The Baltimore Sun

Carter's crime views not nearly so naive

Ann LoLordo's Editorial Notebook "Promises to keep" (Aug. 4) did a great disservice to readers.

Ms. LoLordo stated that "As part of Jill P. Carter's crime platform, she says she 'will enter into a memorandum of understanding with the state that will allow Maryland state troopers to help provide more emergency services in the city.'"

"If she had bothered to ask the state police superintendent about this she would have discovered they are already here -- more than a dozen troopers are assisting city police in specialty units. That makes more sense than routing troopers to 911 calls in the city," the editorial argued.

Ms. LoLordo seems to have deliberately misinterpreted what Ms. Carter said.

She talked instead about getting "more services" from the state police.

And she does not need to call any police superintendent.

I have heard her on numerous radio stations discussing ways more troopers can be better used to help deal with the city's crime crisis.

I have read her entire platform, and it makes very good sense to me.

She obviously has an excellent understanding of the city's crime problems, both their roots and ways to solve it.

And she has taken a strong lead in pointing out the ineffectiveness of the city's earlier policy of mass arrests for minor offenses.

Charlie Metz


The writer is a volunteer for Del. Jill P. Carter's mayoral campaign.

New wiretap law helps stop terrorists

The bill signed by President Bush on Sunday, which will give expanded powers to our spying agencies, was very necessary and will protect the nation from the terrorists who wish to do us harm ("Bush signs expanded wiretap bill," Aug. 6).

This law will give the National Security Agency and other spying agencies greater authority to do their job and to protect us from terrorists.

Our president and his administration are trying to do everything possible to protect us and protect the country from future terrorist attacks.

I fully approve of the decision by Congress to pass this critical bill and laud Mr. Bush for signing it so quickly.

Domestic and overseas surveillance and wiretapping is necessary and will protect us in the war against terror.

There is an enemy out there that still wants to do us harm and we need to support these expanded surveillance powers to keep us safe here at home.

Al Eisner


Misspent millions fund weapons lab

I appreciated seeing the item "Hopkins again tops list in receiving research funds" (Aug. 4).

It pointed out that a majority of the funding went to the Applied Physics Laboratory, the weapons lab in Howard County which has a budget of almost $680 million.

However, the notice was too brief.

The Sun should do a critical analysis of the APL's research on the weapons systems.

Does the fact that the United States is engaged in at least two hot wars really justify the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on weapons research at a prestigious university?

Is it possible that the money should instead be directed toward humanitarian research or to repairing Maryland's infrastructure?

The Sun would do a great public service by examining the APL's weapons research and creating a debate on what I consider to be a misuse of tax dollars.

Max Obuszewski


Replace subsidies with a city tax cut

Amen to the column by Keith Losoya of the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance about Baltimore's outrageous property taxes ("Property taxes make Baltimore intolerable," Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 9).

It seems nothing is built in Baltimore without some form of subsidy -- from tax credits for small rehab projects, to payments in lieu of taxes for major waterfront projects and low-interest loans to encourage the renewal of commercial leases.

Perhaps if the city cut property taxes across the board, it wouldn't need to offer so many of these incentives to attract investment.

Mark Counselman


Innovative ways to train new nurses

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has been working with independent nursing experts to examine the causes of our nursing shortage and identify ways to increase the number of health professionals.

And we have found that, just as The Sun's article "Maryland's nursing shortage getting worse" (Aug. 2) pointed out, more nursing faculty members will be needed to prepare the next generation of registered nurses.

Our study determined that many nursing faculty members in the region's schools are nearing retirement age.

We also found that many experienced, working nurses confront barriers -- primarily demands of time and money -- which make it hard for them to get the graduate degree they need to teach.

To address this need, CareFirst has committed $1 million over the next three years for Project RN.

Under the program, qualified students seeking graduate degrees will receive annual stipends of $40,000 for two years for education costs and living expenses. In exchange, participants commit to teach at an area college or university for three years.

This effort alone could help train more than 200 new nurses to serve our region.

But other, similarly innovative programs will also be needed to address our long-term need for health professionals.

David D. Wolf


The writer is interim president and CEO of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield.

What about trauma facing unborn kids?

It amazes me that the writer of the letter "Protesters unkind to living children" (Aug. 7), who is a mental health therapist for children, is more concerned about the "fragile egos" of born children than the lives of unborn ones.

It also amazes me that she is cognizant of the "emotional stress to the most vulnerable living people in our society -- children" but does not seem to recognize the physical stress abortion puts on our unborn children.

They are living people who are on track to become born children until they are aborted.

Children in school are often shown the black lungs of cigarette smokers to persuade them not to smoke. What's the difference between doing that and showing children an image of an aborted fetus?

There is no way to sugarcoat either image.

They are both grisly and horrific by nature.

Mark Keller

Forest Hill

Photo captured a moment of joy

I thank Sun photographer Kim Hairston for the photo captioned "Thicker than water" (Aug. 2).

With all the troubling events in our world today, it's uplifting to see this moment of pure joy she captured in her lens.

Ruth Boggs


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