Retroactive permits imposed on communityThe recent...


August 13, 1996

Retroactive permits imposed on community

The recent decision by Larry Schmidt, zoning commissioner for Baltimore County, to grant the Parkside Assisted Living Facility on Rolling Road a special exception to operate is very disturbing to many of the residents of Catonsville.

This facility did not apply for the proper building permits prior to construction nor was a public hearing held as required by county law until after the facility had three residents. The county is allowing the special exception process to take place retroactively.

My objection to the facility is certainly not with the residents. I object to the process that allows developers and owners to skirt the law with little or no penalty.

We are aware of the need for assisted living facilities in Baltimore County and understand why the county is eager to establish such homes. But with decisions such as the Parkside example, Baltimore County is sending a troubling signal to developers. It is saying: "Go ahead and start your projects, worry about the permits and hearings later."

I feel that assisted living facilities are essentially commercial businesses that are allowed to operate in residentially zoned areas.

I was thrilled when County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger supported a community conservation effort that would help preserve the character of older neighborhoods such as Catonsville. But I am now wondering if his memo about community conservation port and enforcement of the existing laws is tearing the communities down.

Maureen Sweeney Smith


Baltimore opera is a noisy experience

Greg Jimeno's letter of July 31, castigating Baltimore Orioles fans for lack of enthusiasm, stated, "If you want to go to an event where you can sit in silence for three hours, perhaps a night at the opera would be appropriate."

As an avid opera -goer, I can testify that the clapping and cheering that ensues after the completion of a aria can be deafening.

Baltimore opera fans are boisterous in their approval of our opera company. Yells of ''bravo'' abound at every performance I have attended.

Geraldine Segal


The beauty of sexual pursuit

I would like to comment on W.W. Beydler's Aug. 1 letter and on its headline "Sexual harassment a matter of course."

Anthropologists, sociologists and other scientists have been telling us that early in the dawn of Man (and here we always mean man and woman) it was realized that procreation is an effective means of preservation.

Maybe single pregnancies had something to do with that.

This sexual availability came down to us so that it has been suggested that man differs from animals only in that he can eat without being hungry, drink without being thirsty and has been spared a mating season. No wonder, therefore, that we hear this song of "sexual harassment" often.

Contrary to what people like to call it, this is not animal behavior but all too human.

And anybody who asks for these incidents to be voluntarily or forcibly eliminated would have more success to ask to move Mount Rushmore closer to Washington, D.C.

Of course, refinements in our thinking as well as respect for others' rights and tastes have commanded that these advances be graded, ranging from mild flirtation to rape, which is and should be considered a most heinous crime.

But I find it unfortunate that opportunism in our society has led to serious demands to lump all these under the general term of "sexual harassment."

Because nothing is more prevalent, potentially more beautiful and nothing has been more inspiring than the desire of one sex to pursue the other and in turn itself to be pursued.

Peter C. Sotiriou


Dole economic plan hit as manipulative

Republican candidate Bob Dole's economic plan is a offensive, pandering, manipulative, cynical, condescending, unrealistic, last-ditch attempt at bribery of the American electorate.

I have faith that my fellow citizens will see it for what it is.

Jonathan D. Rogers


Gambling exists,moral or not

I have read with mounting contempt your recent editorials, "Maryland's interstate casino" and "Slots are bad for racing`." You have clearly taken the position on this issue that gambling dollars derived from slot machines or casinos in Maryland are neither moral, needed nor wanted by citizens.

I challenge all of these premises and at the same time question why you supported the NFL stadium deal.

For the NFL stadium, the citizens of this state bear the burden of constructing the $200 million facility. Its beneficiaries are the millionaire owners and players, its direct economic benefits are almost nil.

The jobs it creates -- other than for players -- are not year-round and are low-paying.

The cost of attending games is exorbitant. The stadium is partially funded with lottery (gambling) dollars, it makes no direct dollar contribution to any social or educational programs and lastly, according to the polls, it was not wanted by the majority of the citizens.

The slots/casino deal on the other hand would not require public funding, would benefit the owner/stockholders directly, has definable direct economic benefits, would create significant year-round employment, would make direct contributions to designated social programs and is certainly more popular with the citizens of this state than the stadium deal.

Your primary objection to this segment of the entertainment industry seems to be the morality of gambling. Whether or not you consider gambling moral, you should condition your editorials to the more objective, salient elements of the issue.

nTC When you consider present gambling in this state, which includes everything from church bingos to lottery and keno, it is an important element of our economy that does attract business and support budgets, moral or not.

Fred Metschulat


Pub Date: 8/13/96

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