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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Public schoolers need prize more

As someone who began my education at home in preschool and continued to learn at home intermittently through eighth grade, I think the Harford County parents who criticized Subway's decision to leave home-schoolers out of an essay contest were missing the point of home-schooling ("Home-schooled kids left out of Subway contest," July 7).

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What I appreciate most about my home-school education was the opportunity I had to explore my surrounding environment both mentally and physically.

There was no need for $5,000 worth of athletic equipment when I had a backyard, friends to play tag with, a bicycle and even seasonal swimming lessons or gymnastics classes at my local YMCA.

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These Harford County parents should recognize how fortunate they are to have the time, patience and stability to create an individualized learning environment that caters to their children's every need.

I am currently enrolled in the Baltimore public school system, where I see every day that the budget is inadequate when it comes to financing such necessities as updated textbooks, computers and even building repairs, not to mention athletic equipment.

Thus, as much as I am an advocate for the home-schooling community, I fully understand Subway's decision to exclude the fortunate (and significantly smaller) home-school population from the contest in hope of benefiting a larger group of students who are more desperate for a stable learning environment.

I am sure Subway's decision was not derived from any discriminatory feelings toward home-schoolers but was intended to ensure that the company's generous contribution of $5,000 helped those in the most need.

Hannah Walsh, Baltimore

The writer will be a senior at Baltimore City College High School in the fall.

New market a boon to the community

I have been reading with great interest The Sun's articles detailing the developments at Mondawmin Mall and the actions of state Sen. Ulysses Currie of Prince George's County ("Lobbying for minor details," July 8). And in all of the coverage, I believe The Sun has overlooked the impact of a new, full-service supermarket at Mondawmin.

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I have lived in Northwest Baltimore almost all my life, and one of the greatest days for me was attending the opening of Shoppers Food and Pharmacy.

Grocery stores can define a community. Where a family shops for essentials shapes the health and wealth of a community.

I am forever grateful to Henry Baines and Stop Shop and Save, which for many years operated the only grocery store in the neighborhood. Long before drugstores started selling milk, the only place we could get bread, milk or eggs was Stop Shop and Save.

Today, the opening of Shoppers may be just a new store in a mall, but it is helping to transform a neighborhood and opening up opportunities for my often-neglected neighborhood.

Thank you, Shoppers Food and Pharmacy, for believing that the communities near Mondawmin deserve better.

Lisa A. Gladden, Baltimore

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The writer represents Northwest Baltimore in the Maryland Senate.

Vision of progress for the east side

I applaud Councilman Bernard C. "Jack" Young for his column "Reviving Baltimore's east side: a new view of Old Town" (Commentary, July 8).

Having been around this area during the 1968 disturbance when Gay Street burned, I only hope to live to see it revitalized in the way Mr. Young's column envisions.

That would be a needed and great improvement to the city's growing east side.

Grace Y. Jones, Baltimore

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Helping the needy is real patriotism

It is deplorable to read that some agencies that provide services to the elderly have been forced to close ("The cost of gas pinches aid to homebound elderly," July 5).

Yet President Bush and the congressional Democrats recently allocated $162 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ("Bush OKs bill for Iraq, Afghanistan," July 1). This spending diverts resources away from critical domestic problems in health care, education, poverty, etc.

True patriotism lies in protecting and helping fellow Americans.

Hiroshi Shimizu, Lutherville

Ignoring soldiers dedicated to duty

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This Independence Day, more than 1,200 members of all branches of the military re-enlisted for service in the largest re-enlistment ceremony in the history of the American military.

The ceremony, held at Camp Victory in Iraq, was presided over by Gen. David Petraeus, who led the airmen, Marines, sailors and soldiers in their oath to defend their country against all enemies foreign and domestic on this day of celebration of America winning its independence.

But as is normal for good news from Iraq, The Sun didn't run a single story on this event, and these brave Americans who voluntarily put their lives on the line for this cause because they believe so strongly in it didn't get a mention.

By ignoring the high levels of support for the war demonstrated by service members, The Sun perpetuates the common myth that they disagree with the war.

If The Sun would always tell the whole story, rather than just the story that fits the paper's viewpoint, the public would realize that slogans such as "Support Our Troops: Bring Them Home Now" are as silly as saying "Support Our Firemen: Don't Make Them Go Into Any More Burning Buildings."

Jean Palmer, Brooklyn Park

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Journalists lose as pundit profits

After reading two news items in Thursday's business section, "L.A. Times cutting 250, 150 in news" (July 3) and "Limbaugh signs lucrative new deal" (July 3), I thought: How pathetic it is that hardworking journalists are being cast aside while blowhards such as Rush Limbaugh are offered tens of millions to spew uninformed opinions to an uninformed subset of our fellow citizens.

Steve Janofsky, Pikesville

Coppin's faculty backs self-review

The Coppin State University Faculty Senate represents the Coppin faculty. This body issued a resolution expressing concern over the university's handling of the shared governance section of Coppin's self-study report. It was not a public censure. It was intended to prompt dialogue between the Senate and the administration about one of the 14 governance standards included in the self-study report.

The Sun's headline for its article on that report, "Coppin professors lash out" (June 12), was misleading.

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Moreover, the Faculty Senate is working with the CSU administration, faculty and students to address management challenges, some of which have resulted from a history of inadequate resources.

The CSU Faculty Senate will continue to promote thoughtful, constructive and critical dialogue and examination of all aspects of Coppin State University.

Evans Eze Judith D. Willner, Baltimore

The writers are, respectively, the acting president and the secretary of the Coppin State Faculty Senate.

Too few raids to arrest illegals

For most law-abiding citizens, aggressive immigration raids are too few and far between ("Raids hurt families, undermine values," letters, July 6).

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These illegals have broken our laws and deserve absolutely no breaks or considerations from our legal system.

As a group, the numerous illegals have invaded our cities and towns to work for less than American workers get as they strain our school systems, hospital emergency rooms and welfare services, all the while often refusing to learn our language.

Breaking the law is breaking the law.

I say, enough is enough.

Harvey Woolf, Reisterstown


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