Noted in brief

September 13, 1997

WATER TAXI competition has meant better service and lower prices for Inner Harbor customers. In its current renewal process of licenses, the city can either kill this golden goose or make permits even more valuable.

We urge the city to open all landings to all licensed water taxi companies. That's the only way peak demand can be met.

Water taxis are supremely important for Inner Harbor tourism. The boats also have much untapped potential as conveyors of commuters from the growing residential neighborhoods ringing the waterfront. They are an economic development asset that city officials must develop further.

NEW YORK Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani found vindication for his conservative homeowner politics in the nation's largest city. The Republican incumbent was the true winner of the city's recent Democratic primary.

Manhattan Borough President Ruth W. Messinger, the liberal front-runner, barely beat out the African-American protest leader, Sharpton, and a Brooklyn city councilman, Sal Albanese. She must face Mr. Sharpton in a run-off before taking on Mr. Giuliani head-to-head.

A highly publicized police brutality incident helped Mr. Sharpton. Voters' desire to send a message diluted any felt need to mount a real challenge to Mr. Giuliani. Baltimore has resisted the trend to Republican municipal leadership. New York looks comfortable with it.

WHILE CITY OFFICIALS are proud of the 4,500 jobs they were able to provide Baltimore teen-agers this summer, one can't help but be disappointed by the lack of support from some of the city's largest businesses.

Every year the city turns away thousands of young people who want summer work. With the federal government drastically reducing funds for such programs, good corporate citizens in the private and non-profit sectors have to take up the slack. Many did just that, including Martin's concessions, which provided 128 jobs; Greenspring Dairy, 18, and MBNA, 13.

These companies and even those that provided only one summer job deserve the thanks of this city's citizens. But what about the larger Baltimore companies that didn't?

Some gave the Youth Works program a cash contribution, but that didn't have the same impact. More important than the money teen-agers can earn is the time they spend involved in a positive activity. Companies that didn't provide a summer job for teens this year need to try harder. They can make Baltimore better by getting idle kids off the street. And that's good for business.

THE COMMERCIALIZATION of sport is out of hand. The talent pool is just a meat market, and Brazil is the main exporter. The fan pays.

Soccer club Real Betis of Seville in Spain paid Sao Paulo in Brazil $35 million for Denilson, a 20-year-old winger. Inter Milan of Italy paid $27 million for Ronaldo, who had been playing for Barcelona in Spain. Atletico Madrid and Barcelona paid $20 million apiece for Juninho and Rivaldo.

Soccer players don't make as much as Michael Jordan. Brazilian players don't even have first names. They are bought and sold like cattle. Four Brazilians, $102 million. That's some inflation in the price of beef.

Pub Date: 9/13/97

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