Remember legislators who opposed stadiumThe thousands of...

LETTERS

March 30, 1996

Remember legislators who opposed stadium

The thousands of die-hard football fans across the state should clip out page 8A of the March 22 Sun and search the list of delegates who voted to block funding for the new Camden Yards football stadium. If you find one of your representatives who voted against the stadium, put a big red circle around the name and tape it on the refrigerator until next election day.

There was a presidential candidate years ago who ran on a proposal to raise taxes. What was he thinking? There was a star actress on the TV show, ''Cheers,'' who left to do better things. What was she thinking? Now we have this list of delegates who voted to block the stadium. What were they thinking?

Joseph L. Larson

Towson

Britons not stuck with one newspaper

No, Mike Littwin, it is not true that we British have less freedom of the press than you do in the United States (March 22, "World media accept plea from folks of Dunblane to let them mourn in peace"). We also enjoy the benefits of both a truly national press and a huge selection of local papers.

A trip to the news agent in the small, ancient market town where I come from, with its 800-strong population, will yield all major national papers, seven local papers, newspapers in all major European languages and even a few American papers (in case we feel a need to see how it's really done).

So we didn't uncover Watergate, the choices and freedoms in the British press mean we avoid the spectacle of readers in major and supposedly major cities being stuck with one newspaper and its tiresome agenda.

im Marshallsay

Glen Burnie

'Black' library would get attention

It was with perplexed amazement that I read two articles in your March 26 editions. ''Deep cuts proposed for Pratt library'' revealed Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's proposed plan to cut the library system budget so drastically that as many as 60 workers could lose their jobs and many branches might be required to close.

Immediately under this article was a report on Mayor Schmoke's plan for a Baltimore summit to ''energize'' blacks. I would like to know how much this summit is going to cost the financially strapped city. In addition, I would like to know why Mayor Schmoke is only concerned with energizing blacks, why he does not want to energize all Baltimoreans?

Maybe we should change the name of the Pratt library system to the black library system, then the mayor might be able to find some money to energize the libraries.

Larry Curcio

Baltimore

Promote tourism without taxing it away

Monday's editorial about promoting the expanded convention center is most timely and correct. It did omit one pertinent fact, however.

Discussion has focused on new taxes (a restaurant tax and a ''tourist zone'' tax), while ignoring the existing ''tourism tax''-- the city's 7 percent hotel tax.

In 1995 Baltimore City collected approximately $8,721,000 in hotel taxes. This tax is levied on guests at every bed and breakfast, hotel and motel offering rooms to more than five people.

The tax is in addition to the 5 percent state sales tax. Consequently, hotel and bed and breakfast guests in Baltimore City pay a total of 12 percent tax on their lodging bills. This tax revenue goes into the general fund. None is allocated specifically for promoting tourism.

Before the city considers adding new taxes on tourists (and, I might add, city residents who stay at B&Bs and hotels), some thought must be given to the negative impact of increasing tax rates beyond 12 percent and to the possibility of using the existing tourism revenues to promote tourism. The state is already set for the city to increase the hotel tax to 9 percent if revenues from the expanded convention center do not meet expectations.

Further increases could be self-defeating, however, if Baltimore loses its edge in the highly competitive convention and meeting market because of a high, after-tax cost of lodgings.

I hope that Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke will somehow find the wisdom and means to promote tourism in Baltimore without killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

Paul H. Bragaw

Baltimore

Liability bill needed by consumers

Shame on you for criticizing President Clinton (March 22, "Trial lawyers' president") because you believe he was influenced by the trial lawyers in his threat to veto the faulty product liability bill.

What the trial lawyers say is immaterial. Of utmost importance, however, is what the consumer advocates say. If protecting the rights, health and lives of us consumers in our struggles against heartless ''bottom-line'' big business enriches the trial lawyers, then so be it.

There is no such thing as a frivolous law suit. It may very well appear frivolous to the defendant and could appear so to an impartial outside observer, but to the person who takes the time and money to file suit, it's a serious matter, far from frivolous.

My thanks to President Clinton for taking some interest in us ignored underrepresented consumers, of which you editorial writers are part.

Harry E. Bennett Jr.

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