Lotteries don't create gamblersResponding to Mike...

the Forum

September 28, 1993

Lotteries don't create gamblers

Responding to Mike Littwin's column of Sept. 6 -- "Life's a gamble, and in Maryland life just got easier" -- I'd have to say that Mr. Littwin comes across as one of those liberal "bleeding hearts" that he mocks in the column.

Mr. Littwin seems to think that lottery machines would be another assault on those that Gov. William Donald Schaefer and the State of Maryland have gotten addicted to gambling. Why just the other day I saw the governor in the neighborhood liquor store forcing folks to spend all the money they had in their pockets on Lotto tickets, scratch-off tickets and keno!

Those that resisted were manhandled by the Schaefer Maryland State Police goons until they relented! Time to wake up, Mr. Littwin!

People who are addicted to gambling are going to gamble whether it's sponsored by the state in the form of lotteries or whether it's the local neighborhood bookie.

The citizens of Maryland heard this tired old argument that Mr. Littwin, in sarcastic fashion, has resurrected once again. The argument goes that those who are least able to afford playing the lottery are going to be the ones who spend the most on it, to the point of spending the grocery money on it.

An image of countless poor souls clutching a handful of losing lottery tickets while begging for food probably fills the head of Mr. Littwin when he thinks of the evil state-sponsored gambling.

One has to wonder if he feels terrible when he sits in the press box at Oriole Park sipping a beer and watching the game. After all, wasn't the place built with grocery money spent on instant lotteries? And what about the football stadium that will be built if we get a NFL team again?

Now if Mr. Littwin wants to complain that the money which comes from the lotteries is being misdirected to sports stadiums when it should all be going to reduce taxes, help our school systems, maintenance of the state's road system, helping the truly needy, etc., I'd be the first to stand next to him in that fight.

The lotteries were sold to the citizens of Maryland as a revenue generator for the items I mentioned, but the idea was subverted along the way.

If Mr. Littwin was trying to make the point that Maryland is becoming saturated with state-sponsored gambling, I'd agree with him there also, but it doesn't always mean that more and more money is being drawn in.

Look at keno: It appeared on the scene with a lot of rhetoric about how much more money it would mean for the state. It's been a financial flop for the state and should be written off as a loser.

Michael Soloway

Owings Mills

Hillen history

It was distressing to read in the Aug. 21 Evening Sun of the destruction of Hillendale, the clubhouse of the country club of that name, and the ancestral home of the Hillen family.

As a Hillen descendant (Elizabeth Eleanor Hillen, 1813-1886, who married Beverley Sanders, was my great grandmother), I should point out that Hillendale -- at least the original part of the structure -- was actually much older than described in your article.

As reported in an article on the Hillen family, which appeared in The Sun on Aug. 13, 1905:

"Solomon Hillen I (circa 1690-1745) inherited all of his father's lands (in 1727) and among his possessions was Shoemaker Hall or Hillendale, located about six miles from Baltimore on the Hillen road, which for more than 100 years was the homestead of the Hillen family.

"The property came into their possession in 1725 (according to the will of Richard Taylor) and the mansion, still standing, was built in 1773 (probably by Solomon Hillen II, whose 1801 will bequeathed 'to my son Thomas Hillen my dwelling plantation called Shoemakers's Hill containing by patent one hundred and fifty acres more or less').

"It took the place of an earlier and less pretentious residence, and upon the estate was the family graveyard, where until recently rested the remains of many of the Hillen family and their connection. The old family burying ground is now obliterated and the bodies and gravestones removed to Prospect Hill Cemetery, Towson."

John W. Konvalinka

HTC Princeton, N.J.

Gun possession

Guns do not kill kids. Kids who have guns kill kids.

Effective stiff laws were passed regarding carrying guns or weapons on airplanes.

Why can't the same type of laws and punishment apply to persons unauthorized and illegally carrying guns and weapons in public buildings and on public streets?

Frank Bressler


Hold the line

I very much enjoyed Elise Chisolm's column "Answering machine opens the line" (Sept. 7). Too often I have been irritated by telemarketing and other recorded commercial phone messages. It is refreshing to be shown the humorous side.

J. F. Gallagher


Not the Bible

Regarding your Sept. 13 article on the "newly edited Bible": Lodowick Allison has conveniently removed from his Bible the very things that cause degradation in America today (homosexuality, lack of family values, incest, debt, etc.).

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