*TCOwings Mills wrong place for Wal-MartI live near...

the Forum

June 02, 1994

*TC

Owings Mills wrong place for Wal-Mart

I live near Featherbed Lane and Reisterstown Road in Owings Mills, where Wal-Mart proposes to build a 150,000-square-foot store. I am one of the many community members fighting Wal-Mart.

In the course of the battle, Wal-Mart representatives have pointed out that the potential area is "correctly zoned" for this type of development, as if that were the only criterion to apply when determining whether a location for its massive store is the right one. However, Pleasant Hills is not a correct location.

Certainly everyone must form his or her own position about whether Wal-Mart would be a healthy addition to the area. In my view, by all objective standards the proposed location is not in the best interest of the community for a huge commercial establishment.

Wal-Mart may be a fine store, but it has its place, and that is not in the middle of a residential community, and not on a stretch of road that is already quite over-crowded and accident-prone.

The people of Owings Mills/Reisterstown must carefully consider whether they want the neighborhood to preserve its relatively quiet, safe, small town appeal, or whether they want it to %J become a mega-retailing center where people swarm to shop for discount items.

Please understand, we are not against progress. We are very much against the total change in character that a store the size of Wal-Mart would inevitably bring to our community.

Rather than alienating hundreds of current and potential customers, Wal-Mart should locate where it will fit in and even be welcomed by members of the community.

To shop at Wal-Mart, people will gladly drive to Westminster or to the Route 40 location under construction (which will only be about 15 minutes away from Owings Mills).

With these nearby locations, Wal-Mart already has a customer base for its stores. Based on the existing and planned locations, Wal-Mart truly does not need to build a store in Owings Mills.

icki A. Greene

Owings Mills

Keep speech free

In reference to Rea Knisbacher's letter May 26 about hate speech: I can't help but think that the only appropriate way to counteract any speech, hate or otherwise, is with other speech.

I don't see that there is any legitimate claim that Howard University is being one-sided in its "academic responsibility, judgment and standards of scholarship," when an invitation was extended to a creditable Jewish historian (David Brion Davis) to speak at this university.

It seems to me that he abrogated his responsibility in not doing so.

I believe that our freedom of speech is perhaps the most precious of the liberties granted us.

To curtail this freedom in any way is far more dangerous than to allow anyone to speak, especially when the opportunity for rebuttal has been given.

If we lived in a totalitarian country where this was not the case, it would be a different story. This is what we must guard against.

Doris Rausch

Columbia

Good news

Is the only real news bad news? Here's some good news, which The Evening Sun hasn't seen fit to report.

Thanks to the civic affairs committee of the Building Congress & Exchange, a former trash dump area of the Highlandtown Middle School has been converted into an attractive, clean and safe place for students to congregate between classes.

I am a masonry instructor at Mergenthaler Vo-Tech High School (Mervo to long-time Baltimoreans). During the week of May 23-27, several of my students joined with civic affairs committee volunteers from Baltimore's top architectural and contracting firms to renovate the middle school's courtyard.

This effort is an example of how businesses and schools can work together to benefit students and our regional community . . .

Thought for the day: Maybe good news would inspire more good deeds, and that would be good news for all of us.

homas Sordillo

Baltimore

Too big a job

A little toy red wagon is to a tractor-trailer what running a small West Baltimore dental office is to being city comptroller.

It is true, some comptrollers in city management were not accounting majors with large fiscal responsibilities or even a financial background. Still, does Baltimore want, now, an official who "can pick up the day-to-day skills on the job"?

There is much to be said for independence, but this position, I trust, has more requirements than being an outspoken maverick. In fact, those were some of the traits of our present comptroller, now on leave of absence.

That dental office has 100 to 200 patients a week, maybe. Baltimore has that many residents in a square block.

The councilman in question is a fine young man. Don't let him jump from the frying pan into the fire.

Robert Abdullah

Baltimore

Gettysburg monument

On Sunday, Nov. 13, a new Maryland monument will be dedicated on the Gettysburg battlefield honoring those brave men from our state, both Union and Confederate, who fought and died there for what they believed.

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