Public transportation reinforces the vitality of urban...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 04, 2001

Public transportation reinforces the vitality of urban communities

The subheading of The Sun's editorial "Transportation-land use link" (Feb. 22) states "Strategists should work together to promote smarter development patterns."

The sentence should read "Strategists should work together to promote smarter redevelopment patterns."

Baltimore and its older, close-in suburbs constitute a more promising environment for mass transit, with the population density needed to make a system workable.

Extending mass transit lines into less-densely populated areas is not likely to work, as ridership will never justify the enormous start-up costs.

Further, people in the suburbs typically are not predisposed to think in terms of public transit. Without a critical mass of potential riders, any public transportation system is doomed to failure before it opens.

Smart Growth should mean that every effort is made to utilize existing resources wisely. The infrastructure of the developed urban area already exists: roads, sewers and water lines are already in place.

Why needlessly spoil the countryside with development that is only duplicating what already exists in established urban areas?

And, like it or not, the problems faced by older communities are always inching their way out to the new suburbs.

The success of communities such as Canton and Federal Hill as well as the unheralded tenacity of less glamorous older neighborhoods around the city's periphery demonstrates people's desire to live, work and recreate in the same comm- unity -- and thereby create a sense of place.

The vitality and muscle of urban life can only be enhanced by a safe and efficient public transportation system.

Charles A. Ferraro

Baltimore

Pregnant girls need support from parents

All sides of the abortion debate should agree about notification laws. Even for an adult, facing an unwanted pregnancy is overwhelming. How can we expect a child to face it alone?

Yet the writer of "Notification laws undermine girls' right to choose" (letters, Feb. 19) seems to feel that "the reasoned choice of a young woman" should outweigh a parent's "personal agenda," because few 15-year-olds would choose to raise a child if they understood the responsibilities that involved.

But that's the whole point of parental notification: Children don't understand the responsibilities involved in making such a monumental decision.

Parents must be able to guide and help children during such a vulnerable time.

Susan G. Luecke-Schnuck

Baltimore

Bush's ascendancy did little to inspire trust

Fatigued by the Clinton controversies, the writers of "Thank God we finally have a president we can trust" (letters, Feb. 20) now happily claim that in President Bush they have a man they can trust

Yet the controversies surrounding Mr. Bush's ascendancy hardly inspire confidence. How can one trust a man widely believed to have stolen the election?

And far from being ashamed of this defrauding of democracy, Mr. Bush even sued to block the inclusion of the excluded voters. Thus I'm not surprised that protesters at his inauguration carried placards reading "Hail to the Thief."

Mr. Bush is already opposing women's right to birth control and working people's right to economic justice.

I wonder whether we are witnessing the moral reform the writers imagine, or the death throes of American democracy.

Robert Birt

Baltimore

Investigations of Clinton haven't done us much good

The Sun righteously editorialized that the appearance of impropriety in former President Clinton's pardons should be investigated ("There is no clemency for very bad judgment," Feb 23).

We have had eight years of investigations of such "appearances." How have these witch hunts served the country?

The only benefit I remember is the end of the onerous special counsel statute.

Is it possible that impropriety is in the eye of the beholder?

Nelson Goodman

Shady Side

Reining in its labor costs could revive city's standing

It is refreshing to see Mayor O'Malley's administration trying to rein in the cost's of the city government ("City aching over abuse of paid medical leaves," Feb. 26).

For too long, those in charge of the city have blamed the surrounding counties and the state for all their woes, despite a bloated workforce and a plethora of laws that seemed to be designed only to drive middle-class residents out.

If Baltimore once again is regarded as a responsible neighbor, residents can expect less resistance in Annapolis and perhaps the city will one day regain its footing as the leader of the metropolitan area.

Michael DeCicco

Severn

Victims of Turkish genocide deserve state recognition

Our state legislators are contemplating recognition of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of Turkey in 1915-1916.

At the time, the Turks, fearing that the end of World War I would bring the end of the Ottoman Empire, embarked on a policy of exterminating all non-Turks.

The Armenians of the Ottoman Empire were deliberately massacred or driven out of their ancient homes to "cleanse" Asia Minor of non-Turkic blood. A similar fate later befell Syrian Christians and Greeks.

To remember those people and their ordeal is the least of our responsibilities.

When Hitler was cautioned to the possible international outcry for his planned extermination of the Jews he replied, "Who today remembers the Armenians?"

Let us memorialize the Armenian Holocaust -- and deprive future Hitlers of a platform to stand on.

Christos Georgiades

Baltimore

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