Payoffs by developers hit more roadblocks in...


August 13, 1998

Payoffs by developers hit more roadblocks in municipalities

Your front-page story ("Money talks for developers to push projects," Aug. 5) gives several examples in two counties with few, if any, incorporated municipalities. Howard and Anne Arundel officials rely on citizen and homeowner associations that may have very local views and often leave no enduring community representation as developers come and go.

Municipalities in counties such as Prince George's, Montgomery and Carroll, do fall victim to sophisticated developer cajolery, but usually offer a wider and more enduring community response. The nuisance and power-sharing they represent to county officials is outweighed by their organized representation of local citizenry and longer term experience with diverse developers.

Municipalities often team up with civic groups and offer county officials a more dependable response on land-use issues. With their better staying power, incorporated municipalities can help run developers (and their attorneys) through a tighter ringer.

We are dealing with our quality of life in Maryland. A consistent squeeze might yield more innovative and community-friendly developments from quality developers.

Richard Padgett


Does Yankees fan deserve to have opinion on Ripken?

Regardless of my opinion of Cal Ripken, as an Orioles fan I am at least entitled to one. As a Yankees fan, however, Jim Westwater has no right to an opinion on the subject ("Time to end The Streak," Aug 2).

Two decades from now when Mr. Ripken is 60, Mr. Westwater's running comparisons will have some validity; right now, they are irrelevant.

On the other hand, I can understand why a Yankees fan doesn't want to see Mr. Ripken playing for the Orioles. I just can't understand why he thinks any Orioles fan would care what he has to say.

Ricky Beyer


People care about scandal, although the media don't

The people of the United States are not apathetic about sex scandals or about our presidents lying to us about them. Our "moral slide" is, in large measure, a media fabrication. Most of us do care.

Witness the exit of Bob Packwood from the U.S. Senate; the near-defeat of Clarence Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court, based entirely on an allegation of sexual misconduct; and the amount of newspaper ink and television and radio air time devoted to the various alleged sex scandals of President Clinton.

The apathy is solely a media apathy toward any and all Bill Clinton scandals. The media, dominated by the president's apologists, do not want to see the scandals exposed because once exposed, Mr. Clinton will have to go.

William J. Scanlon Jr.

Ellicott City

We have lost our sense of what is important

Your front page of August 6 truly reflects what is happening in our country today. There is a photo of supporters of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, celebrating the government's calling off disarmament talks with the United Nations, an event that has enormous potential for dire consequences in the future. Want to know the details? See page 10A, deep inside the paper.

Right next to the front-page photo, in the key right-hand column, is the headline "Starr turns to key witness." It's not necessary to have to hunt for the details; they are right there. Need any further proof that we have truly lost our sense of what is important for our country?

Jerry Weiner


Teachers unfairly paired with unethical lawmakers

Talk about mixing apples and oranges. The Sun's editorial ("Legislative ethics under fire in Annapolis," Aug. 6) had the effrontery to equate the unsavory activities of Larry Young and Gerald J. Curran (profiting from business dealings and contracts through misuse of their public offices) with the gains made by public school teachers in pension plan reform.

Where was the public trust compromised in the latter? Since when do we compare unethical practices and possible corruption of elected positions with the legal rights of state certified employees to lobby for the betterment of a pension system that placed its members near, if not at, the bottom among states?

If achieving some degree of equity openly does not sit well with some who represent themselves as watchdogs of the taxpayers' purse, at least it was not accomplished through the unscrupulous means employed by the aforementioned disgraced senator and delegate dealing in back-room politics.

Earl Myers

Bel Air

Baggage security on the rise with more police at BWI

In response to Walter Boyd's letter to the editor, I would like to assure your readers that baggage security is important to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. As your newspaper recently reported, luggage thefts and pickpocketing incidents have decreased despite a rising number of passengers at BWI.

The Maryland Transportation Authority Police Department, which is responsible for law enforcement at BWI, has increased its presence at the airport.

That strategy, along with passengers being increasingly mindful security, appears to deter such incidents.

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