Retirement village at stadium will be a national modelBy...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 09, 1999

Retirement village at stadium will be a national model

By choosing our affordable retirement community to redevelop the Memorial Stadium site, Baltimore's leadership is setting an excellent example for the nation on two scores. ("Memorial Stadium's last Memorial Day?" May 30).

First, the mayor is setting a precedent by using a residential model to replace a stadium in a residential neighborhood. Second, the project makes Baltimore the first city in the nation to develop an affordable retirement community.

The "Stadium Place" retirement village planned by Govans Ecumenical Development Corp. (GEDCO) will be a national model for urban living.

It addresses the need for good jobs, housing and care for seniors, youth activities and a strong tax base. We will provide 180 permanent jobs. The apartments and homeownership cottages for seniors, and our small businesses, will generate more than $400,000 in taxes annually.

The YMCA of Central Maryland will provide day care, a summer camp, teen programs and recreational activities for people of all ages.

With our partners, Union Memorial Hospital and the Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Education, we will provide social and health services to the seniors living on our campus.

We also plan a tribute to veterans of the world wars -- a memorial that will be planned in consultation with local veterans groups, the mayor, the housing commissioner, the neighborhoods and other community members.

Our vision of a retirement community was overwhelmingly favored by the communities around the stadium. It will stabilize the surrounding neighborhoods by making the area an attractive place to live.

The Rev. John R. Sharp, Balimore

The writer is president of GEDCO's board of directors.

State GOP reaches out to Independents and others

At the Maryland state Republican convention, an initiative was passed to allow independents to vote in the 2000 Republican primary election ("State GOP approves open primary," May 23). Its passage demonstrates that the Republican Party is open-minded and willing to welcome new members.

Independents who typically do not have candidates to vote for during the primary will now be invited to vote in the Republican primary.

I supported this initiative because it will help bring people into the electoral process, which is always a positive thing, especially in a presidential election year.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan won the presidency by being inclusive and welcoming moderate Democrats. He understood that to win and, more importantly, to lead the nation, it is necessary to build coalitions and bring people together.

In a state that has been governed by one party for more than 50 years, many people's views have not been adequately represented. Many moderate Democrats and independents in Maryland are willing to work with Republicans because they are tired of liberal Democrats' policies.

The Republican Party welcomes those who share our ideals to join with us and help move the state forward.

Jim Ports Jr., Baltimore

The writer represents the 8th District in the Maryland House of Delegates.

State should stop subsidizing suburbs

In reply to Nelson Hyman's letter ("Running down Smart Growth," June 5), I have no problem with affluent Marylanders living in the suburbs, even though I prefer to live in the city.

My problem is that residents of these developments seldom pay their true costs. The state is constantly supplying money for infrastructure expenses, school construction and roads, which enables the counties to maintain ridiculously low tax rates.

If the true cost of sprawl were reflected in housing costs and tax rates, perhaps it could be minimized in the first place.

Phyllis Sachs, Baltimore

It's a great trail, if you can get to it

Two years ago, the residents of historic Franklintown, on the western edge of Leakin Park, requested help from Baltimore City to control speeding on Franklintown Road.

Since the understaffed police force is unable to monitor the road adequately, we asked for speed humps.

Other neighborhood organizations endorsed our request, but the situation has only gotten worse.

As The Sun mentioned in its editorial "The city's wilderness trail" (June 6), the city has opened a wonderful new biking and hiking trail in Leakin Park just as it has detoured the traffic from Windsor Mill Road to Franklintown Road, which parallels the new trail and is the main access to the western end of this showpiece.

The only safe way to reach this bike trail is by car. With hundreds of cars speeding past at more than 40 miles per hour in both directions, one would be a fool to ride to the trail on Franklintown Road, especially with children.

Isn't it strange to create a facility in Leakin Park, invite the citizens to use it, then make access to it hazardous?

What kind of planners are the taxpayers of this city paying?

Garry F. Cerrone, Baltimore

Of cement trucks and concrete trucks

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