Baltimore's orchestra is not big enough for two...

Letters to the Editor

March 25, 1998

Baltimore's orchestra is not big enough for two communities

As longtime subscribers and contributors to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, my wife and I are concerned about two recent developments and the BSO's relationship to the people of Baltimore ("Bridge to Montgomery," March 19).

We speak of the replacement of David Zinman with Yuri Temirkanov and the proposal to reduce the number of Baltimore concerts so the orchestra can have a second home in Montgomery County at a new concert center.

Under the great interest and leadership of Mr. Zinman, the orchestra has developed into one of the outstanding symphonies in our country. The conductor has shown his close association with our community by stressing educational programs while taking the orchestra on many tours. His directing has been outstanding, and he and the orchestra have made a number of compact discs.

Mr. Temirkanov is a world-respected conductor, but how will he function as a music director compared with Mr. Zinman?

The other concern, regarding Montgomery County, is a reduction in attention to the musical needs of the Baltimore area. The Washington area has the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Lisner Auditorium and other venues and hardly needs more at Baltimore's expense.

The Baltimore Symphony has been developed with help from music lovers in Baltimore, and any reduction in the number of concerts, as long as they are supported, is unacceptable to many of us, particularly with the National Symphony in the Washington area.

John R. Orrick


Cancel my O's ticket plan if club goes to Castro's Cuba

Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, who can't even properly run a U.S. city, should stay out of international politics ("Schmoke suggests exhibition in Cuba," March 20). Last year, when Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos suggested that his team play in communist Cuba, I was livid. Now the idea is repeated by the mayor as a "goodwill mission."

Whose good will does Mayor Schmoke think we'd get, Fidel Castro's? And why does he want it? That wretched oppressor already thinks Americans are the living embodiment of corruption and evil. But Mr. Castro needs our food, medicine, money and legitimacy, which such a trip would bestow, to perpetuate his regime.

Such idiotic ideas do nothing to serve our interests, do everything to serve the enemy's and insult every man, woman and child whose families have suffered, and continue to suffer and die for the things Americans take for granted.

I came perilously close to dumping my 13-game miniplan over my anger at the players for their strike a few years ago. But that doesn't come close to how furious I'd be if Mr. Angelos takes the Orioles to that bastion of communist oppression.

If he takes the Orioles to Cuba before the fall of Mr. Castro and communism, it would be the last O's game I ever would attend while Mr. Angelos owns the team.

Stephen M. Kranz


Monorail, like water taxi, a fine transportation option

The idea of a downtown monorail has great merit ("City pursues funds for 'people mover,' " March 9). It would not be affected by traffic, and it would not add to congestion. Also important would be its festive entertaining character and views of downtown and the Inner Harbor. It would be like the water taxi, where the ride is more than just transportation.

The proposed path could be significantly improved by running it from the B&O Railroad Museum on the west to the end of Caroline Street on the east.

The main route of travel should be along the south side of Pratt Street, turning north at Marketplace past Port Discovery and the Shot Tower Metro stop, then south on President Street through Inner Harbor East to Fells Point.

The B&O Railroad Museum should be the western terminus because it deserves better visitor access and is a logical location for the operation and maintenance facilities a monorail would require.

The facilities could even be designed to function as an "exhibit," tying in nicely with the transportation theme.

James R. Backstrom


Stadium demolition dollars give communities a victory

The Memorial Stadium neighborhoods of Ednor Gardens, Lakeside, Waverly, Coldstream, Homestead and Montebello discovered at a December meeting of the Memorial Stadium-Eastern High School task force that no funding was allocated in the city's fiscal 1999 budget for demolition of the stadium.

Additionally, the city would not advertise the request for proposals for the redevelopment of the site until a commitment was made by the state to provide demolition funding.

The stadium neighborhoods experienced destabilizing influences during the 10 years that Eastern sat vacant, and we were determined not to let the now-abandoned Memorial Stadium become a blight and long-term problem for our communities. Therefore, we initiated an aggressive and unified lobbying campaign for demolition funding.

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