Cheers to New Law
Editor: Thank you for your article in the July 3 Sun entitled, ''Wholesalers reveal beer's alcohol content -- to retailers.''
For years I have wondered why the federal government doesn't require the amount of alcohol to be shown on the labels of beer bottles along with the other ingredients. It seems rather incongruous that our sometimes paternalistic lawmakers require that alcohol content be divulged on whiskey and wine bottle labels, but do not allow it for beer.
Also, I would like to thank Sen. F. Vernon Boozer for helping beer-drinking Marylanders gain access to this helpful information.
Robert D. Schnick.
Keep the Trees
Editor: Well, Roland Park has had its centennial.
The Lord apparently decided against a hard rain, probably out of respect for the real and the imaginary eminence of the park's past and present residents. So antique cars and their antique occupants mingled with Boumi Temple Shriners and Roland Park Country School students in a two-hour parade down Roland Avenue. And Saturday night there was a picnic with children, family dogs and band music on the grounds of the Gilman School. The entire weekend was a happy reflection of community life as it should be.
There is an important lesson to be learned from this event. In spite of a tendency to appear smug, insular and expensive, Roland Park has survived 100 years with its real estate values intact and consistent with the local market. Sure, there are new kitchens, laundries, and bathrooms in the old houses plus some patios and porches, but the external appearance of the park has not changed much with the years.
This is because its creators -- Edward Bouton and Frederick L. Olmsted Jr. -- were careful with the natural assets of the land, and they put rigid self-protective covenants into every property deed. What a pity that other suburban areas of the same period, such as Catonsville, Waverly and Forest Park, were not so blessed. It's no secret that city dwellers and politicians are famous for their unconcern for restlessness and waste.
I'd like to suggest that your readers take a look at the latter three neighborhoods, then drive through Roland Park, asking themselves what the past can tell us about the present. Now cruise on out to Seminary Avenue or Reisterstown Road and McDonough Lane and see two examples of the sort of real estate developers are promoting today.
Notice how once glorious trees have been uprooted and verdant hills stripped nude. Well, your readers may think about throwing themselves in front of the nearest bulldozer, but I suggest that they go home and get to work putting some strength into the laws for natural conservation and for architectural and historic preservation.
In the name of Bouton and of Olmsted let's keep our countryside the way the Lord intended it to be.
Editor: Before black leaders team up with a liberal/activist coalition to defeat Judge Clarence Thomas' nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, they should ask: would Judge Thomas be in position to be considered for this exalted post if he did not possess the moral values, work ethic and legal acumen President Bush perceives he embodies? It would not be too difficult to defeat Judge Thomas' nomination, but then what?
Joseph L. Johnson.
Policy on Iraq
Editor: Just at the point when serious pressure is mounting to lift the sanctions against Iraq that are directly responsible for VTC killing approximately 500 of that nation's children every day -- presto! A miraculously timed ''incident'' at an Iraqi storage site hands the Bush administration just the pretext it needs for maintaining the economic stranglehold and even restarting the air strikes under the guise of suppressing the much-dreaded ''Saddam bomb.''
What a murderous charade! Even taking reports of the Iraqi ''nuclear threat'' at face value -- discounting the obvious possibility that this is another made-to-order hoax, like the completely phony pre-war allegations of Iraqi troops disconnecting baby incubators -- the unavoidable question remains: Exactly how does stopping milk and vaccines from getting to dying Iraqi three-year-olds prevent Saddam Hussein from acquiring atomic weapons?
Lately, the president's Middle East policy has been taking some well-deserved lumps. The Kurdish fiasco, the even bigger embarrassment of the restored Kuwaiti monarchy dripping with blood and, worst of all, the slowly emerging truth about the scope of the calculated destruction of civilian infrastructure in Iraq all add up to a huge political headache for Mr. Bush.
U.S. Representative Henry Gonzalez, D.-Texas, has even introduced a resolution calling for the lifting of sanctions. The White House policy of making the entire Iraqi people ''pay the price'' (Marlin Fitzwater) for not overthrowing Saddam is smelling more and more like genocide.