Commercial districts are crucial to reviving...


May 16, 2000

Commercial districts are crucial to reviving neighborhoods, city

The Sun's editorial supporting Baltimore's new Main Street program stated that the success of a city is measured by the health of its neighborhoods ("Baltimore's main streets" May 5). I couldn't agree more.

But let me add that the success of the city's neighborhoods is inexorably tied to that of their commercial districts.

It is no accident that neighborhoods like Hampden and Canton, which recently saw their commercial districts revitalized, are now considered "hot spots" for home ownership. Federal Hill is also enhanced by our strong commercial district.

Baltimore's Main Street program will select five commercial districts this year for revitalization. And the continued success of neighborhoods such as Federal Hill will continue to draw people back to the city, while creating economic growth, new jobs and urban revitalization.

I congratulate Mayor Martin O'Malley and all those who have worked so hard to bring the Main Street program to Baltimore.

Sonny Morstein


The writer is president of the South Baltimore/Federal Hill Business Association.

More fund-raising limits would prompt more cheating

The Sun's editorial "Stripping the bark from the money tree" (May 8) decried politicians shaking down donors and laundering their money, then suggested even more restrictions on fund raising -- which they would need to find (and surely would find) ways to get around.

How can The Sun look at what it perceives to be a problem and then prescribe more of the same as its solution?

It would be more honest and open to simply remove all restrictions and limitations on donations (except on foreign contributions), but require full disclosure of the source of the money.

Dave Reich

Perry Hall

In a sea of inhumanity, attack on dog stands out

In the downward spiral of American society, man's inhumanity to man has been exceeded by man's inhumanity to animals.

But the despicable act on May 6 in which a dog was set on fire with lighter fluid is beyond the pale. It is beyond animal cruelty; it is barbarism of the lowest sort ("Dog given 50-50 chance of surviving his burns," May 9).

The poor dog recuperates at the SPCA hospital on Falls Road. He is receiving excellent and compassionate care, but is given a 50-50 chance of survival.

No animal deserves the fate that has befallen him and if the guilty parties are ever caught, the punishment should certainly fit the crime. To charge the perpetrators with a misdemeanor that carries a minor penalty would be to minimize the value of any animal's life.

As a supposedly humane society, we all suffer and are diminished when deeds such as this one are committed against defenseless animals.

Ruth M. Fleishman


To those who set fire to the dog "K.B": We're sending a check to aid the dog's recovery today ... and hoping to be on your jury tomorrow.

Charles Turbett

Ann Turbett

Bel Air

International criminal court could cut abuse of humans

Since the end of World War II, tens of millions of people died from acts of genocide. We have no effective system in place to prevent such atrocities.

But in Rome two years ago more than 100 countries voted for an International Criminal Court. Only seven countries voted against it and the United States was one of them.

The treaty establishing the court should be ratified by 2002; however, the pact would be much stronger with the United States as a member.

It is time for the United States to reassert leadership on human rights, rejoin its allies and sign the treaty creating the International Criminal Court.

Irene Pomory


Moral decay isn't reason for the city's violence

I read Catherine E. Pugh's recent column and was disgusted with the false notion that violence is occurring because of moral decay, lack of self-esteem and a low value placed on life ("Ending violence up to the community," OpinionCommentary, May 8).

As an Afrocentric feminist, I voted for Ms. Pugh for the Baltimore City Council. I will never vote for her again, because she does not represent the black people living in my community.

As I see it, the political system of white supremacy is the reason violence is decaying the fabric of democracy.

Larnell Custis Butler


Put the controversy aside; give Edward Norris a chance

It's over. We've experienced much trauma with the selection of a new police commissioner, again. Charges, counter-charges, fears, suspicions, name-calling -- you name it, we've done it, and the daily dying continues.

It's time to stop arguing, move on and search for solutions to the savageness and sadness.

Edward T. Norris is the man and, come hell or high water, we ought to give him the chance to see if he is, truly, the man for our season.

Step back and give him some time and space to succeed.

McNair Taylor


Some lawyers don't enjoy being stereotyped as mean

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