ParklessYour editorial, "Doing Suburban Development Right...


May 17, 1994


Your editorial, "Doing Suburban Development Right" (May 12), mentions parks as part of this process. I am continually amazed at the development in Baltimore County that excludes community parks as part of the plan.

In the Ryland development where I live, they leveled a forest to build 80 single family homes, hundreds of town-homes and dozens of condominiums. There is not one piece of land that does not have a home on it, except for two sediment control lots.

Would it have discouraged them to build here if there was a county requirement that they set aside even one parcel of land for a community park? Where are the county guidelines that require communities to have parks?

In the absence of a neighborhood park, I have been forced to turn to a local cemetery to picnic with my children (there is a duck pond set apart from the grave sites).

Even that alternative is no longer available, as the owners have now decided not to allow families to gather at the pond. There is no public recreational area presently available to me within a 10-minute drive.

I am familiar with many suburban counties, Montgomery County and Nassau County on Long Island, as examples, that have county parks in every community.

I mean parks that families can walk to with their children, to which children can ride their bikes and where people can gather as a community.

The parks have ball fields, playgrounds and tennis courts. In addition, both of these counties have several community pools, owned and run by the county. I am not aware of one in all of Baltimore County.

What happened in Baltimore County? Where were the visionaries to ensure that communities had places to play and gather?

My four-year-old daughter asks me from time to time if we can go to the park and play. I have to tell her that now that the private cemetery (she knows it as the duck pond) is not available, there are no parks in our community.

Cindy Buxbaum


Clinton's Character

How many more scandals have to surface about President Clinton before we realize that he is unfit for office?

Since 1992, there have been revelations of admitted marital infidelity, experimentation with drugs, draft dodging, outright lying (pick your topic), tax evasion, misusing public funds (using state troopers to cover-up his love trysts), Vince Foster's suicide, the whole smelly Whitewater affair, obstruction of justice (to remove Whitewater files from Foster's office) and Hillary Clinton's suspect commodities trading, to mention just a few.

And now, there are claims of sexual harassment while he was governor of Arkansas, for which the president has retained a lawyer. Isn't this enough?

Which ones don't we know about yet? How many more skeletons are in the closet? What's going on now? What more will it take?

The presidency is an office of public trust that demands the high

est in ethical and moral behavior. Can we afford to continue to have someone in that position who does not meet these criteria?

If this man cannot manage his own affairs, how can he manage the affairs of an entire nation? At a time when our country is in great turmoil, we need more out of our leader than what we're getting.

During the 1992 presidential campaign, President Clinton said that character was not an issue. I can see now that that was what he was counting on, for he does not have the character that his job requires.

Michael Burns


Severe Penalties

In his April 28 letter, Arthur Cox of Mt. Airy lashes out not only at The Sun for "championing big brother," but at the government, trial lawyers, sobriety checkpoints and especially what he considers unrealistic penalties for conviction.

Among these, he lists "some jail time," a fine, a year or more on probation, schooling, loss of insurance, and "completely unreasonable premiums".

He goes on to say that these complex penalties "only serve to cause the drinkers more problems on which to blame their drinking."

The blood-alcohol test to which he refers, like any law which restricts behavior (speed limits, driver licensing, use of seat belts, etc.) is intended to save lives. Freedom of speech does not enable one to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater, and ownership of an automobile does not grant freedom to operate it in a manner that recklessly endangers others.

Mr. Cox seems to overlook the point that anyone can easily avoid all of these penalties simply by taking care not to drive a car while intoxicated.

One need only utilize any of the widely recommended measures to do this: call a taxi for a ride home, appoint a designated driver in a carload of party-goers, stay in a hotel, or, simplest of all, drink at home.

The penalties that he considers so unfair are minor indeed

compared to those paid by victims of drunk driving accidents, such as brain damage, paralysis or loss of life.

Leight M. Johnson


Cylburn Solution

I am a dreamer. I have dreamed up a solution to the Cylburn Hills development project conflict.

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