Spend hotel money on city's needy schoolsHey, I must be a...

LETTERS

October 22, 1997

Spend hotel money on city's needy schools

Hey, I must be a budgetary genius. Build a hotel next to the convention center, abandon the toy train (Oct. 10, '' 'People mover' proposed for city'') and spend the $200 million saved by this plan on schools. Whatever happened to common sense?

David Plaut

Reisterstown

Shouldn't grant parole if a weapon is used

Congress should pass a law stating that anyone convicted of committing a crime with a weapon capable of causing death or injury to a human will receive a sentence of life without parole.

It may seem harsh, but so is murder/violence. Scare the bejabbers out of the criminals and they will turn to work, not crime. Most all deadly weapons will eventually disappear.

The children will benefit and so will their adult selves. Having learned at a tender age that crime is a freedom-losing proposition, the children would shun most criminal activities. Violence in the home would decrease. Eventually, society would stabilize.

Wouldn't it be great knowing you had fallen asleep without locking the front door and felt secure?

Three groups would protest the new law: the National Rifle Association; our esteemed legislators whose states manufacture the weapons, and criminals. They are most troublesome opponents. Unite. Make it happen. They must be taken down.

Joe Siamon

Baltimore

Holocaust apologies too little, too late

More than 50 years after the tragedy, apologies flow from sources that could have made a difference during the Holocaust.

The Swiss government acknowledges its culpability in dealing with the Nazis, the French Catholic Church asks to be pardoned for its silence as thousands of Jews were sent to their doom, and the Red Cross admits its ''moral failure'' to act responsibly while six million Jews and hundreds of thousands of other ethnic groups were murdered.

What's next? Will a relative of Franklin D. Roosevelt come forward to apologize for the wartime president's failure to heed pleas for the aerial bombing of rail lines leading to the death camps?

Too little, too late. Has the world really learned from the bitter lessons of the 20th century?

Albert E. Denny

Baltimore

Omission of one word misrepresented Bush

My husband and I attended a recent award ceremony at the Johns Hopkins University in honor of former President George Bush and were annoyed by your quotation of his remarks, i.e., ''History will show we screwed things up, I'll admit that.''

You left out the word ''some.'' President Bush said ''History will show we screwed some things up.'' People who use words to make a living know that there is a difference.

To omit, misquote, or misuse words to create a false impression or to make a snide comment is not worthy of a professional writer or a good newspaper.

President Bush said some comforting and inspiring things that were not mentioned in your report: that he is very optimistic about the future, and that for every problem we have in this country there is someone or some group working on the solution.

Elizabeth Ward Nottrodt

Baltimore

'Promise' to women shouldn't be kept

It is apparent that the Promise Keepers have promised that men shall now and forever keep women in their place.

Leon Peace Ried

Baltimore

Critic of Smart Growth plan misses the mark

The article (Oct. 13, Opinion Commentary) by Frieda Campbell attacked Maryland's newly enacted Smart Growth initiative. Unfortunately, Ms. Campbell presented either simplistic or erroneous arguments without illuminating any of the very real problems she highlighted.

Traffic congestion, escalating housing and public infrastructure costs and class warfare are apparently inevitable consequences of Smart Growth.

In reality, were she to examine closely the current trends affecting Maryland, Ms. Campbell would discover that all of her fears are already upon us and are worsening.

The absence of smart planning has led to an inexplicable land use pattern requiring each of us to spend a disproportionate amount of time in our cars.

Despite billions of additional highway dollars, projections for both the Washington and Baltimore regions anticipate commuting times nearly doubling in the next 20 years.

How smart is this?

The denigration of Portland's exemplary regional land regulation system misses the point. By controlling free-market sprawl, Portland has saved its downtown core and transformed itself into one of the country's most prosperous and desirable locations.

Free-market advocates typically downplay the hidden government subsides that encourage our mobile society in ways that cost taxpayers in the long run. From mortgage interest deductions to public infrastructure spending on highways, schools and utility systems, all have encouraged an increasingly class-segregated land use pattern.

Smart Growth, in its current form, does not solve but only begins to address these issues by directing that state infrastructure investments be made in a rational way. Since it relies on consistency with local plans, Smart Growth initially will be only as successful as those jurisdictions and their constituents want them to be.

My guess is that when people begin to realize the true taxpayer costs of dumb growth, our elected officials will be persuaded to strengthen Smart Growth into a permanent legacy for our state.

Alfred W. Barry III

Baltimore

The writer is co-chairman of the Citizens Planning and Housing Association's committee on the region.

Pub Date: 10/22/97

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