A modest proposal
This is the season when flower groups help make Baltimore's suburbs blossom with color. It is a lovely spectacle simply to drive through such neighborhoods.
The inner city where I live is not so pretty, and though a lack of flowers and shrubs is far from our most pressing problem, they sure would help morale in these parts.
Might the dedicated people who manage such beautiful plantings in their own neighborhoods come work with inner-city community organizations to help make our neighborhoods blossom, too?
I'll bet they would find an appropriate (and an appreciative) neighborhood by phoning Baltimore City's Department of Planning at 396-8484. In fact, I know they would; I have already checked with the planning department.
A. Robert Kaufman
The writer is a long-time Baltimore community activist.
Center City taxing district a good idea
I am writing in response to Michael A. Fletcher's May 10 article on the establishment of a "center city district" to clean up our downtown area.
Philadelphia set up just such a "special benefits" district to clean up garbage and beef up security patrols in the crime-plagued inner city area. The program has been very successful there. The entire center city is now much safer and virtually litter-free. Funding for the program comes from a 2 or 3 percent deduction from all of the property tax revenues generated within the benefiting area.
The Baltimore City Council is looking into starting just such a program here. I hope they implement this program immediately. People would be much less hesitant to shop downtown if it was not so filthy and dangerous.
Ultimately, the businesses that will largely fund the program would get increased business as more people wander away from the Inner Harbor tourist traps and explore more of the downtown area.
New jobs would be created. Everyone would come out better off. Perhaps community service programs could be set up too. Volunteers could help with the clean-up efforts or arrested drunk drivers could spend a weekend picking up garbage downtown.
This program is the ideal way to give our inner city a better image and instill us all with a greater sense of civic pride.
House Bill 838, the so-called "Door-to-Door Solicitation Act" passed by the Maryland legislature on April 6, is an outrageous assault upon the U.S. Constitution approved by entrenched political elites desperate to preserve their collapsing authority against any independent opposition. Governor Schaefer must not allow this monstrosity to become law.
On the face of it, the bill reeks of Big Brother, and the fact that it was largely written by the notorious Cult Awareness Network (long noted for its affinity to coercive "deprogramming") only makes the threat that much more transparent.
The sponsor of H.B. 838, Del. Marcia Perry (D-Anne Arundel), openly states that the purpose of the bill is to throttle the fund-raising activities of the supporters of Lyndon LaRouche, hoping to use the controversy around this group to manipulate citizens into surrendering their most basic right of political association. But think about its actual effect.
Any career politician plugged into the all too well-established networks of Political Action Committees, Wall Street-connected law firms and similar such sleazy money pipelines won't lose a wink of sleep or a penny of funds from H.B. 838. But any "outside" individual or organization having the audacity to mount a serious challenge to the powers-that-be by raising substantial sums of money from -- heaven forbid! -- ordinary citizens in face-to-face meetings will be strangled by its provisions.
If the constitution means anything at all, Governor Schaefer must veto H.B. 838.
Harry G. Broskie
In the otherwise laudable effort to reduce the size of the armed forces as the cold war ends, it seems unwise to eliminate the Maryland National Guard's 136th Combat Support Hospital.
The 136th is the only large medical unit available to Governor Schaefer in the event of civil disorder or natural disaster. A large-scale disaster would overwhelm the civilian hospitals of Maryland. The 136th is composed of highly skilled, well trained personnel who are willing and able to be mobilized on short notice and move wherever needed.
Let us hope the army keeps this fine hospital in reserve and allows it to continue its training.
Robert C. Kimberly
A school doing well
The media frequently tell us about the sad state of public education in Baltimore City: the discipline problems and the lack of student achievement. I think you and the public should be aware of at least one school which seems to work -- Moravia Park Elementary School on Frankford Avenue.