OTB's impact on other areas 'detrimental'
I am appalled that off-track betting has been approved with so little public discussion, especially as to the location of the parlors. It's absolutely incredible to me that the state deems it unnecessary to inform a community before opening an OTB center.
Unfortunately, most Marylanders have no idea of the negative effects an OTB parlor will have on their neighborhoods. Having grown up in Staten Island, and witnessing the advent of OTB there, I can attest to the detrimental effects it has had. It has brought nothing but a tremendous increase in traffic (including almost constant illegal double parking) and litter. The only ones benefiting are the local bars. Believe me, elegant it's not. The people who want that kind of ambience will still go to the track, not to an OTB parlor.
Also, I'm afraid the planned "fancy restaurants" will turn out to be another waste of taxpayers' money, if they even appear. Who's going to ensure that any kind of standards are adhered to when our elected officials voted not to inform us before putting an OTB parlor in our area?
I encourage everyone in Maryland to talk with people in New York or other states that have off-track betting, and find out what it really means. We are being sold a bill of goods by Joseph DeFrancis and his supporters.
Anne Golden Creamer
You always lose
This letter is about the editorial April 1 entitled "Putting the brakes on fraud."
Evidently, the writer of this article has never had dealings with an insurance company over an auto or other accident.
If you try to deal with the insurance company directly, without a lawyer, you will find you get a runaround, delay after delay, and you always end up on the short end of the deal.
First, they come up with an arbitrary value on our car (called the "blue book" value). Then, they tell you the repairs will cost more than the blue book value so they invoke a neat little clause in their policy (written by them, for them and never you) and "total" your car.You get this blue book value, minus any deductible, and you just try to buy another car similar to your wrecked one for this amount.
The long and short of it is an individual cannot successfully deal with an insurance company and it forces you to get a lawyer. Even if you get paid enough to get your car repaired, it is never as good mechanically and certainly not cosmetically with non-matching paint jobs.
One thing you know: If you are in an accident, no matter how blameless you are, you always lose.
Harold W. Wright
Agnew's a bust
In 1973, when word of Vice President Spiro T. Agnew's "peccadillo" reached Greece, irate citizens immediately scaled a street post and removed a sign honoring Mr. "Nolo Contendere." There, chutzpah in office is taken rather seriously.
Recently, Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden arrogantly approved the displaying of Mr. Agnew's portrait in the halls outside his office. The dubious Dale Anderson will also join Mr. Agnew. When are our public officials going to adopt a serious code of ethics that doesn't excuse blatant breaches of conduct?
Wait folks, there's more! Washington's Senate Rules Committee, in a burst of patriotic forgiveness, will place a marble bust of Mr. Agnew in the Capitol, thus paying tribute to a man who dishonored public trust. Is there any wonder why the American public is so disenchanted with our bureaucratic bumbling boobs?
Kelton Carl Ostrander
How nice that the new Oriole Park at Camden Yards will be manned by more police officers than the rest of the city, even though the department is already below strength.
Granted, this great stadium needs police protection. But how about long-time Baltimore City residents who daily face crime in their neighborhoods? Smaller police coverage is an invitation to more crime, and we already have more than we can handle. Which need is more important?
Katherine G. Matthews
Not MADD's view
In a recent article about the problems of ex-trooper Jerry Scarborough, a member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving was quoted as saying that Mr. Scarborough's work as a trooper still deserved respect ("1989 Md. Trooper of the Year fights for his job," Mar. 25).
Mr. Scarborough did an excellent job of catching drunk drivers, but this does not mean that MADD supports or condones all of his recent actions. Poisoning neighborhood dogs and apprehending drunk drivers are two totally different things.
The opinions expressed by the MADD member quoted in the story are hers alone and do not represent the views of the MADD organization. We regret any misunderstanding her comments may have caused.
The writer is president of the Northern Maryland Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.