Redskins stadium proves a disasterGov. Parris N...


November 05, 1997

Redskins stadium proves a disaster

Gov. Parris N. Glendening and Prince George's County Executive Wayne K. Curry claimed that the Jack Kent Cooke Stadium in Landover would spur economic development.

However, the Oct. 27 article, ''Stores cry foul over new stadium,'' clearly illuminates the economic hardship and environmental havoc that have resulted from the poor planning decision to site Cooke stadium in a residential community.

For Prince George's County officials to say that ''merchants should stop blaming the Redskins for all of their woes'' is insensitive and shows a lack of knowledge of retail and restaurant industries. Such comments are merely base obfuscation, particularly in light of the fact that state and county traffic officials urge motorists to avoid the area when events are held at Cooke stadium.

Avoidance has not ameliorated and will not ameliorate the traffic problems.

Nor is this policy a pro-active solution for addressing the problems that local residents, merchants and interstate travelers encounter whenever there are events at Cooke stadium.

County and state officials must address the substantive problems: the actual number of parking spaces available vs. the number of parking permits sold; the management and circulation of traffic on the stadium parking lots; the availability and usage of parking spaces at USAir Arena and Landover Mall that are to be excluded from use by stadium patrons as indicated in environmental and zoning documents; the number of individuals who use mass transit, which has failed to reach the level projected in planning and environmental documents; increased auto emissions; and the restriction of the movement and flow of interstate traffic.

It's time for Marylanders to hold our elected officials accountable for the traffic problems occurring on local roads and on the interstate near Cooke stadium.

A realistic and achievable solution must be implemented now. A significant improvement can be achieved if county and state authorities enforce the parking guidelines and requirements that were approved in the stadium's zoning permit.

Otherwise, lives, as well as money, may be lost as a result of the current inadequate and inept traffic management policy.

Victoria Cox


The writer is president of the Environmental Justice Working Group.

Au pair decision should be reversed

I wanted to register my disappointment with the murder conviction of Louise Woodward.

From the misunderstanding of the police at some English words ("pop") to the simplistic prosecutorial theory and inept questioning, one could only wonder why she was arrested in the first place.

Further, her clarity and directness on the stand was refreshing and removed most of my doubt. The battle of medical experts seemed to balance clearly on Ms. Woodward's side.

I hope there is a reversal quickly.

Bill Vroman


Tax code troubles? Blame Congress, too

Amid the jubilation in Congress and the media about solving the mystery of who is responsible for the U.S. tax code mess -- namely the Internal Revenue Service -- a recent example might suggest that there is more work to be done.

On June 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Tax Reform Act of 1997 (not to be confused with the more recent IRS reform initiatives).

On June 27, the Senate passed the same bill, but in a different form. The House-Senate conference committee, charged with reconciling differences between the two versions, presented the ''final'' bill July 31; President Clinton signed it Aug. 5.

But problems remained.

The bill was still not clearly defined. So a ''technical corrections'' bill had to be drafted which finally spelled out the exact details of, among other things, Schedule D, the capital gains form (which has gone from 19 to 54 lines, to be completed on your tax return, as a result of this 1997 tax reform).

Not until mid-October, when all corrections were finally available though not yet passed by Congress, could the IRS at last begin to implement the reforms enacted many months previously.

The IRS has estimated that it will take four months to program its computers with these complex changes. Electronic filings cannot be accepted before mid-February, and traditional filers may experience further delays.

Are these potential delays just an IRS problem, or is there also something wrong with the way Congress administers the tax code? Is this the ''right thing to do'' to U.S. taxpayers?

Peter Van Dyke


Planners ignored Wyndham opponents

Baltimore's Planning Commission members were like deer in the headlights, mesmerized by the Wyndham hotel developers' presentation of their rationale for amending the Inner Harbor East Urban Renewal Plan.

When Chairman Stelios Spiliadis asked the members for comment at the end of the five-hour hearing, it was as if the hundreds of people opposing the changes hadn't even been in the room.

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