Funny ManI enjoyed The Sun's coverage of the Republican...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 14, 1992

Funny Man

I enjoyed The Sun's coverage of the Republican convention in Houston. Your stories helped those of us Maryland Republicans who did not attend feel like we were part of the proceedings.

I do have one question. Why was City GOP Chairman David Blumberg's column given less space than Roger Simon's? Mr. Blumberg certainly is much funnier.

Maybe The Sun will consider Mr. Blumberg as a permanent replacement for Mr. Simon.

Diane M. Baker

Baltimore

Wary of the League

In my naivete, I believed over the years that the League of Women Voters was this unbiased, non-partisan group that performed a public service by informing voters about candidates and issues without taking sides.

How wrong I was! And I would never have realized my error if the abortion issue had not become page one news during this election year.

I was surprised to learn that the league not only takes a position on abortion rights, but is an advocate for the pro-choice side. In the future, I will be wary of any information published by the League of Women Voters. And so should everyone else.

Barbara King

Catonsville

Pristine Trail

As enthusiastic users of the North Central Bike and Walk Trail, we were appalled to read in The Sun of Aug. 29 about the proposed Cameron Mill development north of Parkton.

This section of the trail has a pristine beauty that cannot be found anywhere within 100 to 150 miles. Even the roads are winding and twisting and a pleasure to drive before reaching the trail, and would necessarily change if these expensive houses were built.

As one who, many years ago, sat in vain during the lengthy hearings over walkways and bikeways along the Jones Falls Expressway and who hated the idea of the Hunt Valley Mall, I urge others to protest construction in this area.

Marjorie B. Jones

Cockeysville

Light Rail Noise

There have been a number of articles and letters to the editor in your pages detailing the distress the noise of the Mass Transit Administration light rail horns is causing neighborhoods in the vicinity of the crossings in Hampden and at Seminary Avenue in Lutherville. There would appear to be a simple and cost-free solution to this problem.

The whole point of the light rail horn blowing is to give additional warning (beyond that provided by the crossing gates and lights) of a train approaching the crossing at speed. If the train were approaching very slowly, say 5 miles per hour, it would seem reasonable to depend solely on the crossing gates and flashers.

Since the motorman could halt the trains virtually instantaneously at that speed if a motorist or pedestrian attempted to bypass the gates, slowing down could be done with minimal damage to the schedule.

The amount of time lost would be less than that now frequently lost when one train is forced to wait for another from the opposite direction to pass at the end of the single-track sections of the line.

Since most of the distress caused by the horns occurs in the evening, night and early morning, and this is the off-peak period when ridership is both reduced and not in a rush-hour rush, it would seem reasonable to propose a 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. "curfew"' period during which the horn silence and speed restriction would apply at these crossings.

While there may be federal or state law mandating that crossing warning be sounded, the special nature of these circumstances suggest that a variance could be obtained.

Kurt Simons

Lutherville

Typos Galore

The number of typographical and usage errors in The `D Baltimore Sun is a continuing source of irritation to reasonably literate readers, but this one in a recent quote, part of an article about local chess fans reacting to the return of Bobby Fischer, was too ridiculous to go without mention: "We're all waiting with baited breath . . ."

What was their breath baited with? The correct word is "bated." Fish hooks get baited; breath is bated (i.e. held).

I would assume that an error such as this reflects over-reliance on computer spell-checkers -- after all, "baited" and "bated" are both real words -- if it weren't for the many other outright typos in every issue: missing letters, misspellings, repeated words, missing words . . .

Please put some pressure on your copy editors to clean up their acts or consider hiring more copy editors.

In fact, give me a call and I'll be glad to fill in. I can't do any worse than the current crew.

Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

Baltimore

Compulsory Volunteering

Many years ago, my parents would make my sister Maggie and me climb out of our suburban beds every weekend to journey downtown to the barrios of Philadelphia.

There, we were made to join alongside members of another community to help clean graffiti, paint murals and store fronts, serve food at community centers and help families with their chores.

Each and every Christmas, we had to give away one of our presents to an under-privileged child.

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