Flower Mart relocation is a smart moveMost of us treasure...

the Forum

August 16, 1994

Flower Mart relocation is a smart move

Most of us treasure tradition and don't relish change. Yes, the Flower Mart in Mount Vernon Place was an idyllic setting. But so is the proposed new location at City Hall Plaza, an under-used center of historic buildings and a large, open square ideal for such functions.

Such a relocation could prove to be a "win-win" situation for the fund-raising activities of the Women's Civic League, its many charitable causes and patrons, and Baltimore City as a whole.

Relatively few of our citizens have had the opportunity to stroll leisurely through such magnificently designed institutions as City Hall, the War Memorial Building, the Peale Museum and Zion Church (founded 1755), while enjoying all the benefits of the Flower Mart.

In addition to the aesthetic benefits, there are practical benefits associated with relocating the Flower Mart to City Hall Plaza:

* In case of rain, the surrounding institutions provide shelter and interest for many more people.

* The plaza has more readily available parking adjacent to the actual Flower Mart exhibits and other offerings.

* Fewer traffic tie-ups at rush hour.

Our mayor and the Women's Civic League deserve much credit for their courageous decision in view of the sentimental opposition to the move.

But Mount Vernon Place will always remain an internationally recognized architectural gem.

William H. C. Wilson

Baltimore

Disappointed fan

I am a typical Oriole fan -- 10 games a year, watch every night on TV and check out the call-in shows and newspaper sports section every day.

The O's are a part of my life. When they win my days are better, and when they lose it bothers me all day. But I am now on strike against baseball. Both sides are right and both sides are very wrong. Both sides make me sick.

As far as I'm concerned, the season ended in July. I won't go to the stadium. I won't watch TV. I won't read about baseball this year.

I believe there will be a play-off and a World Series, but I've lost interest.

I'm not naive enough to think that I won't be back next year. I always come back. But baseball has lost me and many others like me for the rest of the year.

Geoffrey A. Becker

Baltimore

Who's the boss?

I disagree strongly with residents becoming embroiled in internal police department matters. Their meddling into Maj. Barry Powell's reassignment ultimately could be detrimental to the career policeman ("NW police commander says he serves at pleasure of commissioner," Aug. 12).

The police commissioner, hired to oversee Baltimore's entire force, announced early that he would be broadening job experiences of all officers through re-assignments. It is his prerogative to move his workers about to serve the greatest ultimate good . . .

We elected the City Council and mayor. They hired the police commissioner, who has responsibility to run his department efficiently and effectively . . .

Citizens' right to elect representatives does not make us a personnel agency for any city or state department. Any elected representative involved in promoting the present chaos in northwest Baltimore deserves to be voted out of office.

Mary E. Weller

Baltimore

F.O.B.

When he was a candidate, Bill Clinton's promise of loyalty was stated in this manner: "I'll be with you 'till the last dog dies."

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals should be surrounding the White House now, as canine deaths approach epidemic proportions.

Initially, F.O.B. stood for "Friends of Bill." Now it has come to mean "Fear of Back-stabbing."

McNair Taylor

Baltimore

Earthy wisdom

Please let candidates and their staff in on a quote from Thomas D'Alesandro Jr. years ago:

"If you sling mud, you lose ground."

Bill Pappas

Baltimore

'Social engineering' housing is not new

In her letter "Moving the poor" Aug. 10, Ellie Fier decries "social engineering" by which government "is forcing its own decisions down the throats of property owners and the wage-earning middle class."

Ms. Fier asks: "When has there ever been a successful precedent for such planning?" If the measure of success is accomplishing the intended objective, then examples abound; let me cite a few.

1) In 1910, the Baltimore City Council passed the nation's first racially restrictive zoning law prohibiting blacks and whites from buying homes in city blocks already occupied by only one race. This successfully fostered segregation of neighborhoods by race.

2) A 1945 Housing Authority of Baltimore City document details its use of federal funds to build separate "Negro" and "white" housing to discourage "racial and group movements within the city." Again, successful "social engineering" to maintain segregation.

3) Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) succeeded in shaping the housing market in the United States through blatantly discriminatory lending policies and practices that favored young, white families and made it virtually impossible for similarly qualified black families to obtain FHA insured mortgages.

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