Deal to relocate strip club defies fiscal sanity...


March 20, 2001

Deal to relocate strip club defies fiscal sanity

Baltimore City is unlikely to return to fiscal sanity any time soon if it continues to offer sweetheart real estate deals such as the one favored by Mayor Martin O'Malley for the politically active Jackson family that owns the El Dorado Lounge ("City wants to sell site at discount," March 8).

I grant that, after evicting the strip club from the 300 block of W. Baltimore St. to make room for a commercial redevelopment, the city should make reasonable concessions to its owners. But what the mayor is proposing goes far beyond that.

The mayor has offered to sell the Jacksons a vacant city-owned building on South Gay Street, near "The Block" strip-club district, for $50,000, more than a 90 percent discount from the city's $530,000 appraisal of the building.

In addition, the city would pay the Jacksons a total of $450,000 for their building on West Baltimore Street -- double the $225,000 they paid for it only five years ago.

Business leaders have complained that relocating the club to Gay Street would represent a southward spread of The Block and of the presence of pornography in the heart of the city's business district.

The deal raises serious questions of propriety and political pressure, especially as The Sun reported that Sen. Clarence M. Mitchell IV threatened to cut off state funding for the redevelopment project if the city didn't offer the Jacksons more money or more time to move.

Albert E. Denny


Saving a strip club as we raze a memorial

Dan Berger wrote something that greatly saddened me: "Some things are sacred and must be saved at all costs. The El Dorado Lounge, for instance." ("Bergerisms," Opinion Commentary, March 9)

What kind of a town is Baltimore if we go to great lengths to save a strip club, but consider Memorial Stadium an eyesore, a worthless waste of space that no longer has a place in the city?

Please explain to me how anyone can sit back and watch as our city preserves a "gentleman's club" and tears down a poignant reminder of those who sacrificed everything for our country.

Kathleen Lombardi


Sell-out to energy interests will damage our planet

Not only is President Bush's refusal to back restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions by power plants a blatant sell-out to coal interests that donated millions to his campaign, the potential damage to the health of this planet is beyond measure ("Bush drops pledge to limit emissions from power plants," March 14).

Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases that hastens global warming.

Mr. Bush earlier sold out American workers by overturning work rules designed to alleviate repetitive stress injuries to pay off the manufacturer's lobby. Then he paid off the credit card companies by coming out for "bankruptcy reform."

What's next?

Joe Roman


President Bush told the nation he reversed his position on limiting carbon dioxide emissions based on "common sense." Doesn't a deeper common sense tell us not to foul our life-giving planet?

This nation needs common sense born of wisdom more profound than shallow, immediate economic need.

Frederick C. Ruof


Teach kids that strength requires compassion

Finally, somebody is addressing the problem of school bullies ("Time to get serious about bullies" Opinion Commentary, March 13). After the Columbine High School shooting we were told how to deal with violent youth and recognize the troubled teen-agers. But no one mentioned how to deal with bullies and students who harass and intimidate fellow classmates that they see as unacceptable.

There is a mentality that geeks, nerds and losers are deserving of the abuse they endure. But athletic prowess and popularity does not give someone license to harass their fellow human beings.

We all share in the responsibility of teaching children to respect others and that true strength requires compassion, kindness and tolerance.

Monica Murphy


Cartoon linking president to shooting showed bad taste

Mike Lane's March 7 editorial cartoon, depicting President Bush toting six-shooters, established a new low for The Sun.

The attempt to link Mr. Bush, the National Rifle Association and recent school shootings was an ill-advised and tasteless attempt at humor or sarcasm.

To connect the president with random acts of teen-age violence is not only inappropriate, but absurd.

I found this cartoon totally offensive and unworthy of print.

Lloyd L. Temple Jr.


Fighting a war against our kids

A Florida judge slams a 14-year-old boy behind bars for the rest of his life without a chance of parole ("Child who killed girl wrestling gets life," March 10).

A 15-year-old boy who took a gun to school to commit revenge on his tormentors will be tried an adult as are many other kids his age.

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