Outsiders sell the city dream developments only to leave...


June 10, 1998

Outsiders sell the city dream developments only to leave us 0) empty

In reading the article on Baltimore City Community College's decision to accept the Kravco Co.'s proposal over the David S. Cordish proposal to develop a hotel complex, I was struck by college President James D. Tschechtelin's comment regarding the "greater commitment" of Kravco ("Another hotel plan arrives at Pratt St.," June 5).

For someone in the education community, Mr. Tschechtelin has learned very little about outsiders who come into Baltimore and paint unrealistic pictures of what they are going to do for our city.

Examples of failures by outsiders include Opryland USA's proposal to develop the Fishmarket, Six Flags Corp. and Sports Center USA's deals to develop the Power Plant and Donna Leonard's agreement to promote the 1995 Preakness Celebration. They came and sold us a dream. When the dream faded, so did they.

On the other hand, people such as James Rouse, Peter Angelos, John Paterakis, and David Cordish have their name, reputation and pride stamped on any proposal they make. Mr. Cordish lives and works in Baltimore, so wouldn't he would know what will or will not work?

Mr. Cordish has proved himself to be a winner. His proposal for BCCC was designed to make it successful. There is no greater commitment.

It is a shame that in Baltimore we have so little respect for our home-grown talent and constantly keep reaching outside for dreamers and storytellers, who leave us as soon as the market does not respond to their dream.

Bud Becker


We have research to show the flaws of whole language

In Mike Bowler's Education Beat column ("We need to know what works," May 31), a subhead states "School officials lack solid, scientific data for choosing teaching techniques and materials."

Such statements perpetuate the notion that there is no solid, scientific research in the area of reading.

Phonics-based beginning reading is a set of techniques based on solid research; whole language is a philosophy or belief system without scientific foundation. After adopting whole language statewide, the reading proficiency of California's children fell precipitously.

This was research enough for legislators to effectively outlaw whole language in California.

Proponents may believe that whole language is the most effective strategy for teaching beginning reading. They may believe what they wish, along with those who believe that men have never landed on the moon.

If research by the nation's most prestigious and trusted research facility is not proof enough, it is clear that for some there will never be enough proof.

Teaching our children how to read must be based on scientifically researched, effective methods, not on beliefs.

Robert P. Marino


Why not mover for people from Beltway to city core?

With all the talk about "people movers," extending the Metro and extending the Central Light Rail Line at the cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, didn't any of the pundits at the Mass Transit Administration think about a park and ride at or near the beltway and the Jones Falls Expressway?

During rush hours from approximately 7 a.m to 9 a.m., there must be about 15,000 cars on the JFX. The large number of them exit at St. Paul Street and travel south to Lombard Street to downtown Baltimore. I'm sure many drivers would use MTA if buses left about every 15 minutes to go downtown.

I only wish I could use the MTA to my place of employment, but taking three buses and commuting about an hour and a half isn't convenient at all.

Daniel R. Slaski


Lobbyists become problems when they try to buy votes

Regarding your story ("Gambling interests spend $600,000," June 3) on gambling interests and what their lobbyists spend on members of the General Assembly, readers can get lost. Being a lobbyist is not in itself a bad thing. What's wrong is lobbyists trying to buy what they want: It's a form of bribery.

As you say in your article, Kathleen Skullney, executive director of Common Cause/Maryland, is indeed a lobbyist. But what you left out was the fact that she doesn't give any money or arrange for any money to be given.

The most that Common Cause ever gives legislators is a hard time.

Samuel H. Boyer IV


The writer is a past president of Common Cause/Maryland.

Letters to the Editor

We need to choose heroes who are worthy of praise

It's little wonder our country has seen a decline in morals as evidenced by such conditions as overcrowded jails and children born out of wedlock when we honor as heroes men who live, or have lived, morally corrupt lives.

I am referring to such people as Frank Sinatra, John F. Kennedy (President Clinton's role model), Magic Johnson and Michael Jackson. They have lived "my way" instead of God's way. Their example of hedonistic lifestyles contributes to the breakdown of family life.

The media could help by glorifying celebrities whose good examples would be uplifting instead of worshiping the false gods of our society.

William G. Sturm Sr.


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