- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 12, 2001

Editor will be missed

I was saddened to read of the passing of Kenneth Smith, deputy editorial page editor. He wrote with clarity, courage and wit. Mr. Smith's columns on the environment and the economy gracefully pierced liberal myths and always shed more light than heat. He will be missed.


MICHELLE MALKIN

Germantown




I was so sorry to read of Kenneth Smith's passing. I met Ken in 1996 as the Virginia Institute for Public Policy was being organized. From our initial meeting, I always valued the time I was able to spend with him. Sometimes, the purpose of our getting together was to discuss a new policy report or Virginia politics. The occasions I remember most fondly, however, were when we would meet at Le Refuge, a small French restaurant in Alexandria, just to discuss ideas or perhaps a book that one of us recently had finished reading.

Kenneth loved ideas, and the breadth of his knowledge was impressive. At lunch, I always made an effort to keep quiet and let him do the talking. First, I wanted to hear what he had to say, and second, I did not want to make it obvious that my own knowledge paled in comparison to his.

In a city where dim lights flaunt their dullness, Kenneth cloaked his brilliance in modesty. He was a clear thinker and a real person. In my personal lexicon, there are no higher accolades.

Yet the virtues I ascribe are of no importance. Of more significance are the descriptions of others that could have applied equally to Ken. As a Christian, he would have known that in the Bible, Abraham is described as the friend of God, and King David was said to be a man after God's own heart. Though he would have been embarrassed by the comparisons, the same characterizations could have been applied to Kenneth.

That is why, even as we mourn his loss and the fact that we shall miss him, we rejoice in the Apostle Paul's observation, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain."


JOHN TAYLOR

President

Virginia Institute for Public Policy

Potomac Falls, Va.




Your fine story on the recent death of Ken Smith, while accurate, did not fully express the depth of his character.

Ken was a rarity in the 21st century: a skilled Washington journalist and a devout orthodox Christian. He was at once passionate and compassionate. His passion was truth and common sense. He did not suffer fools gladly, and liars even less so.

Ken's compassion was evidenced daily. Even in his last weeks, he was far more concerned about the "inconvenience" his illness might cause his friends than his own demise. This was because of his strong Anglican religious convictions. He not only believed in his faith, he lived it. His generosity to his friends and the institutions he served were only manifestations of his essential character.

Finally, and most important, Ken believed in and trusted God. Three weeks before he died and he knew his death was imminent he told me how fortunate and thankful he was for all God had given him.

He was only 44.

Thank you, Ken, for the example of grace.


DONALD E. DEKIEFFER

Washington




My condolences on the loss of Ken Smith. I have long admired his writing, especially on how the Environmental Protection Agency seemed more interested in harassing property owners than really protecting the environment. He also was a delightful man to talk to when we met briefly (for the second time) at a Heritage Foundation function last year. His account of a trip to India was fascinating.

Ken will be sorely missed in places far away from the offices of The Washington Times.


JIM LAKELY

Assistant editorial page editor

Free Lance-Star

Fredericksburg, Va.




My sincerest condolences on the passing of Mr. Smith. I always enjoyed reading his articles, and I thank you for sharing them with your readers. He will be missed.


ROGER JOHNSON

Kensington

'Pulpits' series leaves no room for Orthodox Christian churches

In your otherwise excellent and comprehensive five-part, front-page series on Christian clergy in America, "Pulpits in peril," the exclusion of the historic Orthodox Christian churches from consideration is at once disappointing and scandalous. Once again it appears that for the oldest continuing Christian faith group, which claims 300 million members worldwide and 5 million members in the United States alone, there is "no room at the inn."


THE REV. ALEXANDER F.C. WEBSTER

Falls Church


Rev. Webster is a parish priest at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Falls Church and a professorial lecturer of philosophy and religion at American University.

Commission yet to recommend reopening Pennsylvania Avenue

I am writing to correct your June 29 editorial "Reopen Pennsylvania Avenue," in which you state that "the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) is working on a proposal that will reopen the street."

The commission established an interagency task force in March to examine the impact of federal security measures around the White House, national memorials and federal buildings in the city's "monumental core."

In its ongoing work, the task force has been examining the full range of security and urban design alternatives for Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House permanent opening, permanent closing, tunnels, parks, etc. It has reached no conclusions regarding the future of the street.

The task force expects to transmit its recommendations to the full commission by the end of this month.


RICHARD L. FRIEDMAN

Chairman, Interagency Task Force

National Capital Planning Commission

Washington

Brock remains consistent … in seeking 'fame on the cheap'

Now David Brock says he lied in his book, "The Real Anita Hill," to tar Anita Hill's reputation ("Inside Politics," June 28). As someone who was quoted a couple of times in his book, caricatured in Jill Abramson and Jane Mayer's "Strange Justice," and plagiarized in Mr. Brock's review of their book, I make the following observation: When I read all the errors in Ms. Abramson and Ms. Mayer's brief account of me and my role as a Special Assistant for then-Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chairman Clarence Thomas, I faxed my rebuttal to a few reporters, including Mr. Brock. He printed my rebuttal in his review virtually verbatim, without attribution, as another reporter who had received the same fax noted. I concluded the Mr. Brock displayed laziness in not questioning me about my account. Garbage in, garbage out — but also facts in, facts out. Mr. Brock wants fame on the cheap, any way he can get it. His laziness should not be used to impugn the truths told by the many men and women who know Justice Thomas and endorse his character and contributions to this nation.


KEN MASUGI

Director

Center for Local Government

The Claremont Institute

Claremont, Calif.

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