Budget woes imperil new stadium plansIt is time for the...

the Forum

January 11, 1991

Budget woes imperil new stadium plans

It is time for the Maryland legislature to take another look at the law that provides for a new football stadium if the National Football League designates Baltimore as one of its franchise cities. While the NFL has delayed its decision so cities can grovel for an expansion franchise, Maryland state finances have taken a dive from a large surplus to a substantial deficit.

The state is attempting to cope with deficits through recently announced, multi-million-dollar funding cuts in education and other services. However, it has locked itself into the possibility of funding a football stadium at a date known only to the NFL. The baseball stadium was well over projected costs within months of its approval. What will the spending commitment be for a football stadium in years to come?

Stadium proponents have preached endlessly in your newspaper that the stadiums will be financed by specially created lottery games, not taxes. Because of the downturn in state finances, however, lottery money could be better used to finance education and basic services. This is heresy to writers like John Steadman, whose lives and incomes are derived from sports and who rail against anyone who questions the need for the stadium.

With the drastic change in the circumstances of the state's finances since the original law was enacted, it only seems appropriate that the legislature take an up-to-date look at the stadium commitment. Our senators and delegates need to reaffirm that this use of state revenues is still appropriate in the current financial climate.

Wayne Harrison


No war for oil

The world-wide boycott of Iraqi oil continues to deplete the strength of the Iraqi economy and military, recent reports from defecting Iraqi soldiers attest. Nonetheless, George Bush continues to march us off to war.

This leaves many of us with the dilemma of how to express our love and support for friends and family who have been shipped off to the desert, and still oppose the war preparations themselves.

I work in the emergency room at Bon Secours Hospital in Baltimore. Two members of our emergency nursing staff have already been called up, taken from the service of the poor of

West Baltimore to risk their lives in the service of big business. And for no logical reason, because the Iraq economy, based on oil, will eventually fail if that oil cannot be sold.

This is a crime. These are dedicated women, working in "less than optimal conditions" to bring medical care to those who need it most. One drop of their blood is more precious than all the oil in Kuwait. One hour of danger for them is too great a price to pay to maintain U.S. macho military dominance.

How then are we to support them and oppose the war at the same time? We can best display our love by actively working to see that there is no war. For if these brave women are sent into battle and then brought back in body bags, it is our fault for letting George Bush put them in danger in the first place.

Our friends and colleagues are taking great risks out of a sense of patriotism. We must also take risks and act out of patriotism and love to see that there is no war.

We must spill no blood for oil.

T. T. Fitzgerald


President Bush and Secretary of State Baker are now saying that the decision for war or peace lies with Saddam Hussein. By what right do they give this power over the citizens of the United States to an outsider?

It takes two to make a quarrel, and it takes at least two nations to make war. The leadership of the United States ought to be actively seeking ways to make peace ` to achieve justice rather than to create greater suffering ` instead of flippantly risking the lives of countless United States service personnel, to say nothing of lives in other nations, on the decision of a person, Saddam Hussein, whom we have ample reason not to trust.

As in adolescent fights, it may take greater courage and sophistication to stop the battle than to continue. May it be that the political leaders of our country have that order of bravery and insight.

Eleanor Brooks Webb


There is an alternative to the president's insane plan to have our troops engage 500,000 heavily armed, well-entrenched Iraqi troops in a bloody land war in Kuwait. If we follow his plan, we will be shipping dead Americans home by the thousands and devastate Kuwait besides.

The alternative is: Don't engage the Iraqis in Kuwait. Destroy Iraq instead. With their homeland in ruins, their supplies gone,and their capacity to produce more of anything destroyed, there isn't very much the Iraqi troops in Kuwait can do except surrender.

Unless, of course, they decide to make a mad charge across the desert intent on killing as many Americans as they can for having reduced their country to ashes. In which case, they can be slaughtered in the same manner our troops will be slaughtered if President Bush is allowed to carry out his war plan.

As for the "innocent" Iraqis who will be killed in the destruction of that hateful nation, their blood will be on Saddam Hussein's hands ` just as the blood of the Americans who will be killed will be on President Bush's hands if he insists on waging his land war.

Richard T. Seymour


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