Mr. Kane seems to forget that candidates usually gain more favor from black voters on the basis of their record than on their rhetoric. Ms. Sauerbrey, after the election of 1994, had some uncomplimentary things to say about black voters' ethics and voting habits. Also, her voting record in the House of Delegates did not reflect a sensitivity to the plight and ambitions of black people.
Mr. Kane should applaud his people for being able to stand up when rationally called upon to do so.
Ernest O. Brown
Memorial Stadium at Camden Yards
The most recent candidate for the nane of the NFL stadium is PSINet. What an absolutely horrible name to hang on such a nice-looking structure.
The people of Baltimore, should have the power to name this building, and it should be called Memorial Stadium at Camden Yards.
But we don't have this power. We gave it up when we handed the keys to this $200 million-plus prize to Art Modell for giving us back a football team.
Then, in a move of gratitude and thanks, Mr. Modell decrees that we must pay permanent seat license fees to be able to get a season ticket.
And now, in yet another move to further endear himself to the hearts of Baltimoreans everywhere, the name of the new stadium is up for sale to the highest bidder, no matter how un-pronounceable, un-fitting or downright ugly that name is.
Maybe the next time we are ready to make an out-of-town millionaire an even richer millionaire, we should ask how many more millions he or she will need from us. It is obvious we have not given enough to our local NFL owner.
And if you think that the price our veterans have paid, even up to and including the ultimate sacrifice, is enough for Mr. Modell to consider naming it after them, you are sadly mistaken. Because in his world, obviously, dollars talk, not deeds.
Program with promise falling to bulldozer
Brendan Walsh, Shirley Wise and other community activists have a right to question the Housing Authority of Baltimore City about the demolition of 1,000 renovated public housing units and the waste of millions in public money ("City seeks to raze repaired housing," Nov. 6). I think everyone would be interested in learning how a program that promised so much to poor families has fallen to such a sorry state.
In about 1968, the idea of acquiring and renovating abandoned and/or tax-delinquent property as an alternative to the construction of conventional public housing projects was embraced as a real winner. Cities such as Baltimore and Philadelphia saw it as a way to deal with the growing scourge of vacant rowhouses, a way to supplement urban renewal activities and a way to house low-income families without the stigma attached to living in the projects -- laudable goals.
Start-up numbers in early years were relatively small, and houses were acquired, given a modest face lift and leased to poor families. This turned out to be a problem because damage caused by tenants, combined with latent defects in the properties, created unforeseen and unacceptable operating costs.
In the ensuing years, as the program grew, more attention was given to inspecting units and standardizing plans and specifications on which private contractors could make competitive bids. This led to higher costs that were still considered a reasonable investment, even with inflation over the years, because the units would stand up to hard use and would be easier to maintain. At least this was the theory. According to your story, the inventory of rehabbed houses has grown to 2,800 units, an investment of millions of taxpayer dollars.
In the period I am familiar with (1972-1990), housing managers often expressed frustration with the problems of managing the scattered rehabbed houses. High operating costs drained funds away from conventional housing projects, leases were hard to enforce (particularly as related to occupancy) and despite the "gut rehab" process, endless backlogs of maintenance work overwhelmed the maintenance staff.
The rehabbed houses were popular with tenants, although they were almost always located in marginal neighborhoods, as they are now, with crime, drugs and deterioration. This had more to do with expediency than design because these were areas where the tax delinquent and abandoned properties were readily available and the communities were most accepting of public housing.
Rehabbed houses and other governmental programs to encourage homeownership have not succeeded in stemming the rising tide of vacant housing in the city. But it is hard to understand how this justifies the decimation of low-income housing opportunities for city families that need it.
The conventional wisdom is that white and middle-class people have been fleeing the city in the greatest numbers, leaving the poor, elderly and handicapped behind.
Assuming Section 8 certificates or vouchers for these families are even available, where are the landlords who will accept them? They usually are not required to do so.