YESTERDAY'S unveiling of the redesigned Holocaust Memorial...

Noted in brief

October 07, 1997

YESTERDAY'S unveiling of the redesigned Holocaust Memorial at Lombard and Gay streets in downtown Baltimore ends the debate about its location -- at least for now.

Soon after the $350,000 monument was built by the Baltimore Jewish Council in 1980, it became a magnet for desecration by vagrants.

As the vandalism problem worsened, letter writers to the Baltimore Jewish Times began wondering whether the downtown site was the proper one for the monument.

Two alternatives were offered. One was the Mount Royal Avenue headquarters of Associated Jewish Charities, which would have placed the memorial in close proximity to several important cultural institutions, including the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Lyric Theater.

The other choice was a shift to Owings Mills in Baltimore County, which is increasingly becoming the center of activity for the metropolitan area's Jewish community.

We hope that the $350,000 remake of the dowtown Holocaust Memorial will work to everyone's satisfaction and that talk about relocating it is not rekindled.

IF MAYOR Kurt L. Schmoke truly wants to turn dilapidated Howard Street into the ''Avenue of the Arts'' (as street signs denote), he had better roll up his sleeves. He's got work to do.

For starters, the mayor ought to hop aboard the light-rail line that runs along Howard Street and look out the car windows at the scene. Here is what passengers headed to Camden Yards for the third game of the recent Seattle playoffs witnessed:

Boarded-up buildings. Dingy storefronts with chipped plaster and peeling paint. A row of homeless people sitting on the sidewalk. An individual urinating in an alley. A row of discount stores. Trash all over the place.

Avenue of the Arts? Sure, for a one-block area near Bolton Hill. But much of Baltimore's once-grand shopping core remains in serious disrepair. It's not a matter of turning it into an arts boulevard. That's unlikely to happen soon. It is more a matter of fashioning a workable plan to revive this commercial area -- and make it clean and safe.

What a pity there are not more businesses along the street whose employees could take light rail to work. And what a pity Howard Street's renewal isn't higher up on the mayor's priority list.

GIANT FOODS has launched another year of its Apples for the Students program.

Between now and next Feb. 2, those purple register tapes and pharmacy coupons can mean free computers and other educational equipment to area public, private and parochial schools.

(In all since 1989, the company has donated $47 million in equipment to 3,300 schools in Maryland and neighboring states and the District of Columbia.)

The company is once again inviting area businesses, as well as the general public, to participate by setting up an employee or customer/client collection box. The businesses will also be asked to match the dollar value of their total collection with a 1 percent contribution directly to the schools.

What easier way to be a good corporate citizen!

Pub Date: 10/07/97

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