It's time to enforce law on weirdosThe Freemen from...

Letters

April 22, 1996

It's time to enforce law on weirdos

The Freemen from Montana do not pay taxes and refuse to obey U.S. laws. These weirdos advocate the overthrow of the United States.

The Freemen are traitors who should be punished. It is time for our criminal justice system to get tough against crime.

Joseph Lerner

Baltimore

Mixed incomes make good neighborhoods

The Citizens Planning and Housing Association (CPHA) applauds HUD Secretary Henry G. Cisneros, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City and the ACLU for reaching an agreement in the housing discrimination lawsuit that is good for both families in public housing and communities and brings precious resources to Baltimore to replace our most severely depressed housing.

The settlement represents a giant step forward in housing policy because it replaces concentrated poverty with a mixture of home ownership and subsidized housing and offers interested public housing residents supportive counseling and housing options near jobs and good schools.

This new housing strategy will do more than shelter families; it will be a stepping stone to economic independence.

It has been shown that families with a chance to live in mixed-income, safe communities with greater access to jobs and good schools increase their chances for self-sufficiency and ultimately home ownership.

Housing policies during the past 50 years have deliberately contained the poor and minority population in deprived areas of Baltimore City. Eighty-nine percent of the region's public housing and 75 percent of its subsidized housing are concentrated in Baltimore City.

The concentration of poverty has generated complex social problems, creating communities that offer little economic opportunity, are prey to crime and have inferior schools.

The settlement will sustain vibrant communities throughout the Baltimore region by deconcentrating poverty and preventing the reconcentration of poverty in new areas.

By developing strong mixed-income communities, this new housing policy ensures that neighborhoods will remain healthy places for all families to live and prosper.

Joyce H. Knox

Karen Evans

Baltimore

The writers are president and housing committee chair, respectively, of CPHA.

Cowherd's complaint is duly listed

Eureka! The discovery of another unregenerate list-maker (Kevin Cowherd's account of the triumphs and agonies of this shameful addiction, April 11) made my day.

I laughed out loud, choking, spattering my morning coffee at his Dial 911 scratch-off.

Rea Knisbacher

Baltimore

Library can't take huge budget cuts

The announcement that the city of Baltimore may cut 25 percent from the already perilously low budget of the Enoch Pratt Free Library is indeed sad news.

How can Baltimore call itself ''the city that reads'' when so little of this budget is alloted to the library and to the wonderful service it can and should provide?

How can this city claim as one of its foremost citizens the world-renowned H.L. Mencken while seriously cutting the meager budget alloted to maintain the Mencken Room and the fabulous collection of his writings?

How can this city call its new football team the Ravens, which would indicate a significant tie to Edgar Allan Poe and his connection to Baltimore? Do the budget cuts mean the Edgar Allan Poe Room at the library must go under while the name still goes on, meaninglessly?

At a time when this city is so strapped for funds that it considers slashing money for libraries and other educational resources, surely there are other places that deserve closer scrutiny.

Money alloted to politicians for expensive trips and other luxuries is disturbing, even outrageous. Yet valuable, viable resources are cut to the bone and made unavailable to people who think of the Enoch Pratt Library as a ''university of the people.''

Please restore full funding for this educational tool now, before Baltimore's reputation sinks even lower.

Margaret Romine

Baltimore

I am both shocked and saddened to read of the proposed 25 percent cut to the budget of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The magnitude of this cut, as well as the fact that the library is being disproportionally hit, is distressing.

This excellent institution has just started to right itself after years of budget cuts nearly destroyed it.

The recent achievements of its new director, Carla D. Hayden, have restored pride to the Pratt. She has demonstrated that strong leadership and management skills can indeed turn decline around.

The Pratt should be used as an example for other city agencies (including our declining school system) of what should be expected.

But instead of celebrating her achievements she is rewarded with further budget cuts. Does it make sense to do this to the one agency that can get the job done?

This is a city where the children, as well as many adults, are in desperate need of educational opportunities.

I want my tax dollars to go to those who have proven they can deliver on this investment. The Enoch Pratt Free Library has demonstrated its ability to achieve these goals.

I strongly urge the mayor to reconsider and rescind his proposed budget cut.

Jean M. Albrent

Baltimore

Pub Date: 4/22/96

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