Creative re-use is revitalizing city's west side The...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 01, 2001

Creative re-use is revitalizing city's west side

The Sun's editorial "West side progresses despite city's delays" (Dec. 21) fails to identify or describe the "breakthrough proposal" that is "being held hostage by historical preservationists." It would be nice to know exactly what it is.

What the editorial does mention is the $56 million renovation of the Hippodrome into a performing arts center; the $54 million conversion of a block of century-old lofts into residences and shops by Bank of America; the $12.3 million redevelopment of the old Hecht's into apartments by Southern Management; the $15 million rehabilitation of nine buildings at Franklin and Howard streets by Blair McDaniels; and the $7 million conversion of the Congress Hotel into the Kernan Apartments by Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse.

All of these projects are or will very soon be going forward. All are being financed in part through the use of historic rehabilitation tax credits, which preservationists fought long and hard to make available to developers.

All are wonderful examples of how the creative re-use of historic buildings can produce unique and exciting projects that can stimulate revitalization.

The Sun's editorial "Bill Struever, Marylander of the Year" (Dec. 17) said admiringly that Mr. Struever "adopts buildings that others have discarded, neglected or marked for destruction. He sees what they want to be, what purpose these abandoned hulks might serve in the communities that surround them. And with single-minded resolve, he helps them fulfill that potential."

That's precisely what is underway in the west side and what the city and state should help to move forward.

Tyler Gearhart

Baltimore

The writer is executive director of Preservation Maryland.

Sun showed its bias in headline on ballots ...

The Sun showed its obvious bias in the misleading headline "Discarded ballots show 130-vote gain for Gore" (Dec. 20).

As the article clearly states, these were ballots where the voters did not follow the clear instructions to mark only one oval.

Mr. Gore should not be credited with clearly illegal votes.

J. Alan Crumbaker

Baltimore...

and in its criticism of Ashcroft's nomination

As always, The Sun's double standard is in full bloom.

In its editorial regarding the attorneygeneral-designee, The Sun calls for the Senate to grill John Ashcroft on civil rights and abortion because he has views which differ from the liberal agenda and his "abysmal" record on these issues calls into question his "fairness" ("Tough questions for nominee Ashcroft," Dec. 27).

Of course, this raises the question: Where was The Sun's call for the Senate to "grill" Attorney General Janet Reno after the Waco disaster, or on Ms. Reno's refusal to appoint an independent counsel to probe Vice President Al Gore's fund-raising or over the horrifying abduction of Elian Gonzalez from his relatives?

Unlike Mr. Ashcroft, who is apparently guilty until proven innocent, The Sun gave Ms. Reno a free ride.

Doug Lombardo

Timonium

Uncompassionate Ashcroft makes Cheney look liberal

How dare the man who strove to earn our trust through his incessant emphasis on being a "compassionate conservative," have the audacity to reach into his ultra-conservative trunk of tricks to deceitfully reveal the form of former Sen. John Ashcroft as his nominee for attorney general.

Mr. Ashcroft's ultra-uncompassionate and unconscionable Senate record makes fiercely conservative Vice President-elect Dick Cheney look like an ultra-liberal.

Leon Peace Ried

BaltimoreThe public is eager to digest a tax cut

The mindset of the mainstream media-big government complex was exposed in the last sentence of Jack Germond and Jules Witcover's column "Tax cut highlights divisions" (Opinion

Commentary, Dec. 22): "Trying to jam a $1.3 billion tax cut down the throat of a sharply divided Congress clearly doesn't fit..."

The notion that a tax cut, or letting people keep more of their hard-earned money, would have to be "jammed" down Congress' throat is truly frightening.

Congress has never demonstrated any inclination or ability to spend money more wisely than those who earn it, and the operative assumption that government has first claim on income is anathema.

Try jamming a tax cut down the throats of the over-taxed citizenry and you'll find them hungry, open-mouthed and quite able to digest the extra cash.

Dave Reich

Perry Hall

Bush's broad appeal shows he belongs in the Oval Office

A final word about election 2000: Apparently most people have overlooked the fact that George W. Bush captured more states than his rival and more counties throughout the 50 states.

True, most of the states Mr. Bush won are the less populous ones with fewer electoral votes. But Democrats who complain that Vice President Al Gore was robbed should take into consideration that Mr. Bush has strong support all across what is known as "America's heartland" as well as the South.

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