Appalled that city continues to set homicide records As a...

SATURDAY'S MAILBOX

January 09, 1999

Appalled that city continues to set homicide records As a longtime resident and property owner, I am appalled at the murder rate in Baltimore City.

While other cities such as New York have found successful ways to reduce murder and other major crimes, Baltimore keeps claiming new records. The mayor, police commissioner and City Council need to wake up and begin implementing changes that will make Baltimore a place where people want to live.

It is inexcusable for this to be happening. More needs to happen to reduce drug traffic, increase treatment for addicts and return law and order to this city.

Probably when drug traffic is reduced, the rate of sexually transmitted diseases will be reduced, and Jay Leno will need to find another source for his monologue.

Lissa Abrams

Baltimore

Skinner preservation measure deserves the county's support

As a member of Historic Towson Inc., I applaud Councilman Wayne Skinner's initiative to introduce a resolution in the next few months calling for a committee to be set up to study historical preservation in Baltimore County ("Baltimore County Council eliminates right to appeal historic property changes," Jan. 5).

Not every old building should be preserved, but without a set of criteria and a plan, preservation in the county is guided by developers and politicians.

Why preserve? It is a connection to our past. Preserved buildings also give us a unique identity that no other city or town has. Historical buildings are irreplaceable and valuable to the community as potential tools for education and tourism.

I'd like to see County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger support Mr. Skinner's resolution and show the people of Baltimore County that he is a sincere friend of preservation.

Teri L. Dorsey

Towson

George Will's columns becoming more boring

As I tried to grasp exactly what point George Will was rambling on about this time ("Chaos in Washington, but the nation rolls on "Jan 6), I couldn't help but feel that another Bergerism should be added to the list:

"George Will really has one topic. He hates Bill Clinton and the Democrats. Too bad it takes him hundreds of words to say it each week."

I suppose Mr. Will doesn't consider the additional police that the president budgeted for to be a crime deterrent, and perhaps he eavesdrops around the Democrats' congressional cloakrooms to gauge their level of resentment of the president.

Mr. Clinton's first attempt at health care reform failed because of a Republican House that was very generously rewarded by health care political action committees. These are the same Republicans who, coincidentally, refuse to address their pledge to reform campaign financing.

For him to recite from such publications as American Enterprise and the New Republic demonstrates how desperate Mr. Will is these days to come up with material.

I wonder if he or the newspapers that publish his increasingly boring columns ever considered that he is at least partially responsible for the drop in total newspaper circulation ?

Give him complete credit for my not buying a Sun for the rest of the week.

Dave Norton

Pasadena

Population explosion at root of problems

The Dec. 27 KAL-toon and the follow-up letter by Nelson Hyman on Jan. 1 offer an excellent opportunity to continue the discussion on the world's population.

As we prepare to enter into the new millennium, let's take the time to openly discuss how our exponentially increasing numbers are affecting the quality of our lives.

The Sun contains almost daily accounts of clogged roads and overflowing schools, encroaching development, air and water pollution and the accompanying changes in our own behavior, declining moral standards, rage and isolationism.

Incredibly, very little ink is used to cover the root issue, what is quite literally the mother of all our problems: our own mushrooming population.

Doug Ebbert

Bel Air

U.S. company capitalizes on basmati's good name

I was glad to see the attention given to diverse cultural foods ("Variety: the spice of rice," Jan. 6).

Your article on rice refers to RiceTec Inc.'s varieties of aromatic rice, such as basmati grown in the United States and the huge market for it.

You failed to mention, however, that RiceTec has received a patent for the name "basmati" for its version of this rice grown in Texas. The original basmati is grown in the foothills of the Himalayas. By the company's own accounts, the rice grown here does not match the original product. That's enough reason not to buy its product: Why settle for less when we can have the best? Yet in the name of expanding the market's taste for better flavor, RiceTec harms many farmers in India who have lost the right to export using the basmati name that has been part of Indian culture for centuries.

I wonder if your readers are aware of this corporate piracy of names that are an integral part of the culture of developing countries and have been for centuries.

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