Action needed now to clean drug corners, unclog city's...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 09, 2000

Action needed now to clean drug corners, unclog city's courts

Some in the complacent bureaucracy and judiciary, accustomed to the well-meaning sloth of the city's prior regime, complain of Mayor Martin O'Malley's impatience in hustling them forward on the linked issues of crime and drug use.

One suggestion: Make them read and commit to memory Kurt Streeter's article "Risking their lives to save their street (Feb. 27).

Let them learn the names Clayton Guyton, Elroy Christopher, Kelly Brown, and Vincent Richardson; they are three heroes and one heroine, at a time when such citizens are in short supply.

Their fearlessness, dedication, and sacrifice over long, desperate years were critical in restoring to tenuous health just one of the hundreds of poisoned blocks in our wounded city.

We are indebted to Mr. Streeter's recounting of their daily struggles; his taut story was at once chilling and inspiring.

Thoughtful Baltimoreans lucky enough to live far different lives know, as does as our young, energetic mayor, that the clock ticks. Not for too much longer can there be a safe disconnect between the halves of our divided town.

There are countless more corners like Rose and Ashland streets to be reclaimed.

The mayor's hurry to do so is more than appropriate; it is critical to our cherished city's survival.

Milton Bates

Baltimore

Why doesn't Judge Martha Rasin just "do it now" -- place a judge in Central Booking starting next week ("Judiciary defended by Rasin," March 1)?

If she is as devoted to our city as she says, then let's see some action on behalf of the citizens of Baltimore, now.

It's high time judges got over their dislike of evening, weekend and holiday work.

Others who have devoted their lives to public service (health care professionals, policemen, firemen) expect to work such hours. Why not judges?

Susan W. Talbott

Baltimore

Bill mapping group homes is unfair to the disabled

I was appalled to read the bill introduced by Del. Tony Fulton that would require the Maryland Office of Planning to prepare an annual color-coded map of group homes in the state.

The goal is to ensure disabled individuals and others do not "unduly interfere with the use and enjoyment of residential property" or "unreasonably threaten the health and safety of residents."

Apparently, in Mr. Fulton's view, somewhere along the way, those with disabilities lost the right to be residents.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court sees things differently, as evidenced by its recent decision which affirmed the right of individuals with disabilities to live in the community.

Legal experts who have reviewed the bill believe its intent violates federal fair housing law. The bill should be rejected on that basis alone.

Few among us can look within our families and not find someone touched by disability. All these folks are asking is to be a part of the community.

Linda Raines

Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Mental Health Association of Maryland Inc.

We must do more, faster to help disaster victims

Watching the frantic efforts of flood victims in Mozambique to save themselves and their children brought tears.

The sight of people clinging to rooftops, trees and floating debris, finally weakening and losing their grip and slipping silently underwater was overwhelming.

I, for one, have been shocked beyond measure and wish so much that I could reach down and save just one child.

The demand by neighboring countries for payment before dispatching help is surely the abyss of cruelty.

What has happened to our world that we stand by and watch what was once merely a river now stretch to the horizon and swallow up a nation's people?

As natural disasters of increasing magnitude occur around the world, the incalculable wealth of industrialized nations should create the will and means to develop well-equipped international instant response rescue teams.

Henry L. Blum

Baltimore

County should stop overcrowding Timonium

As the past president of the Pot Spring Community Association in Timonium, Maryland and a member of the Greater Timonium Community Council, I would like to ask Baltimore County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger to take a hard look at what has transpired in Timonium over the past two years and call a moratorium on more business-retail development.

We are saturated with strip shopping centers, new gas stations, car dealerships and fast food restaurants, to say nothing of the Target store to open in July 2000 on land that was owned by Baltimore County and sold to the developer of this huge store.

We now have Home Depot, Office Depot, Sam's, Applebee's, the Macaroni Grill; the list goes on and on.

To rub salt in the wound, a new huge Cinema Theatre, with a 1,000 car parking lot on Padonia Road, is being requested. What's wrong with the Hoyt Cinema at Hunt Valley?

I must be dreaming, and it's not a pleasant dream. In fact, it's more like a nightmare to travel York Road every day.

Margaret F. DiNardo

Timonium

Religious conservatives stand up for our core values

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