Boarded-up hazardSince I moved into the Sandtown community...

the Forum

March 22, 1995

Boarded-up hazard

Since I moved into the Sandtown community I have noticed several vacant, boarded-up houses.

I am concerned by this because I have two young boys who would and could find ways to enter these homes, especially the ones that aren't boarded up.

The houses that aren't boarded up have become a hangout for the homeless as well for drug users. It has often puzzled me that the judicial system does not enforce some type of penalty on owners who neglect their property.

Have we have forgotten that it is the owners' responsibility to keep up their property?

Our state has always found sufficient funds to operate alcoholic or drug rehabilitation centers. Why can't it find funds to renovate and operate some of these homes as homeless shelters?

Robin Harley

Baltimore

Unkempt house

. . .Dogged and even defensive in his support for Housing Authority chief Daniel Henson, Mayor Kurt Schmoke has left us with three alternatives.

The first alternative is that the federal auditor is lying. That is not the case, because the city itself does not appear to imply that.

City Hall tries, instead, to say that the program worked, or that the public must take into consideration the urgent need for these repairs. Yet it seems so many repairs paid for were never done.

Secondly, Mr. Schmoke may be telling us that he is going to stick by his friend through thick and thin, even in an important election year, no matter what the cost.

Is he thinking, "The captain always goes down with his ship"? OK, could be, but Mr. Schmoke never struck me as an idiot.

The third alternative is that Mr. Schmoke, one of whose relatives was reported to be enriched by these contractors, needs to protect himself from indictment. Having said that, I pray it is not so.

If he is protecting himself, he should just save Baltimore the heartache and step down. He should at least do the smart thing and first get rid of Mr. Henson and then clean up the Housing Authority.

According to the federal auditor, Daniel Henson mismanaged the authority and misspent federal money in a wanton, defiant manner.

Mr. Henson is the type of bumbling, spendthrift bureaucrat whom conservatives point at when they decry the amount of money spent on social programs.

Not only has Mr. Henson defamed our city, but also he has legitimized some of the attacks made by those we normally deem the foes of the city.

it is time for Mayor Schmoke to mend the scars he has allowed to be carved into our city. First, he must set the story straight.

Then, clean house or clear out.

Edward Scott Michael

Baltimore

Bart's heart

Bart Giamatti became the commissioner of professional baseball because he followed his "field of dreams." He left the ivory towers of academia and brought to the baseball table one of the best minds possible. He was able to articulate logically as well as feelingly into his "dream mission."

Unfortunately he died abruptly and was not able to accomplish all that he set out to do.

In one of his essays, "The Green Fields of the Mind," he wrote this about the end of the baseball season, which we now can liken to the end of baseball in general:

"Baseball breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again . . . and it blossoms in the summer . . . filling the afternoons and the evenings . . . and then as soon as the chill rains come . . . it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone . . .

"You count on it . . . rely on it to buffer the passage of time . . . to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive . . . and then just when the days are all twilight . . . when you need it most . . . it stops."

Thus he felt baseball to the inner marrow of his existence. He also lived life to its fullest and overlooked risk factors that led to his fatal heart attack.

His broken heart should teach all of us that the joys of baseball need to flow simplistically and unimpededly, and that life, if it is to be lived long, needs the proper resistance (risk-factor reduction) and vigilance of purpose for longevity and equanimity to be present.

Raymond D. Bahr, M.D.

Baltimore

Clinics

hTC

Regarding your story "Abortion clinics may add primary care" (March 3), why do you not understand the difference between an "abortion clinic," which does only abortions, and Planned Parenthood clinics, which do reproductive health care and where abortions comprise only about 2 percent of their work?

The other 98 percent includes teaching and providing various birth control methods, pregnancy diagnosis, gynecological examinations including Pap smear, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancy prevention programs.

Referring to Planned Parenthood Federation as "abortion clinics" suggests The Evening Sun still does not get the point that planning parenthood is the very thing that reduces abortions, and is one of the most essential aspects of healthy families.

Robin J. Breitenecker

Cockeysville

Pass the masks

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