I am a real estate broker specializing in commercial-industrial and development real estate. At the risk of committing real estate heresy I do not believe the demise of the proposed Red Run Lake at Owings Mills adversely affects the quality of life or is the end of the development world.
My recollection is that the proposed creation of the lake by damming Red Run was first and foremost for flood control. As the lake proposal has floundered for over a decade among differing priorities of Maryland, Baltimore County and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, much more stringent runoff, storm water management and environmental controls have evolved than were in place when the lake was originally envisioned.
The pastures, the lowlands, the skunk cabbage and the frogs where the lake was proposed may have a new lease on the life that they have enjoyed since the ice age, by being left alone.
I suggest that the public and private sectors cooperate and create a true conservation oasis, maintain a delicate balance between development and nature and not turn it into a planned (( park with ball fields, picnic tables, charcoal grills and overflowing trash containers.
Evaluate incorporating this 150-acre oasis into the exciting and existing Soldiers Delight Conservation Area. It wouldn't even require a new governmental bureau to administer the area.
SG Like prohibition, the lake was a magnificent idea that didn't work.
Robert S. Knatz Jr.
Your editorial regarding Baltimore County Councilman Melvin Mintz's request to have a closer look at the $500,000 budgeted item for reopening Sudbrook Middle School sarcastically called him G for Generous. Perhaps, he should be called C for Concerned. Wouldn't it have been easier for the councilman to leave this matter alone and not get involved?
What you fail to recognize is that the process is one in which the planners in the Department of Education usually meet with the community, listen a little, look at numbers and a map, then hand down a plan. At that point the community has to jump up and down to get it changed. All Councilman Mintz is suggesting is that the community be involved in the decision-making process at the beginning rather than at the end.
Your earlier article mentions that Old Court Middle School is undercrowded. It doesn't take a genius to look at the map and see that some neighborhoods currently being bused to Pikesville Middle School would have a shorter distance to travel to Old Court Middle School, thus alleviating the overcrowding at Pikesville Middle School and saving the Sudbrook capital budget expense and additional administrative expense.
I applaud Councilman Melvin Mintz for his attention to this matter.
Sheldon S. Shugarman
The problems of the Baltimore City Public Schools have been recounted in several Sun feature series over the years.
My concern is that there is and could continue to be no positive result from these examinations. To repeat individuals' "opinions" about the presumed inefficiency, mismanagement and incompetence of public school and city officials, who allegedly waste taxpayers' money, without examining the basis for these assertions, is irresponsible and reprehensible.
Such statements appearing again and again have the effect of becoming validated as truth by an unknowing populace. Too often, opinions pro and con serve the function of documenting controversy and solidifying polarization.
Highlighting funding problems, for example, without carefully explaining their impact on management decisions, staffing and supply shortage, for example, is not helpful. Explanations given by managers are dismissed as "excuses" or self-serving. An analysis by an objective, research-directed journalist carries a different import.
In my opinion the community and state would be better served if higher journalistic standards were applied to issues of such urgent significance as the education of citizenry. Generalizations should be avoided. Cause and effect relationships should be clearly made, not alluded to almost as an after-thought.
When attitudes underlying the animosity toward the city and its schools are not examined, when bias and prejudices are not exposed and the real truths are not faced, problems continue to mount. Critics become more entrenched in their distortions, accusations continue and ultimately we all pay the tragic costs of indifference and neglect.
Joan Y. Harris
In his recent letter criticizing President Bush for "destroying" the Earth Summit, Dr. Dan Morhaim neglected to mention a fact that has also been largely ignored by the mainstream media.
Had President Bush signed the biodiversity treaty, he would have committed the United States to yet another massive transfer of funds to nations abroad.