City, county flop roles on Cloisters plansIt is suburban...

the Forum

April 17, 1992

City, county flop roles on Cloisters plans

It is suburban sprawl that kills the city. At least one can make the reverse observation that cities that limit sprawl are generally in better shape financially and socially because development stays in the center.

In that regard, Baltimore City and Baltimore County seem to have antagonistic interests. The city is bleeding out while the county is thriving on sprawl.

It is in front of this backdrop that the recent quarrel between these two jurisdictions over the future use of the land around the Cloisters Museum deserves attention.

The city inherited this peculiar building surrounded by pristine woodlands just north of the beltway, located in the county. The city is not a happy heir. The Cloisters is currently a children's museum. There is a little theater in the woods. Only costs, no profits. So the city is now requesting that the land be rezoned to allow offices to be built.

An "office park" instead of a publicly used real park. Stone, concrete and parking lots instead of woods. More sprawl instead of containment.

We need to preserve every bit of woods and nature surrounding the city. We need to direct all the development we can into the city, into the existing infrastructure, roads, rails, water and sewer lines.

Only tough land-use controls can save Maryland from total suburbanization, and save Baltimore from becoming just a shadow of its own once glorious past.

The Cloisters is only a very small case in point, but it is ironic that the city is promoting the opposite in the case of the Cloisters.

Nikolaus H. Philipsen


The writer is an architect in Baltimore.

In Bentley's defense

I was motivated to write this letter after reading the article in The Evening Sun on April 7 regarding Michael Hickey, who is running for Congress against Rep. Helen Delich Bentley.

We hear "throw them out" a lot lately when people are speaking of elected officials, and surely, some in Congress deserve this treatment. However, we must carefully evaluate the ones we might vote in as replacements.

Mr. Hickey accused Mrs. Bentley of spending too much time and effort working for constituents. Yet this is exactly what I want as a voter.

For three years, I had been stonewalled by a federal agency. After asking Representative Bentley for assistance, the matter was resolved to my satisfaction in three months. Without her help, this constituent would never have been heard.

A word of caution: Before exercising your precious right to vote, carefully evaluate the candidates. Condemning someone for caring too much about people and their problems is preposterous.

Thomas Howley


Football stadium

Oriole Park at Camden Yards appears to be a great addition to Maryland's many attractions. It will no doubt enhance the Inner Harbor image and businesses.

Apparently, Gov. William Donald Schaefer wants to build another stadium specifically for football. I have a few problems with this idea.

I have been to several baseball games and University of Maryland football games at Memorial Stadium. I see nothing wrong with the stadium structure, seating arrangements or getting there. District of Columbia residents are not going to complain as much about football games in Memorial Stadium as we did about the Oriole games. We have the Redskins.

Richard M. Campana


The president's labor spin

George Bush publicly delivered a false and deceitful claim on April 13 when he said on national television that American workers should not have to risk their jobs by being compelled to support political causes to which they object. Of course not, but the truth is that no one's job has ever been at risk where the use of union dues money is at issue.

As a labor lawyer and general counsel to a major international union for more than 37 years, I know that the law, evolving from the case of Beck v. CWA and, in fact, many similar decisions in earlier years, has never countenanced what George Bush wants those of you who do not know the law to believe -- that workers' jobs may be at stake and that now he is their protector.

We ought not accept this kind of deliberate distortion of the law as either campaign rhetoric or politics, for we have suffered from those indignities long enough.

Joseph E. Finley


After reading your April 13 article about President Bush taking steps to prevent labor unions from using money collected from non-union employees for political purposes or activities, it makes me laugh.

This is the kettle calling the pot black. He takes my hard-earned tax money and spends millions flying around this country for his political purposes. Does this mean that I do not have to pay 100 percent of my taxes?

The White House has taken money from the unemployed and given $10 billion in tax breaks to the wealthy since the 1986 tax changes.

Joseph M. Marx


Gimme an O-R-I-O-L-S

Oriole Park at Camden Yards is a beautiful baseball park. The signs are also in keeping with the style of the park except for two errors.

The word "Programs" does not need an apostrophe before the "s" and "Advance Ticket Sales" is correct -- not "Advanced."

This is the "City That Reads?"

Helge Michael

Towson Whatever happened to the liquor tax?

At the beginning of discussions by Maryland legislators on tax increases, taxing liquors was mentioned -- then silenced. Could the interests of legislators and/or lobbyists have been involved?

Carl Baker

Glen Burnie

Religion or game?

Now I know for sure that baseball is king.

Games on Good Friday through Easter Monday. And Passover begins Friday night! Nothing is sacred. It's all big business.

Sad. Sad.

Eileen M. Runge


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