City should welcome Bubba Gump eatery to boost its 0...

Letters to the Editor

July 31, 1998

City should welcome Bubba Gump eatery to boost its 0) downtown

I read with concern many of the letters printed July 20 that expressed opposition to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant at the Power Plant. It is disturbing to me that apparently many of these letter writers lack the ability to accept positive change.

For 13 years, we sought to bring NFL football back to Baltimore. We finally succeeded, and what's the reaction? The public is disappointed in how we acquired our franchise and irked by the costs of a new stadium.

For years, Baltimoreans complained that we were not considered a first-class tourist town and were passed over by franchises like the Hard Rock Cafe. We finally receive a Hard Rock and Baltimoreans think a giant guitar on the skyline is "tacky." Planet Hollywood follows Hard Rock's lead and, suddenly, Baltimore is becoming Hollywood-ized.

The facts are these: New businesses create jobs and money for our downtown economy. They attract tourists. They improve the quality of life for our residents. Only a pie-in-the-sky idealist could believe that the Inner Harbor could grow and thrive as a farmers' market of kielbasa, funnel cakes and snowballs.

Years ago, the National Aquarium was given a chance at success (and its architecture was certainly a departure at the time). Judging by the ticket prices it now charges, the aquarium must be enjoying the benefits of a growing tourist trade as well as local interest.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. has been planned for months. It has followed the rules for development and should be given their chance to prove itself a benefit to our community.

Richard S. Zahn Sr.

Catonsville

As for Bubba Gump, the letters to the editor of July 20 said it all.

Several references were made to the Wyndham hotel, suggesting it was a fait accompli. However, it is not a done deal. Three lawsuits are pending, one of which was just heard by the Court of Special Appeals in Annapolis.

The perpetrators of this east-side sellout would have you believe the big shovel is about to hit the ground. The Waterfront Coalition knows differently, and we are continuing to enlist aid to counter a wrong and damaging project.

Nelson H. Adlin

Baltimore

Now Baltimore can be exactly like other cities across the world, featuring Planet Hollywood and Hard Rock Cafe. Don't bother traveling to Munich, and don't bother going to Mexico. You can experience it right here, just like McDonald's and Wal-Mart.

Why have culture, history and art? Why travel?

Personally, I like to travel to places I've never seen before, places that have a history and feel like no other place on earth. Do the people of Baltimore want Baltimore to become a clone of other "American" cities?

usanna Engvall

Baltimore

Children should not get their day at the races

Sometimes I think The Sun prints articles to specifically get a rise out of me. Such was the case when I read "A birthday at the races" (July 26).

I cannot believe that any parent would consider taking a child to the track. I'm not averse to adults gambling if they choose to do so, and I do understand that some math skills might be taught here. But the larger teaching is what really bothers me.

Do we really want to teach our children that gambling is fun? Do we really want to let our very young children participate in an activity that has led many to addiction and that is illegal for someone their age?

Why not have a birthday at one of the local breweries to see how beer is made? Or perhaps a day trip to R. J. Reynolds Tobacco to see how tobacco is processed into cigarettes?

These are adult realms, not those of children. Let the children be children for just a little while longer.

I wish Pimlico and Laurel would not offer such packages, but the sad truth is that the tracks will do whatever they must to survive. The sadder truth is that there are people who don't see the danger here.

When we are trying to save our children from drugs, from alcohol, from violence, from unprotected and unsanctioned sex, why would we even think to introduce yet another possible pitfall?

Ann E. Regan

Ellicott City

Nursing home residents need better help, volunteers

My mother's eight-year stay in nursing homes has been painful and dehumanizing for her and heart-wrenching for her family. She has suffered numerous injuries, has developed infections, severe bedsores and almost died from dehydration.

My family visits her every day, complains constantly to the staff, the administration and even the state regulatory agency, all to no avail.

If President Clinton wants to improve nursing homes ("Clinton calls for tougher oversight of nursing homes," July 22) by ordering states to make frequent, random checks, I applaud him fervently.

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