Spare some landI was dismayed, though not surprised, to...

the Forum

February 14, 1994

Spare some land

I was dismayed, though not surprised, to learn of the Baltimore County Board of Appeals decision to allow for the development of up to 500 homes on Todd's Point in Edgemere.

The area has only one major artery in and out of the community. The community leaders who spoke against this plan are absolutely correct in their misgivings, the Board of Appeals notwithstanding.

The article to which I refer appeared Jan. 23. In the same edition of The Sun was an article about "the shadow of urban sprawl spreading over the quaint, rural village of Maryland Line."

Baltimore County Zoning Commissioner Lawrence E. Schmidt says that Maryland Line's days as a small rural community "are clearly numbered." Arnold E. Jablon, director of the Office of Zoning Enforcement and Development Management, agrees.

I address these two articles because I believe they point to cultural presuppositions that development is good, is inevitable and improves the quality of life.

I believe these suppositions are wrong, and the governmental policies that support them must one day change.

Wherever you look today in the metropolitan counties' open spaces, parcels of wooded land are being gobbled up. The natural quality of the land is destroyed to accommodate parking lots, more housing, superfluous shopping centers, business parks, etc.

This rapacious development is destroying the rural and suburban quality of life that many people sought in the first place when they removed themselves from "the city."

It also seems to me that by promoting the development of every un-filled space, the efforts to improve air quality and "save the bay" are further compromised.

A better policy might be to give tax breaks to land owners who leave the land untouched, unpaved, undeveloped.

Unfortunately, the environment, non-human species and a less urbanized quality of life will continue to suffer so long as our consumption-oriented, consumer-based economic assumptions persist.

In the meantime, profits will be made by the few as the quality of life continues to deteriorate.

Alan Gephardt


Subsidize the rich

Bill Clinton believes in cracking down on people on welfare, yet he may send billions for the welfare of earthquake-shocked ++ California.

The beneficiaries probably will be millionaires who need cash to pull their mansions out of their swimming pools and buy food stamps to feed themselves in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum needs $35 million for earthquake repairs so the welfare of football fans will not be disturbed during next year's football season.

When the wealthy receive billions in such cases, the word welfare is never used; it's called a farm subsidy, S&L buyout or Chrysler bailout.

Bill Clinton's scholarships to Georgetown, Oxford and Yale were not for his welfare, but an honorarium to the universities just for having him enrolled there.

Joseph Saffron


Establish a harem

The relevant question about Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy is not, "Did they plagiarize?" It is not, "Did they commit adultery?"

The relevant question is, "Did they lead us, inspire us, motivate us to create a more just society?"

Dr. King and Mr. Kennedy spoke from their hearts and awakened our souls.

Open your Bartlett's and read their words.

I may be growing more conservative as I age, but I will never forget Dr. King's dream. I will judge a man by the "content of his character."

I will remember the wisdom of John Kennedy, "All of this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin." I am reminded

that Lincoln was told that U. S. Grant was not fit to command because he drank too much alcohol. "What brand does he drink?" Lincoln asked, adding, "I'd like to send a case to all of my generals."

Dr. King and Mr. Kennedy were leaders. Perhaps they were adulterers. If there is a connection there, then I suggest we establish a presidential harem.

As for plagiarism, did the plagiaree get buried with them? God knows the successors to Mr. Kennedy and Dr. King could use some help.

ohn C. Benwell

Havre de Grace

The play's the thing

Is a new "Theater of the Performing Arts" needed? I think not. The Lyric Opera House and the Morris Mechanic Theater together provide more-than-adequate coverage for all live performances in Baltimore.

I recently attended "The Madness of King George III" at the Mechanic. The theater is in excellent shape and is ideal for stage plays, visually and auditorily. The house was full.

For larger shows we have the Lyric. Millions have been spent in past years providing a beautiful new lobby, comfortable seating for 2,800, new stage machinery, a backstage wing with a large scenery elevator and much more.

Further improvements are in progress. These, together with the Lyric's famous acoustics, will satisfy the requirements of large productions.

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