Cruise portThe same crowds of tourists that flocked to the...

the Forum

January 18, 1995

Cruise port

The same crowds of tourists that flocked to the Power Plant and the Brokerage, the same "big bucks" that the Fishmarket brought to the city, are what will flow into this insane idea for a major cruise port at the Inner Harbor.

As your article of Dec. 11 pointed out, the only two major itineraries that could be used for cruise ships based in Baltimore would be northeast passage cruises to Montreal and cruises to Bermuda.

At this time, northeast passage cruises are a minor part of the cruise industry. It is a minor and unprofitable itinerary.

Cruises to Bermuda are very popular and a good source of income for the cruise industry, but they are highly regulated by the travel and tourism authorities of Bermuda.

No further ships are being allowed to make stops in Bermuda during the high season of summer, and no expansion of the number of ships is planned.

Why the leading members of the travel industry in Baltimore have not stood against this idea is a mystery to me.

The small amount of in-bound travel business that a cruise port would provide would be greatly outweighed by the loss of public funds and by another building becoming a monument of stupidity and bad planning, to sit next to the Travel Plaza, the Brokerage, the Fishmarket, the Power Plant and the bottomless pit of public funds that is the former Harrison hotel and restaurant.

Paul R. Morganstein

Baltimore

Passing grade

According to an Other Voices article by Maurice B. Howard Jan. 10, the passing grade in Baltimore City was lowered from 70 to 60 to make it easier for students to compete with other students throughout the state for college entry and scholarships.

When I was in college just 10 years ago, college entry was based on class standing in high school, SAT results, academic performance and extracurricular activities.

The scholarships I received were based on academic achievements and community service activities.

I do not believe that the passing grade should be lowered to say to the student, it's OK to receive a 60. Students will not work as hard, and the numbers of students passing will just increase.

What's more important, lowering the standards, increasing the numbers passing, or giving a challenging curriculum and good education?

Please join me and other concerned individuals at a public hearing on education Jan. 31, at 6:30 p.m., at Northwood Appold United Methodist Church at the corner of Loch Raven Boulevard and Coldspring Lane.

Please note: Residents, parents, students, alumni, community organizations in the northeast part of Baltimore City are not happy with changing the passing grade from 70 to 60. To most of us, it is the easy way out.

Margaret Neipert

Baltimore

Leave it alone

Despite her relentless effort, the only thing Ellen Sauerbrey managed to accomplish was to tarnish her reputation and any hope of running for governor again.

She began by making Marylanders think about how accurate and lawful our election process really is.

She ended up questioning one of the principal rules of democracy with evidence that deteriorated over time.

She started out challenging 51,000 votes. That number shrank to a few thousand. No wonder her lawyers quit. She couldn't get her arguments together.

Even if by some miracle Mrs. Sauerbrey had managed to pull out a victory in her court battle, all it would have done is create more animosity and undermine voter confidence.

The courts cannot handle cases from every person who suffers a loss or doesn't have things their way. This just shows people's need to try everything to achieve what they want. Mrs. Sauerbrey should be proud of her showing. To come as close as she did was commendable. Why couldn't she just leave well enough alone?

Mindy Levit

Ellicott City

Getting the tax monkey off your back

The debate over taxation looks at various parts of personal income and government expenditures, as it should.

One thing it seldom includes, but should always, of course, is national economic stability.

Everyone agrees that wasteful spending should be eliminated, but whether a budget is adequate or needs to be propped up with additional revenue depends on economic stability.

For example, according to Mark Wasserman, secretary of the state's Department of Economic and Employment Development, Maryland had a surplus in 1994 of $168 million. A sound economy implies stable taxation.

The other side of the picture is that when the national economy is in decline, our state suffers a deficit that, because we have a balanced-budget law, some layoffs or unwanted service cuts may be needed to stave off a tax increase.

A stable economy allows our representatives to focus on true and obvious problems and makes it clear where taxes can be cut.

So we really can't talk about taxes without talking about economic stability.

The agency that is responsible for our nation's economic stability is the Federal Reserve System.

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