In a letter to the editor published Monday, the Old...

the Forum

January 23, 1995

In a letter to the editor published Monday, the Old Waverly History Exchange & Tea Room was named incorrectly.

The Evening Sun regrets the error.

Church bells are too much of a good thing

Saint John's Episcopal Church at Huntingdon and its neighbors have co-existed harmoniously for decades. But the church broke with tradition a year ago when it instituted a bell schedule that awakens those living nearby at 6 a.m.

With the new schedule, bells go off every 15 minutes, seven days of the week, at decibel levels determined to be unsafe by the American Speech and Language Association.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

Some residents have moved because of the disturbance. But those of us who remain continue to try to restore quiet to our neighborhood.

When our struggle came to light, your editorial spoke ruefully of "silencing" the bells of St. John's, as though this were the only alternative ("Sounds of the City," Oct. 16).

We ask: Why not simply restore the schedule that had been in effect for the past 35 years? Why not allow the tradition of church bells on Sundays to continue? Sunday church bells are a part of Baltimore's charm and set the day apart as a day of worship.

Those of us who live directly across from the church on East 31st Street understand that bells, like wine, are a potent force that should be savored. A person may enjoy a glass of wine every evening with dinner, and more than one glass on Sunday, without ill effect.

But the same person would protest if you poured a glass of wine down his throat every 15 minutes for nine hours a day. That would be an abuse of a good thing.

We are not malcontents who have decided not to like bells. We have a legitimate complaint that is not being addressed.

Ms. Shapiro of the Waverly Tea Room wrote that "this neighborhood remains, because of the bells of St. John's, the Victorian village so beloved by Lizette Woodworth Reese" (The Forum, Oct. 20).

The truth is we are not a Victorian village. We are a neighborhood in Waverly in 1995. About a third of the residents on our street either work shifts, attend school and work, or hold down more than one job.

In view of the profusion of city sounds, we need periods of quiet, not someone's version of a "good" loud sound overcoming someone else's version of a "bad" loud sound.

The bells have been lauded for keeping us "on schedule." But in these times, we cannot afford to have our sleeping and waking patterns and our schedules dictated to us by the local church.

Our right to sleep and our ability to enjoy our property should be protected under the law.

Dolores Moran

Baltimore

Work for money

Now I've heard everything: According to Anna Warren, a spokeswoman for the tenants of Claremont Homes, having to work for the money you receive is wrong and tantamount to slavery.

Would someone please tell my boss this? Who does he think he is to expect me to come to work every day before he'll pay me? I'm not his slave.

I should get paid to work whenever I want to, if the spirit moves me. I don't want to be told I have to work for my money.

This is ludicrous. What's even more ridiculous is that city leaders backed down. They're not going to insist that tenants of %J subsidized housing offer anything in return.

On the campaign trail, Mary Pat Clarke says, "These people [the tenants] don't believe in having something shoved down their throats."

Well, I agree. I've had unfair taxes shoved down my throat for years, and a lot of those tax dollars support people who think they shouldn't be expected to offer a little work in return.

Baltimore Housing Commissioner Daniel Henson's excuse was that mandatory community service would be too hard to enforce.

Funny, my boss always seems to know when I don't show up for work.

Beth Ullmann

Bel Air

33d Street plans

It is no secret that the Greenmount Avenue corridor around 33rd Street is in a state of decay.

Shops are closing. New shops that open do not necessarily instill sense of growth and prosperity for the surrounding neighborhoods.

There is, however, enough residential and commercial interest in maintaining a viable community that the benefits district law was passed. There is hope for these neighborhoods, after all.

A variety of community organizations have been working for years to improve these neighborhoods. But now that tax money is about to be spent on improving conditions in the area, the rug gets pulled from us.

The demolition of Eastern High School and replacing it with a shopping center may undermine all efforts to improve the area.

Valu Food wants to build a shopping center in the location. Yet Super Fresh, which has just remodeled, is four blocks away off Greenmount Avenue.

We have a privately owned pharmacy at the intersection of Greenmount and 33rd streets as well as one inside a nearby Rite Aid. We have restaurants on Greenmount and need more.

Also, Baltimore does have football. It may not be the National Football League, but it draws on average 30,000 or more a game.

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