Better way to handle downtown parkingI would like to...

Letters

September 28, 1997

Better way to handle downtown parking

I would like to respond to an issue that is using much newsprint lately in The Sun: the lack of suitable parking in downtown Baltimore.

The photograph accompanying the editorial of Sept. 21 highlights one reason there is a problem: It shows a surface lot.

Surface lots are the bane of most major downtowns. They take up space that could be used for redevelopment. The hunger for flat lots leads to the needless destruction of less-than-Class A office space. It leads to the desertification of a downtown. Just look at places like Oklahoma City, Detroit or even Atlantic City.

As one recent letter stated, the solution can be gleaned from looking at Pittsburgh. It indeed has a program of free shuttles from usable surface lots on the downtown periphery. It also has almost no surface lots in the core downtown.

What it does have downtown are very profitable parking garages. Many are developed and managed by private concerns. They provide steady, lower-skilled jobs, a bonus for any major American city that has a dearth of job opportunities.

The city and the Pittsburgh Downtown Improvement District encourage this solution through an enlightened program of lowering taxes on buildings and raising taxes on all land. Fewer government checks are cut in the name of economic development.

Aside from lessening the need to search for taxpayer-funded abatements, exemptions and programs, taxing land values could lessen Baltimore's need to spend time and money working with business, which can, if given the chance and left alone, usually take care of itself. The resources saved could be better spent on the problems of our less high-profile -- but essential -- neighborhoods and schools.

Joshua R. Vincent

Baltimore

Why deny therapy to gays who want it?

In her well-written letter to the editor of Sept. 20, Mary Dean Lambert takes Cal Thomas to task for scientifically insupportable statements on the nature of homosexuality and for his criticism of the American Psychological Association's resolution to curtail the practice of sexual-orientation conversion therapy.

She should consider the following: When does the subject of sexual-orientation conversion therapy come up except when persons seek such therapy?

Though it is true that many (perhaps most) practicing homosexuals are not likely to be reoriented, should it follow that professional psychological help should be denied to those who truly want to change?

Should professionals who offer such help be castigated by their professional colleagues?

She writes that research proves homosexuals and heterosexuals show no substantive difference in psychological stability and overall adjustment, but later in her letter she writes about the intense need of homosexuals to be accepted socially and escape the stigma and prejudice imposed by family, neighbors, co-workers, the media, and the legal system.

I would say that this intense need is itself an indication of serious adjustment problems among homosexuals. There would be an adjustment problem for any group that is seriously out of step with the mores of our society.

Sexual-orientation conversion therapy should remain available to those who seek it.

Edwin S. Jordan

Ellicott City

No one, nothing sacred to USF&G

USF&G is evicting nuns. With corporate greed, nothing or no one is safe or sacred.

Edwin N. Dean

Baltimore

The public didn't need to know about this

The article recently appearing in The Sun (Sept. 17) regarding microchips put in money packs stolen from banks was truly an example of something the public has no need to know.

Examples of things the public has a need to know which do not appear in The Sun are the agendas of the Baltimore City Council, county council and other agencies, the reports of hearings before the Boards of Zoning Appeals in the city and Baltimore County, and similar matters dealing with the functioning of day-to-day city government.

The article you wrote about the bank security device shocked me when I read it, and recent letters you have received, I am sure, document your irresponsibility.

David H. Fishman

Baltimore

GOP has plenty of substantive issues

After reading Maryland Democratic Chairman Peter Krauser's letter published Sept. 20, I must correct several of his misstatements regarding the Republican Party.

First let me state that neither the Republican Party nor I have criticized the work of the scientists, watermen or others who are studying the Pfiesteria problem. Not only am I proud of their efforts, I am also proud of the efforts by 1st District Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, as he was the first to listen to the watermen and take action by securing federal funds to study and resolve the crisis.

In my letter, I criticized the governor for abandoning the watermen as he traveled overseas during the time period that Pfiesteria was becoming a natural disaster.

I wholeheartedly disagree with Mr. Krauser that there is ''an absence of substantive issues to debate.'' Republicans this year and next will be talking about the governor's willingness to politically reward jurisdictions -- i.e., the proposed $250 million reward to Prince George's County for its school system, the Ravens stadium deal, the just-announced subsidy to the Redskins for transportation -- the regional divisiveness caused by the governor, the lack of new jobs, our state's ranking as the fourth highest crime rate in the nation, just to name a few.

Joyce Lyons Terhes

Annapolis

The writer is chairman of the Maryland Republican Party.

Pub Date: 9/28/97

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