Rezoning PlanIt's important that the Baltimore City...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 23, 1993

Rezoning Plan

It's important that the Baltimore City community muster all the support it can behind Mindy Mintz's call for delaying rezoning of the city schools until 1994 ("City Schools Shut Out Parents," March 7).

As a member of the community advisory committee Ms. Mintz said was ignored, I wholeheartedly agree with her assessment.

It's important to recognize, however, that to the extent the committee or the community was ignored, it was not intentional. I have had a number of positive meetings with members of the Planning Department at which I could get whatever information I needed.

From my perspective, two elements came into play: the complexity of the plan and the unfamiliarity of the school system when it comes to working with people.

The complexity of the rezoning problem made it impossible to figure out what information was needed and how it could be presented in intelligible form. The system failed on these counts.

With respect to community input, I suspect the system still believes the community forums and school board meetings were sufficient.

There doesn't seem to be any way to get them to realize that not only were they not sufficient, but they missed a wonderful opportunity to do something sadly lacking in the city's schools -- involve the parents and community.

Finally, I want to echo Ms. Mintz when it comes to the plan itself. It may have merit, but it is impossible to know. My experience with plans which are hastily drawn up to put out fires is that we'll be lucky if it's even adequate.

Ed Rutkowski

Baltimore

Retire, Stupid

The president's propounded tax plan includes raising taxes on the rich -- defined now as a couple making over $140,000 a year. The plan also seeks to raise taxes on "rich" Social Security recipients making over $32,000 a year.

Guess I'll post a sign over my desk saying "retire, stupid" so that I can thereby become "rich."

Double standards won't garner support for this plan or any other. Just remember this, retirees on Social Security (and other retirement programs) are the only recipients of "entitlements" that have paid for their "largess" through their own or their employers' contributions, not the taxpayers.

Maybe we could collect more taxes by raising the income tax on those netting over $75,000 instead, as I think they're really closer to being "rich" than the old geezers.

Also, this would let our elected representatives and other officials who created the problem share in the pleasure of paying for it.

Imagine! Tax Congress! Might even snare a few lawyers in the process.

Lloyd W. Wood

Columbia

Convention Center

In September 1992, I visited Indianapolis, site of the Academy of General Dentistry's 1994 annual meeting. If Indiana and Indianapolis can do what they have done with the Hoosier Dome and Convention Center, why can't Maryland and Baltimore accomplish similar results here?

How did they finance their embellishments and additions now nearing completion? How are they able to compete so well with Chicago, regionally, nationally and even internationally, to bring meetings there?

It may behoove those involved in the planning, development and financing, and the members of the General Assembly, to investigate the financing that did take place there.

We need not be reminded of how emotional Marylanders feel about Indianapolis. Keeping up is not quite as good as being ahead of them, but let's do it. The people of this state and tourists will benefit in so many ways.

Although I am a neophyte in the convention planning activities of a major organization, it is easy to see the importance of the city and its facilities. It is very apparent to me as one of a council now deciding on a site for 1999 in the West. The convention centers of Denver, Vancouver, Salt Lake City, Anaheim and Las Vegas are all impressive.

Our 1995 meeting is scheduled in Baltimore. We are aiming to draw 10 percent of our membership of 33,000. When you add spouses and families, we are looking at a potential of 7,000 to 10,000 visitors in all.

Although our event will be somewhat impacted by the construction activities if passage of the Convention Center addition occurs, I think the impact of this advancement is so significant that I wholeheartedly support the obligations necessary.

Fred Magaziner

Baltimore

The writer is chairman of local arrangements for the 1995 annual meeting of the Academy of General Dentistry.

Was It No Big Deal or a Cheap Shot?

Dan Rodricks' sanctimonious ramblings March 6 were to be expected.

Everyone was making such a big deal out of Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's choice of the word "normal" when referring to the lack of European names among the list of winners in the Westinghouse Science Talent Search scholarship program. Big deal.

The "politically correct" among us, including Mr. Rodricks and the better part of The Sun's writers, would have chastised him no matter what words he used, just for raising the issue in the first place.

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