Always excuses for insurance to go upI, too, was hoping...

LETTERS

April 20, 1997

Always excuses for insurance to go up

I, too, was hoping for a bit of a break with this year's insurance premium. Man, was I surprised to see that Allstate had raised my insurance another $50 plus, stating that Maryland's rates had increased due to all the flooding in the Midwest.

Don't get me wrong, my heart and prayers go out to those folks, and I do understand that we all must help to rebuild the broken lives shattered by this tragedy.

My questions is: If we ever do go through a period where there are minimal claims filed, will we ever see a decrease in our insurance premiums?

Mike O'Connell

Arbutus

Schmoke, Henson should hide in shame

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and Housing Commissioner Daniel Henson should be afraid to show their faces and turn in their resignations. The travesty of housing rehabilitation and razing is unbelievable. How much longer are the people of Baltimore going to permit the rape of well-built, century-old-houses?

I do not live in the city, but as a taxpayer and lover of antiquity I am appalled. I see so many other means of solving the problems and creating affordable housing.

Why do we have to destroy the history of our country? Nothing is accomplished other than creating little plots of ground that are not good for anything and putting more people out of dwellings. Am I the only one who thinks those wonderful old houses can be renovated for no more than the housing commissioner is paying to demolish them?

What is wrong with allowing Habitat for Humanity-type organizations to renovate them for the poor and homeless? They know how to get the most for the dollar; apparently none of the city authorities do.

Thanks to The Sun for the wonderful article. I hope it brings about some great changes for our beautiful city.

B.J. Benner

Ellicott City

Sun responsible for housing problem

In reviewing your series on how a city copes with a declining population and a parallel decline in the quality of the housing stock and the subsequent responses to that series, one point stands out.

Of the problems your reporters were able to identify, almost all could be traced to a lack of sophisticated analysis tools within the Housing Department. One can't help but wonder if the cases cited as being the most egregious would have occurred if the housing department had at its disposal the hundreds of man-hours and computer time that went into your series.

It seems a real shame to me that our daily monopoly newspaper can spend what it did in trying to uncover a scandal that just doesn't appear to be there and yet not feel any necessity at all to perhaps use such funding instead to try to alleviate the problems.

From my grad student days, I still have a button that quotes Eldridge Cleaver: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Indeed, I think The Sun should take those words to heart.

Sarah Stevens-Rayburn

Baltimore

Why Cheswolde plans Carroll Lodge project

I am writing in response to Georgene Elliot's April 10 letter, "Flood plain plan bad for neighborhood."

Contrary to her convincing prose, the "natural habitat and flora" that she so lovingly attributes to the Carroll Lodge represent to many in the community an overgrown, weed-infested eyesore.

The property, which lies partially in a flood plain, is literally falling apart. Indeed, such decay and neglect would hardly honor Charles Carroll of Carrollton.

Developers have proposed a complete renovation of the historic building and at the same time give the Cheswolde community an impressive new gateway.

The plan will allow many of our elderly citizens to remain where they belong -- in the neighborhood. It will provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in new tax revenue and jobs in a city that is rapidly losing both.

Building in a flood plain is always problematic and risky for the investor and the community. So are urban decay and neglect in an otherwise solid city neighborhood.

Choices need to be made, and I believe that the neighborhood has taken a leadership position.

Additional hearings will be held, and neighbors will continue to exercise their right to be heard.

Carl S. Hyman

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Cheswolde Neighborhood Association.

Window screens of yesteryear

Thank you for the story on window screen painting (April 5).

It brought back memories of my childhood and the window screens my dad painted for our home in the 1930s.

The screens are long gone but returned for a short while as I read Brenda J. Buote's front-page story.

Philip H. Brendel

Baltimore

Pub Date: 4/20/97

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