Renewing city beats wrecking countrysideThe two divergent...

Letters

March 07, 1997

Renewing city beats wrecking countryside

The two divergent perspectives on the elusive American Dream printed in The Sun Feb. 23 are of great importance to the future of this state.

Jacques Kelly's column, ''The suburbs hold no appeal when you love your big old house and friendly neighbors,'' gives us hope that urban living is not only alive and well, but thriving in neighborhoods like Charles Village.

While mindful of our city's shortcomings, great numbers of Baltimoreans are committed to righting the wrongs and injustices in order to build a better city.

On the other hand, exurbanites moving farther out in the countryside, expect the rest of us to pick up the tab for more roads, schools and sewer lines to aid in their escape from perceived urban ills ("Sprawl transforms Howard Co. corridor").

Not only is such wrongheaded behavior self-centered, but the cost is more than Maryland can afford. The governor is forthright in recognizing that the era of endless suburban expansion must be closed.

Baltimore and its close-in suburbs can support hundreds of thousands of additional people without mixing a single bag of concrete for more infrastructure.

It just doesn't make sense to build houses on productive farmland while armies of structurally sound rowhouses sit empty.

Cities like Baltimore remain viable and logical places to live, being far more efficient by their physically compact nature for delivering services, whether water, electric, natural gas or mail, but especially for moving people around without being wholly dependent on the automobile and artificially cheap oil.

Of these two viewpoints of the American Dream, Jacques Kelly's is the one that will keep our city, state and nation from going bankrupt.

Steven H. Allan

Baltimore

Fund-raiser wasn't meant to offend

As a 1995 graduate of C. Milton Wright High School, I take sincere offense at the Feb. 25 article, ''High school fund-raiser causes upset,'' and the way in which it was written.

First, let me explain the way in which the Project Graduation committee exists. The parents of every junior student are invited to be on the Project Graduation committee. Therefore, each parent has an equal opportunity to participate in his child's senior activities.

The committee continues to search for help throughout the school year, so parents can always join when the time is right for them. Your reporter failed to mention this.

The reporter, Lisa Respers, also failed to mention that the activities, before occurring, must be approved by many.

Ms. Respers neglected to mention that two of the members of this approval board are African-American. Both of these women, one a vice principal and the other an English teacher, are highly respected.

Had the fund-raiser (in which underclassmen could "buy" the services of senior classmates) been offensive to anyone during the approval process, it would not have been approved.

Kerry Zeller

Abingdon

Hillary Clinton book deserves a sequel

Now that First Lady Hillary Clinton has won a Grammy for her audio book version of "It Takes a Village," I want to propose the subject for her next audio book.

It would be a tourist guide to the Clinton White House. The title would be "It Takes a Donation."

Raymond J. Herman

Towson

Meningitis incidents were different

The Feb. 26 article written by Jamie Stiehm, ''Roommate's quick thinking likely saved Loyola student with severe meningitis,'' was generally a good and informative article.

However, it seemed irresponsible and insensitive on the day of Sheronda Conaway's funeral to suggest that her roommate and cheerleading teammate (a junior majoring in civil engineering) did not watch over her as the Loyola student James Mallas did for his roommate who had meningitis, Richard Galasso.

The circumstances were very different. Sheronda's grieving roommate did not need criticism from The Sun article (which said, Sheronda "did not have someone like Mallas watching over her").

Sheronda did her cheerleading routines the night before her death.

Her roommate had no previous experience with meningitis, and Sheronda did not discuss being ill with her roommate.

Sheronda's death had nothing to do with lack of attention on her roommate's part.

A. Recardo Perry

Baltimore

The writer is vice president for student affairs at Morgan State University.

Snow removal services provided

In a Jan. 24 letter ("Can't brag about snow-removal efforts"), the city Department of Public Works was criticized by Rick Eney for ''never'' removing snow in his Northeast Baltimore neighborhood.

As a result of the letter, I attempted to contact Mr. Eney to let him know that DPW does indeed listen to the concerns of the citizens of Baltimore.

There are 33,000 blocks in Baltimore City, and it is true that not every street is salted.

Smaller streets are done when a request is made to our 396-SNOW telephone line.

I spoke with Mr. Eney's wife and assured her that we considered the letter a request for service.

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