Back-ScratchEditor: I can't tell you how distressed I was...


May 30, 1991


Editor: I can't tell you how distressed I was to read that Gov. William Donald Schaefer is upset at having his ''lottery lovefest'' exposed by The Sun.

While I'm not surprised it happened, the sheer brazenness of it is remarkable even by Maryland standards. What a cast of characters:

William L. ''Little Willie'' Adams, a former numbers runner and a good friend of the governor. He gets to print the tickets.

Beverly Wyatt, wife of Maurice Wyatt. Mr. Wyatt was in charge of patronage for former Gov. Marvin Mandel. Mrs. Wyatt owns a computer company and she's getting -- you guessed it -- the computer contract.

Marvin Mandel, himself, just happens to be a lobbyist for GTECH (the firm that's getting the lottery contract).

Last, but not least, Otis Warren Jr., a real estate executive, will provide a choice site for GTECH's installation.

It's all one great, big political back-scratch. They make a lot of money and we're not supposed to notice.

Michael Carlton. Baltimore.

Killer Trees

Editor: Louis Blank's letter May 23 said that trees should not be planted adjacent to Lake Montebello because in 10 years they will be a haven for drug addicts. He has registered his complaint with the Parks Department and suggested that it dig them up and replant them in some space less appealing to drug addicts.

Maybe if we move all trees out to the surrounding counties, the drug problems will go with them.

Maybe we should consider the dangers of having any forested areas in our city. Who knows what illegal activities could take place in those remote groves of trees.

That's probably the answer to the drug problem, and here it was all the time. Just get rid of the trees.

` Georgia Corso. Baltimore.

Bad Deal

Editor: Sometimes I feel that the media in this country overzealously exercises its constitutional rights in reporting the news, but I must congratulate The Sun on its recent expose of the GTech lottery situation for what it truly is. This deal reeked from the bidding process on, and the continuing saga plays out to be nothing short of sheer effrontery by the characters involved. Keep up the pressure. This deal has the distinct odor of decaying meat.

!Charles R. Morris. Baltimore.

Newark Rising

Editor: I was extremely disappointed and dismayed by the disparaging comment made about Newark, N.J., in an article by urbanists Neal Peirce and Curtis W. Johnson, May 5, ''Baltimore and Beyond, A Special Report: Looking at the Future.''

Messrs. Peirce and Johnson use Newark as an example of where Baltimore does not want to be in the future. The statement that appears in the article, ''Baltimore is in danger of becoming America's next Detroit or Newark, N.J.,'' to put it bluntly, was not only a cheap shot but an uninformed one at that.

I contend that Baltimore should be so lucky to become more like Newark.

Obviously, you are not aware that Newark is in the midst of a Renaissance. Not only is the downtown district and waterfront property prospering, but our neighborhoods are booming as well.

K. Hovnanian, noted New Jersey developer, has entered its fourth phase of 1,300 units of affordable luxury housing in the area where the 1967 riots occurred and many other housing projects have either been completed or are under construction.

Newark is the headquarters for many nationwide companies such as Prudential, Mutual Benefit and Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Newark is also the site for the multi-million dollar New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Newark is a microcosm of urban America, but it is also an urban American city that, in spite of diminishing federal resources and nationwide budget deficits, has continued to provide and strengthen basic municipal services while developing powerful public-private partnerships to keep this historical metropolis in top shape.

While cities nationally and internationally are looking to Newark as a model city, the urbanists' heads are still buried in Newark's past downfalls, many of which the city has overcome. Messrs. Peirce and Johnson should have instead encouraged Baltimore to gain insight from Newark.

We are currently celebrating Newark's 325th Birthday with the theme, ''Newark: 325 Years and Still Growing Stronger,'' which is completely fitting, and we certainly deserve to be acknowledged in a positive way.

I am a supporter of the First Amendment in the Constitution, which calls for freedom of speech, but where do we draw the line when this freedom allows publishers to continue puncturing the same urban cities? The Sun has made a huge oversight and most definitely owes the city of Newark an apology.

! Sharpe James.

Newark, N.J.

The writer is the mayor of Newark.

Yellow Journalism

Editor: I believe the comments in the May 18 Sun as regards William Adams' company's involvement as a minority contractor under the lottery contract is an example of ''yellow journalism.''

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