Boergers CandidacyNews accounts in The Sun and other...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 06, 1993

Boergers Candidacy

News accounts in The Sun and other newspapers handicap the Democratic governor's race in Maryland as a two-man field.

Clearly, this does seem to shape up as a two-man race. But I'll wager that Mary Boergers will be Maryland's next governor.

Mary Boergers is a tough, articulate, focused and tireless campaigner. She has a formidable command of the issues and she knows how to get her messages across.

The 20-year veteran in Annapolis she defeated by a 3-1 margin to gain her Senate seat would probably tell anyone who is interested that those who take Senator Boergers lightly do so at their own peril.

Adopting a strategy to ignore, trivialize or marginalize outstanding women candidates doesn't work anymore. Just look the women now sitting in the U.S. Congress who were either hardly mentioned or considered "long-shots" during the 1992 primaries.

Like Mary Boergers, they ran smart, issue-oriented campaigns that made sense to the voters.

Sima R. Osdoby

Rockville

Butchers Hill Pride

As a resident of Butchers Hill (just north and west of Patterson Park), I must take exception to Michael Olesker's characterization (column, Sept. 2) of our East Baltimore neighborhoods as places from which everyone desires escape.

His suggestion that residents and city officials have had their heads in the sand regarding neighborhood problems, and made no effort to solve them, is patently ridiculous.

Mr. Olesker points out that nine houses are for sale in the 2300 to 2900 blocks of East Baltimore Street. In case he hasn't noticed, the real estate section in The Sun just keeps getting bigger.

Numerous "For Sale" signs can be seen in many neighborhoods, not just in East Baltimore. People move and houses remain on the real estate market for a variety of reasons; neighborhood abandonment is but one of myriad causes.

However, for every negative in East Baltimore, there are many positives. When my husband and I decided we needed a larger house last year, we only looked one place -- our own neighborhood. We moved just one block away.

What do we like about East Baltimore and Butchers Hill?

Patterson Park and the pagoda, which our neighborhood has been restoring; being at work in 10 minutes; our fabulous neighbors, who are like family (and with whom we have worked on Citizens On Patrol and neighborhood cleanups too numerous to count, as well as pleasant events like our annual holiday dinner complete with caroling and Easter egg hunt); being a part of larger community improvement efforts by such groups as the South East Planning Council and Ed Rutkowski's Patterson Park Neighborhoods Intervention Initiative.

Of course we are concerned about threats of drugs and violence to our community, in East Baltimore and the city as a whole. But we are not ignoring our problems; we are working to make things better. And for the most part, we're not moving away.

Mary Sloan Roby

Baltimore

The Good and Bad of Amtrak

I must take exception to the negative criticism of Amtrak by Thomas DiBacco. Writing in The Sun Sept. 26, Mr. DiBacco thinks that American trains are the worst in the world. This just is not so.

Amtrak has done a wonderful job of improving American passenger trains since it was created by Congress in 1971.

Northeast corridor trains have captured over half the non-automobile traffic between Washington and New York. Long-distance trains are popular, very comfortable and are often booked for months in advance.

Trains are energy efficient. Amtrak averages just half the airlines' energy consumption.

Amtrak consumes 2,462 British Thermal Units per passenger mile while airlines use 4,814, according to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Transportation Energy Data Book.

Trains take relatively little land. The Dallas-Fort Worth Airport uses almost one and one half times the amount of land as the 459-mile Washington-to-Boston northeast corridor.

Trains make cities livable. They usually serve the hearts of cities, often connecting with local transit systems and sometimes sharing tracks with commuter trains. The outlying location of airports means that a far larger portion of airline passengers and employees must drive to the terminal.

Airports also often spawn massive development of energy-inefficient auto-dependent businesses.

Matthew C. Fenton IV

Baltimore

____________ The column by Mr. DiBacco reverberates with negative connotations of which can only be expected from one who sees the opportunity to criticize.

The accidents which have happened in the past are largely due to human error beyond Amtrak's control. I have worked for Amtrak for 10 years, and let me assure you that no one I know is getting rich from our tax dollars.

Actually, we generally earn about 10 percent less than other railroads for performing at least 15 to 20 percent more work.

rTC The budget ax comes down on Amtrak every year. How can anyone expect European railroad quality when our operation isn't funded in the same proportion?

Scott Wilbur

Reisterstown

Germany is a Country That Works

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