John Oliver


Intolerant remarks warranted dismissal

I was appalled and disgusted by the comments made by the writers of the letters "Why punish official for criticizing gays?" (June 21) and "Firing over views shows no tolerance" (June 21).

How dare they condemn the governor for firing the official who accused gays of "sexual deviancy"?

Who gave this official the right to judge gays?

Does he also have the right to judge blacks, overweight people or people with disabilities?

No official should use his office to criticize certain people because of their religious beliefs, sexual orientation or race.

Robert J. Smith was wrong, and he deserved to be fired.

Any public official who uses a public forum or his office to condemn a certain group of people should be fired for making such statements.

Michael Benzick


Spineless animals can still feel pain

As a biologist, I applaud Whole Foods Market for its decision to stop selling live lobsters and crabs ("A hunger for humane foods," June 20).

Recent studies of lobsters and other crustaceans challenge long-held beliefs that they aren't capable of experiencing pain or pleasure.

These animals have a nervous system as well as senses, including vision and touch. They move toward good things and away from bad things.

Just because an animal has no spine doesn't mean that it feels nothing. The octopus, for instance, has been protected by humane legislation in England for 25 years.

I hope that other stores will follow Whole Foods' lead, and that lobsters - which can live for a century - will no longer be shipped hundreds of miles in tiny boxes, bound and stacked in restaurant tanks and dropped alive into boiling water.

Jonathan Balcombe


The writer is a research scientist for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Pedestrian center can enhance Towson

I go to Towson frequently ("Towson looks anew at goals," June 18).

I would like to see a pedestrian center there, like those in most cities in France, Italy and many other countries.

Germaine Sharretts


Shedding real light on lighthouse work

Thanks to The Sun for its terrific article on the efforts to preserve the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse.

Reporter Jamie Stiehm's article "A lighthouse that will shine" (June 19) describes a wonderful effort of civic-minded volunteerism and is an excellent example of journalism's ability to notify the public of such good works.

Frank Smor


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