Don't need another HarborViewAm I the only person who...


March 23, 1997

Don't need another HarborView

Am I the only person who thinks it is nuts to give a huge tax break to the HarborView condominium complex so its owners can "proceed with a second luxury apartment tower nearby'' when the first tower is not close to full occupancy?

If the tax break is a done deal, then at least have the sense to stop the project where it is until or unless the first building is a going concern.

I have only lived in Baltimore for about eight years, but even I know that neither condo projects nor high-rises seem to fly here.

It makes no sense to encourage building another luxury apartment or condo tower in South Baltimore that violates neighborhood scale and probably will never fill up.

Ruth F. Thaler-Carter


Income tax cut seen as hurting

It seems to me that the people of Maryland will be better off if there is no income tax cut.

Gov. Christine Whitman of New Jersey was elected on a platform of cutting that state's income tax. She won and she cut the income tax in a four-step process.

However, in the process property taxes had to be increased to make up for shortfalls.

Other fees were doubled, pension plans for employees were raided in a shell game and people who had incurred traffic tickets within the previous three years were hit with a processing fee surcharge that was equal to the fine previously paid.

Jack Boak


Veterans plates honor U.S. patriots

If the day comes when Disabled American Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars have to return their specialty tags, it will be a shameful day in Maryland history.

These patriots sacrificed for the betterment of our country -- and not to become victims of political correctness.

Patrick Dempsey

Ocean City

Religious leader supports gay rights

The March 13 news story on the state hearings on gay rights failed to report that Jewish, Unitarian and Christian religious leaders spoke in favor of the anti-discrimination bill and the bill for same-sex marriage.

There are thousands of deeply religious persons within the Judeo-Christian tradition, heterosexual and homosexual, who believe that the Bible and their faith require them to defend the rights of all persons.

Since its inception, isolated parts of the Bible have been used to support all types of evil, including the subjugation of women, the Crusades, slavery, anti-Semitism and now discrimination against homosexual persons.

While it is true that the Bible condemns homosexual relationships, the only ones the writers knew of were temple prostitution and adulterous or exploitative liaisons, which are rightly condemned.

The Bible as a whole proclaims God's love for all persons. We Christians who support gay rights believe the Bible must be read through the lens of the Word of God, Jesus Christ.

Jesus gave us only two commandments: love God and love neighbor as self. Love insists that all persons have the right to abundant life.

Abundant life includes human love and companionship and the fulfillment of physical desire within a committed covenant relationship.

Love, commitment and fidelity are not limited to heterosexual persons. They are human characteristics. It is not one's sexual orientation that is moral or immoral, but how one lives it.

Our laws must protect the civil rights of all persons, regardless of sexual orientation. It is the only just course to take.

Justice is love in a political setting.

Joan I. Senyk


The writer is pastor of St. John's of Baltimore City United Methodist Church.

Keeping focus on late-term abortions

Your editorial page recently would have us know that all late-term abortions are quite ugly, partial-birth abortions not excepted. This is exactly the point.

The anti-abortion people refuse to look away from that ugliness. And they are right. This is a reality that should not be politely ignored.

Seen squarely, abortion by whatever means of a nearly viable infant is an atrocity. The idea that anyone has a right to do such a thing is an obscenity.

Mark Kirby


SADD works magic in various ways

Whether or not a young person uses alcohol, tobacco or other drugs is largely dependent upon his or her ability to make informed and intelligent decisions.

There are many people and factors that influence young people's decision-making process.

This includes their parents, teachers, coaches, music they listen to, the movies and television shows they watch, the magazines they read, and even surfing the Internet.

But there is no greater influence today on a young person than the desired approval and acceptance of his or her own peers.

That is why, at a time when school-age drug use is increasing, and both government and the public are questioning the drug education in our schools, one student-based organization stands out as a program that has made a difference -- SADD.

The SADD program, which for more than 15 years has stood for Students Against Driving Drunk, has been able to dramatically reduce the number of teen-agers who have been killed because of drinking and driving. It is no longer as acceptable as it once was for teen-agers -- or anyone else -- to drink and then get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

SADD chapters all across the country have begun to change the name of SADD to Students Against Destructive Decisions and are expanding the SADD message to include drug education, AIDS education, teen-pregnancy prevention, delinquency prevention and prevention of other destructive decisions that students may make.

Since SADD has significantly helped to reduce the number of teen-age drunken-driving deaths, it can certainly help to reverse today's upward trend in school-age drug use and other at-risk behavior.

Michael M. Gimbel


The writer is director of the Baltimore County Bureau of Substance Abuse.

Pub Date: 3/23/97

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