Using Caldor building will save money, revive...


March 27, 2001

Using Caldor building will save money, revive neighborhood

The Baltimore County Council deserves credit for approving the acquisition of the former Caldor building at 6401 York Road in Anneslie for use as a government office building ("County OKs deal to lease building for office space," March 20).

This is an extraordinarily beneficial transaction for citizens and employees for three important reasons largely overlooked in media coverage of this issue:

The county will lease the building (at below-market rates) during this summer's renovations, then purchase the Caldor building for $19 million (a below-appraisal price).

Taxpayers will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars less each year to own this facility than they now pay to lease space at the Investment Building in Towson.

A better work environment for about 1,000 state and county employees. The Investment Building has been beset with problems caused by poor maintenance and engineering. The Caldor building will be completely renovated and retrofitted into a clean, bright, fresh facility.

Positive impact on older neighborhoods in the county and Baltimore City. It is truly Smart Growth to reuse a vacant building in an older community. The activity generated by this building will strengthen the area and support existing businesses in both the city and the county.

I am pleased and proud that Baltimore County and the state have found such a positive solution to a difficult problem.

C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Towson

The writer is county executive of Baltimore County.

Flag-burning amendment doesn't threaten free speech

A recent Sun headline reported, "U.S. flag amendment reintroduced in Congress" (March 14).

The bill was defeated last year in the Senate by four votes. But veterans groups and 49 state legislatures favor a constitutional amendment banning flag-burning.

The resolution would not infringe on our free speech. Americans can speak out on any subject. But physical flag-burning is not speech and should not be condoned.

Bill Arwady, Towson

U.S. Navy insists sailors comply with rules of the sea

The front-page article "Sharing the sea with the Navy" (March 18) was another biased Sun feature that slams one of our nation's finest institutions.

The reporter missed the mark in suggesting the U.S. Navy operates under a different set of rules from the rest of the sea-going world. This is simply an opinion and not a fact. Navy training from day one insists on strict compliance with the inland and international rules of the road.

Also, groundings and collisions while refueling as examples of increased Navy arrogance have nothing to do with the feelings of fishermen and merchant captains about Navy ship operations.

If the few seamen the reporter interviewed have such strong feelings about the U.S. Navy, I suppose that is their right.

It's most unfortunate, however, that both sides of the story were not told.

Lawrence R. Magner, Baltimore

The writer is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy.

Lieberman's reversals merit no applause

It truly amazes me that The Sun can praise Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman with a straight face for going back to his true self ("On his own again," March 15).

While campaigning with Al Gore, Mr. Lieberman said he was in favor of affirmative action and against school vouchers and softened his attacks on Hollywood.

Yet The Sun had the gall to call his two-faced behavior "modifying his positions," instead of what we all know it was -- plain and simple lying for his own advancement.

Gail Householder, Marriottsville

Ferron's fine photos turn spring training into an art

The Sun's excellence in local photography, which goes back at least a half-century to A. Aubrey Bodine, reached a new high in the Orioles portfolio produced by Karl Merton Ferron ("In the Swing of Spring," March 18).

Mr. Ferron's Oriole moments are a treat for the mind and eye. Like a realistic painter with a sense of abstract design, he transformed spring training into an art form not previously seen in the pages of The Sun or beyond.

Bennard Perlman, Baltimore

Restrictions on guns only disarm law-abiding citizens

Helen Thomas' column "Maybe `Mothers Against Guns?'"(Opinion

Commentary, March 19) exposed why people in favor of stricter gun control no longer have a voice heard by lawmakers and leaders.

Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) never pushed for legislation banning cars or liquor. MADD asked for stricter detection and penalties for drunken driving, not law-abiding driving.

Gun-control advocates continue to fight against law-abiding gun ownership and concealed carry of firearms for self-defense. They refuse to acknowledge that guns, in the proper hands, save lives.

While Ms. Thomas clings to her bizarre interpretation of our Second Amendment, she ignores our right to support lawmakers who agree that Draconian gun laws only disarm law-abiding victims.

Charles Guggenheimer, Baltimore

Helen Thomas' column begged for a law to ban guns "near public schools.""

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