Public editor Paul Moore is taking a well-deserved but too brief vacation. But readers with something to say about The Sun take no holidays. Here is a sampling of their recent e-mails.
WE LOVE DOGS
There have been a number of recent articles about dogfighting here and in Virginia, where Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcons' quarterback, has been charged with operating a 6-year-long interstate dogfighting venture called "Bad Newz Kennels." In Baltimore, police announced creation of a dogfighting squad, noting that young people who participate in dogfighting frequently end up taking part in other criminal activities.
Not surprisingly, readers appreciated that effort and The Sun's coverage.
"If a human being mistreats an animal that tells me about his/her character. Vick really wants us to believe he had no knowledge of what was going on in his house. Yeah right! If found guilty I don't think he should be banned from the NFL for life but probation or a short jail sentence would send a strong message to others about cruelty to animals and personal ethical behavior."
"Thank God, someone has finally seen the obvious connection and is willing to step up to the plate to stop this barbaric behavior. Maybe other cities and states will take notice and follow suit.
"The poor dogs tell the tale, and are paying the price with their lives. The children involved will hopefully be saved from being a part of future generations of abusers. I'll be looking for updates of results."
"I want to thank you for taking such a proactive approach in writing this article about dogfighting. ... Dogfighting truly is a community issue. Even for the people who don't care about the animals who are forced into this life, there are the interlocking issues of drug dealing, illegal firearms, gang activity, criminal activity, etc.!
"Thanks again for your article and I hope you will keep this issue as a main focus, as it has such an effect on the community."
THE SUN ONLINE
Many readers love The Sun's recently redesigned Web site. Others have been confused or just plain angry about the changes. The goal was to offer a cleaner, better-organized and easier-to-navigate site. Here are a few positives and negatives.
"Great new design. Visually it's just super and so considerate of your readers. You've got the news where it's easy to see, your local priorities, which is great, and you don't skimp on world news. Plus you've got a nicely featured blog section and a video too!"
- Nancy Rossi
West Hartford, Conn.
"I am very disappointed in the redesign. I thought the point was to have more pictures, but now it's just more cumbersome to look at them. Also, all of the headlines on the right just run together, and there are no sub-headlines, so you don't have any idea what the articles are about because they are usually just silly catch phrases. ... Thanks, and I hope you can improve the site, even the old design would be better than it is now."
-Dean E. Merritt
"I really like the new format on The Sun's Web site. Do you still have the 'Just Updated/Latest News'? I can't seem to locate it. If I had the opportunity, the only thing I would change is to get rid of those Shockwave (.swf) ads. ... They are so annoying! Otherwise, the site looks great. Good job!"
- Carolyn Hicks
Many Sun readers have been avid fans of the paper's environmental coverage, but this reader would like the environment to have its own place in the paper everyday.
"I read The Baltimore Sun every morning and have recently found it lacking in one specific area. I'm 24 years old and, like many people, am very concerned about what is going on with our climate and environment, not just in the U.S. but internationally. I think your newspaper should have at least one column dedicated to updates in the situations that arise."
- Abby Langridge
"Gentlemen, Tell me, do you think The Sun has any obligation to recommend healthy/reasonable foods to its readers? Or is it just fine, as in today's 'Takeout' column, to urge people to buy one-pound burgers? I am not a killjoy, and enjoy a burger and fries occasionally. But, in obese America, I really think the media has a responsibility to not promote diets that further contribute to obesity. If you disagree with me, maybe you could re-name the column 'Pig-Out.'
- Peter Seremet