Art deserves support equal to pro footballEvery year the...

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November 25, 1995

Art deserves support equal to pro football

Every year the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Opera and other very worthy artistic organizations struggle for survival (Didn't we lose a first rate ballet company that way?). The good citizens of Hon-town turn their backs, shrug their shoulders and say, ''It's art!'' ''It's sissy stuff!''

But wait. Someone is moving a football team to Baltimore. We have to build a stadium and everyone is rushing to pay $1,500. For what? For the privilege to buy tickets for which the price, location and playing dates are virtually unknown.

I wish the Baltimore Browns well but I wish my fellow citizens could support the arts as fervently.

David Howell

Baltimore

Sending suburbanites to city settings

I have much sympathy for the efforts of the ACLU, Chester Wickwire and others in reference to their extremely unpopular plans to relocate impoverished city residents to Baltimore County.

However, they seem to be barking up the wrong potted plant.

As a hardy city resident, I think the solution lies in enticing people to live in Baltimore City rather than inoculating the suburbs with a dose of social conscience.

What is the point of putting the carless poor deep in sprawlville where a light rail stop is seen as the decline of Western civilization?

This seems even more ironic when people are literally bursting to get into and trash my neighborhood.

My native Fells Point offers a super-abundance of fun-filled weekends to the well-off children of the white-flight set.

With 113 watering holes to choose from, it seems that more could be done to entice wayward collegiates and slackers to full-time residency, bed and breakfasts or habitual oblivion in bogus Polynesian surroundings.

Mommy and Daddy don't seem to mind these weekend forays and probably finance them from the looks of their RVs, clothing and attitude.

It certainly makes sense to have belligerent adolescents sleep in well-tended surroundings rather than negotiate sobriety checkpoints with a learner's permit.

It wouldn't hurt the tax base to have them spend more time and money here.

As for the suburbs let them have their malls, theme parks and churches (although it is hard to tell them apart).

# Paul R. Schlitz Jr.

Baltimore

Gun control measures don't affect criminals

If anyone wonders why the legitimate gun owners of Maryland are so incensed at the agenda of the gun-control advocates, they should read two Nov. 16 articles in The Sun.

On the editorial page, The Sun endorses the recommendations of the Commission on Gun Violence, completely ignoring the fact that all the restrictions will apply entirely to the state's law-abiding gun owners.

Criminals will simply not apply for licenses or background checks, etc. The editorial also displays complete ignorance of the fact that tighter gun laws don't equal less crime, reference Washington, D.C., for instance.

After the editorial, they should read Michael Olesker's column and learn about Jesus Womack. He has been arrested 34 times in the last four years. ''His rap sheet runs to four typed pages, with charges of narcotics distribution, police assault, gun possession, robbery, resisting arrest.''

The real criminals are not being punished but the gun-grabbers want to punish me by restricting my purchase and ownership of firearms.

Go figure. The cops are busy enough arresting real criminals 34 times without adding us old men, who are not a threat to anyone, to their arrest sheets.

It is obvious that the agenda of the gun-grabbers has nothing to do with crime. They just don't like guns.

John Cullom

Catonsville

Inflation assumptions drive Medicare debate

Bob Somerby's Nov. 19 article "When is a rise not a rise?" is beyond belief. Mr. Somerby must either be totally uninformed or unbelievably dense.

Every discussion of Medicare growth is based on assumptions about inflation. The Republican proposal calls for a six percent increase each year. This is interpreted as twice the current rate of inflation, which is about three percent.

Two years ago, President Clinton endorsed that as a healthy approach as opposed to the Democratic proposals of increasing Medicare spending at a rate of three times the current rate of inflation.

Mr. Somerby then goes on to raise a number of questions that no financial planner can answer. No one knows what the future rate of inflation will be. Julius Westheimer would not make such a prediction. The Psychic Hotline might give it a try, but I would suspect their projections.

Personal, corporate and, hopefully, political financial planning is based on current and historic rates of inflation. The Republicans and Democrats are both doing this. Perhaps that is why no responsible critics question their figures or raise questions about a future no one can predict.

Paul H. Wragg

Catonsville

Flea market needs a new home

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