Just who does George Balog work for?The city's director of...


December 12, 1997

Just who does George Balog work for?

The city's director of public works, George Balog, was quoted ("Rush-job on the Wyndham," Dec. 8) as justifying his decision to spend city funds to relocate a major sewer main, without seeking authorization of the Board of Estimates, on the basis that it would "make (the property) more desirable for development."

I'm sure the private owners appreciate Mr. Balog's generosity with the taxpayers' money. Several public works projects that would increase the value of my property come quickly to mind. I

wonder is Mr. would give me a call.

John Boitnott


Don't break up electric companies

The news that Maryland utilities regulators are considering dismantling our electric supply system is disturbing. It reminds me of the saying, "If we do not learn from our mistakes, we will repeat them."

Remember the AT&T monopoly? With ''Ma Bell'' as our only source of telephone service (regulated to keep our costs at a reasonable level), we had the best telephone system in the world.

Then AT&T was broken up ''to permit competition.'' The result? Our telephone service now is terrible. I don't know if our telephone bills are lower than they might be if ATT were still our one provider, but I do know that mine are confusing. Id rather have service I could depend on and a single monthly telephone bill from one company.

Our current electricity supply system is a regulated monopoly. It works very nicely and provides service that is excellent and dependable. Let's leave it alone. Let's not repeat the mistake we made in breaking up AT&T.

James Silvan


Baltimore guides know the town

Gretchen L. Schlenger (letter, "Touring city isn't what it should be," Nov. 22) based her complaints on three incidents during an 11-day convention planned by a company from Washington.

Her first complaint was that the city tours were disappointing because the tour guides failed to "emphasize what makes Baltimore and its history different from other cities." That complaint should be aimed not at the city but at the Washington company which failed to hire a knowledgeable local tour guide.

Unfortunately, most out-of-town tour companies merely dump tourists at the Inner Harbor and never take them out into the neighborhoods to experience the charm of Fells Point or the elegance of Mt. Vernon.

Ms. Schlenger's last two complaints dealt with a broken hotel elevator and a very late taxi at the Baltimore Museum of Art. While legitimate complaints, they hardly constitute a reason to lambaste an entire city.

A narrated tour conducted by a Baltimore-based tour company would have show-cased the unique qualities of Baltimore's historic and ethnic neighborhoods.

Ila Christenbury


?3 The writer is tour director of About Town, Inc.

Schaefer terminal called 'best honor'

I would like to congratulate the persons who decided to dedicate BWI's international terminal to William Donald Schaefer.

As mayor and later governor, Mr. Schaefer put Baltimore and Maryland on the His wisdom, devotion, creativeness and hard work earned him great respect and admiration.

A5 He deserved the best honor there was to be given.

Mutlu Urcun Atagun


Remember FDR for his message

My wife and I recently visited the new Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington. It is a monument both to the spirit and leadership of FDR and to the generation that struggled, sacrificed and triumphed over the Great Depression and World War II.

It is also a testament to the private courage and public values and vision of one of this nation's most remarkable presidents. The selected words chiseled into the hard granite wall still ring with clarity and eloquence, revealing the humanity within Roosevelt's soul and his conception of the kind of society he challenged all to work for.

But if a memorial is to have any enduring value beyond adulation of past persons and events, it must find a way to speak simply and directly to contemporary visitors and ensuing generations. It must have some message to deliver beyond the mere surface arrangement of stones and statues, no matter how beautiful and moving they may be.

And therein lies the genius of this memorial. In our age of cynicism, selfishness, division and disbelief, FDR's call for compassion, community and government working for the benefit all refreshes the spirit and electrifies the imagination.

FDR was no saint. Yet his instincts for compassion and his understanding of the struggles of ordinary people equipped him in a special way to lead his country during its greatest period of danger in modern history. All Americans can benefit from a thoughtful visit to his memorial.

Charles A. Ferraro


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