Tracks need slots to save our racing industryThe Maryland...


March 06, 1996

Tracks need slots to save our racing industry

The Maryland General Assembly House Ways and Means Committee recently conducted a hearing concerning legislation allowing slots at the tracks.

Although there were more than three hours of testimony during which a number of issues were discussed, I believe the members of the legislature must address two basic issues: the economic situation of thousands of Marylanders who depend upon the survival of the racing industry (i.e., farmers, horsemen, breeders, suppliers, vendors, etc.) and the threat posed by the slots introduced into Delaware racing facilities.

The threat is real. When Delaware assumed the leadership in corporate law, Maryland waited to react. Maryland now has corporate law equal to Delaware; however, it was enacted too late. As a result, we have lost millions of dollars in fees.

When Delaware responded to economic conditions for the banking industry, once again Maryland failed to address the problem in a timely way.

By the time we passed our banking law, we lost almost every bank card operation in Maryland -- and hundreds of jobs and millions in tax revenue.

Now Delaware is going after our racing industry. No wonder Delaware's nickname is "The First State." We have an opportunity to meet this threat by enacting HB 1380 -- Maryland Racing and Electronic Gaming Act.

I sincerely hope that the Maryland legislature demonstrates the leadership and wisdom to prevent another coup by Delaware against the state of Maryland. Melvin A. Steinberg


SC The writer was lieutenant governor of Maryland, 1986-1994.

Man overreacted to son in dress

Regarding Henry Holmes' distress at finding his 6-year-old son playing dress-up in a woman's gown at his day care center (Feb. 22, "Father raises fuss over child's play"), I wonder what his reaction might have been had he found his 6-year-old daughter costumed as a cowboy or a male Power Ranger.

Funny that when it comes to our little girls, we tend to view imitating ''maleness'' as a good thing. We look at the characteristics attributed to being male -- assertiveness, strength, etc. -- and recognize that those are good things for any child, male or female, to have. No one ever worries about that little girl growing up to be homosexual.

But, boy howdy, let a little boy dress like a woman and reason walks out the door. Forget that perhaps nurturing, gentleness, etc. -- those stereotypical characteristics of ''femaleness'' -- might be good things for little boys to admire and aspire to.

Homophobes clutch their hearts and babble about ''turning'' someone gay. This child will be damaged far more by the ignorance in which his father is clothing him than any dress-up could ever do.

Louise A. Machen


Columbus Center must receive better support

I am writing in regards to the Feb. 26 article, ''Columbus Center stops work on public displays.'' My involvement with the Columbus Center, as a member of the board of directors and, most importantly, as a parent of a school-age child, has reinforced for me the critical importance of this unique project. The Columbus Center has the potential to fill an unmet need, to foster an unparalleled interest in and experience with 21st century science and technology for our youth. The programming that has already taken place through the Science and Technology Education Center has begun to have a profound impact on the attitudes toward science of the students and teachers who have participated.

The unique opportunities to interact with research science and scientists is of particular importance to the youths of Baltimore as they search for career options.

We must provide whatever support is required to assure the timely opening of Columbus Center's public exhibition space and to guarantee the continuation and enhancement of the superb education programs that have already been initiated.

Ernest G. Green


Putting violent material in its place

Just as cigarette packs carry a warning from the surgeon general to protect customers, the first and last 60 seconds of every X- or R-rated movie should carry the following message:

Warning: All scenes of violence, unlawfulness or indecency portrayed in this movie are pure fiction. The public is strongly reminded not to engage in any acts of violence. Criminal acts are severely punishable by long sentences in jails.

Joseph Gabay


Marchione deserves to lead schools

Your Feb. 27 article, "NAACP opposes schools leader," left me perplexed and somewhat disappointed. As a 21-year veteran of the Baltimore County public schools as a teacher, counselor, and administrator, it behooves me to defend and support interim Superintendent Anthony Marchione's continued leadership.

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