Civic zealots and the liquor billI congratulate the...

the Forum

November 19, 1993

Civic zealots and the liquor bill

I congratulate the Baltimore City Urban League for doing what many, including some members of our own City Council, have seemingly failed to do ` carefully review all relevant information pertaining to alcohol advertisements and teen-age drinking.

I am a life-long resident of Baltimore and I, too, have been following the news concerning those for and against outdoor alcohol advertisements.

I think it's disgraceful that members of our City Council have signed on to bill 626, calling for the elimination of outdoor alcohol advertisements.

It's equally appalling that zealots like Bev Thomas and other members of the City-Wide Liquor Coalition do not provide correct information.

The propaganda and half-truths spread by members of the City-Wide Liquor Coalition are to be expected by those who have political aspirations posing as concerned community activists.

Also, propaganda and half-truths are to be expected when we have members of the City Council who are more concerned with seeing their names in the papers than with creating real solutions to real problems such as crime, drug abuse and violence.

When I vote, I like to think I am voting for clear-thinking, rational and logical individuals ` individuals who take sufficient time to think things through. I like to think I am voting for individuals who think with their heads, not their hearts.

I like to think I am voting for individuals capable of creating permanent solutions, not just Band-Aid solutions. In other words, I do not want, nor do I expect, my council members to act like the Bev Thomases or Sheila Dixons of the world.

The banning of alcohol advertisements is not simply about advertising agencies and their mere 1,100 billboards. It's about everyday small business owners who would be prohibited from placing alcohol advertisements on the walls of their stores. It's about unfair competition between Baltimore City and county retailers. It's about more government and more unnecessary laws.

In their haste to receive attention from the community and to be perceived as "doing something," have the co-sponsors of the bill considered the definite ramifications of this harmful ordinance?

What about the lost jobs? What about the burden which would be placed on small business owners ` the very people who have given so much time, money and of themselves to their community and to our kids?

I understand that advertising agencies and owners of area stores are willing and able to make certain changes ` such as the marking of billboards to indicate where alcohol advertisement will not appear. Let's encourage open dialogue between those for and against 626.

Clyte Franklin Jr.

Baltimore

5) The writer is owner of the Angle Inn.

Carding kids

Most people would not let a child use their credit cards without authorization. So why is it that storekeepers accept the Independence Card from children without a note from their parents or some responsible adult?

While it is true that they have the correct information to use the card, they may be using it without their parents' permission.

Philip A. Thayer

Baltimore

Snail's pace

Baltimore City Councilman Lawrence A. Bell III has again championed the cause of strict law enforcement in taking Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke to task for not responding to his calls for a tough anti-crime program.

It was Councilman Bell's demand that Police Commissioner Edward V. Woods resign that started that process and successfully reached that end. It is Mayor Schmoke who is now dragging his feet in what is an on-going snail's pace, lackadaisical selection process to find a replacement for Commissioner Woods.

Clint Coleman, Mayor Schmoke's spokesman, in calling Mr. Bell's charges "ridiculous," is doing the citizens of Baltimore City a terrible disservice. No sane person can dispute the immediate need for emergency law enforcement procedures to be implemented.

Mayor Schmoke's recent declaration that he has recommended that police recruits be released three weeks early from their training course to aid in crime prevention is sheer idiocy.

It is just this type of petty actions that has Councilman Bell exasperated at the lack of competent action and the total failure of Mayor Schmoke to fulfill his responsibility to protect the lives of the people of Baltimore.

Visiting shooting victims in the hospital and at the funeral homes, although commendable, won't save any lives.

Walter Boyd

Lutherville

Keep it Hughes

It would be a disgrace to allow certain "powers" to re-name the Morgan State University stadium. Such an historic edifice should not be defaced in such a way as to rename that historic location.

One does not erase history just to appease a new generation of "well-wishers" of a fallen hero -- Earl C. Banks in this case. The actions of the forefathers who helped to breathe life into some of our older institutions, such as the Hughes Stadium, were well-planned for the benefit of the whole, and for the future students to come to that place of Spartanship.

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