What happens to taxpayers' money?After reading about a...


December 29, 1997

What happens to taxpayers' money?

After reading about a county kindergarten teacher who was suspended for violating her teaching contract in the city, I have a question: What, exactly, does the city do with all of our tax dollars, if there is this appalling lack of basic supplies in kindergartens?

It was interesting to note that the poorly supplied city school is located across the street from the school administration's North Avenue complex. The money is on the wrong side of the street.

Kathleen E. Truelove


Hotel company can afford to finance

M. J. Brodie's Dec. 23 letter to the editor should be welcomed because it provides a preview of what the ill-conceived Wyndham Hotel will eventually cost the citizens of Baltimore.

Mr. Brodie states that parking revenue bonds would cost us $19.6 million. But the true cost to citizens over the life of the bonds will be nearly $75 million once the interest that we must pay is included. And this is only the subsidy for the parking garage; other public costs will surely follow.

The Wyndham Hotel should not cost the citizens of Baltimore a penny.

Patriot American, the soon-to-be owner of the hotel which already owns 80 other hotels and resorts, recently announced in a press release that not only had revenues increased 57 percent, but also that Patriot American now has a $700 million line of credit available.

Can't this company afford to build its own hotel rather than raid funds from a financially poor city like Baltimore?

What a shame that the mayor and the City Council seem eager to help a wealthy corporation exploit us like this.

Jon K. Ayscue


An eyesore mars fine neighborhood

The beginning of construction on the Gwynns Falls Trail is a cause for rejoicing that a long overlooked area of Baltimore has been rediscovered.

This part of West Baltimore contains old-growth forest, old mansions, unique neighborhoods and winding roads of great scenic and historic significance.

For too many years it has been a no-go area because of the perception that it is crime ridden and dangerous. While this view is in part justified, there are viable neighborhoods of great potential.

Windsor Hills, for example, is a truly special place. Home to the wealthy and to welfare recipients, it is racially mixed and has its own school and extensive play fields. Surrounded by drugs and crime, it is a small island 10 minutes from downtown.

On a recent drive through the neighborhood, I saw home owners busily raking leaves, children riding their bikes and in-process rehabilitation of a deteriorated house.

I also saw graffiti on a school door, piles of garbage on one of the scenic streets and a boarded-up house at the end of a well-maintained row on Woodhaven Ave.

I remembered this house in particular since it had been pointed out to me in 1995 as having been abandoned for 10 years. At that time I wrote the city's housing commissioner, Daniel P. Henson III, of my concerns about this property.

He answered my letter promptly, informing me that the property had been sold for back taxes to an individual in North Carolina. Two years later, it is still a boarded-up eyesore in a nice block.

As people become increasingly aware of a lovely area, it is more important than ever to eliminate blight quickly: 4034 Woodhaven Ave. would be a good place to start.

J. Hennessy


Kane's quest for truth, justice, responsibility

Gregory Kane's column time and time again not only reveals his wit but also reveals his uncanny ability to rise above human emotion to a level where common sense is allowed to prevail. It's refreshing to know that there are a few people left in our society who still believe in truth and justice for all and the fact that individuals really are responsible for their own actions.

Edward T. Tayloe V

Hanover, Pa.

Omission in Emerson story

While I enjoyed Fred Rasmussen's Dec. 14 article on the history of the Emerson Hotel, he omitted an important part of the Emerson's past. That was the 1963 homicide of Hattie Carroll, a waitress who died of a stroke after being hit with a cane by a Southern Maryland socialite at the Spinster's Ball.

Since the article's focus was the rich and famous who frequented the hotel, it may seem unjust to inject the topic of her death into the discussion. However, it is surely a greater injustice to ignore it.

There is a fine line that divides dwelling on the past from rewriting the past, and I strongly recommend that we err on the side of accuracy.

In the interest of balance, Hattie Carroll should have been mentioned in the article.

David B. Lari


Pub Date: 12/29/97

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