Will the Canadian Football League have to give up its overflow parking lot for a grocery store? Does that mean the neighborhoods will have to absorb the overflow parking on their streets?
The site at Eastern High School should be developed. But it should reflect the needs of the community, not simply corporate interests.
FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION
The mayor's office has an obligation to listen to all sides. When recognized community organizations that have an interest in what happens at Eastern or Memorial Stadium have to hear about such plans in the newspaper, it shows a lack of consideration by the mayor's office.
There is a process that must be followed. There are communities that must have a say. There is a historically vibrant area of Baltimore that needs to be saved.
Fine job by city
This past Christmas I purchased a live tree to be decorated and displayed in our office lobby. It was our plan to plant the tree on a piece of land adjacent to our offices after Christmas. We would purchase and plant trees each Christmas in hopes of improving the appearance of our building and the neighborhood we're part of.
I called the Baltimore City Forestry Department and asked for planting information and for any help that they could offer. I was contacted by Matthew Taylor.
Mr. Taylor asked me about our location and the size of our lot. He told me the city had some pine and holly trees he could plant.
This past Friday, Mr. Taylor and his "crew" brought and planted five pine, two holly and a weeping cherry tree.
The president of our company was so impressed with the courtesy and efficiency of Mr. Taylor and his men, he's asked that I have picnic tables built and placed on the lot for the use of our neighbors.
We read too often that the city doesn't show up or the city doesn't do the job asked of it. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the city government, Mr. Taylor and his men for the fine job they did.
My company will maintain, with pride, what will become, we hope, a neighborhood picnic area.
Harold M. Heller
The writer represents Rita Ann Distributors.
Straight talk on parents' drug use
Now that Oprah Winfrey has admitted publicly to using cocaine 20 years ago, the question remains whether her admission was helpful or just a ratings ploy.
As Oprah goes, so goes the nation. Today there are thousands of adults, including parents, who, like Oprah, used drugs in the 1960s and '70s.
They became neither addicts nor criminals. Many are now successful and face the dilemma of how to tell their children about their past drug use.
Whether you're Oprah or just an average parent, you can't hide your past -- nor should you.
Young people respect honesty. The question isn't whether you tell your children about your past drug use but how to tell them.
When parents talk to their children, they should remember that it's not the 1960s or '70s anymore. Drug use today is very different and more dangerous.
Many drugs, like marijuana, are more potent today than previously.
There is also much more violence associated with drugs today. And there is a dramatic increase in the number of drug-related AIDS cases.
Meanwhile, the average age of first drug use has dropped. This )) is the reality of drug use in the 1990s.
The need for communication between parents and their children has never been so important or so difficult.
If Oprah's admission of past drug use helps make it easier for parents to talk about their past drug use with their children, then we owe her a debt of gratitude.
Michael M. Gimbel
The writer is director the Baltimore County Government Office of Substance Abuse.