Balto. Co. proposal would ensure citizens are better...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 02, 2001

Balto. Co. proposal would ensure citizens are better informed

As someone who, along with the rest of Towson, was blindsided by Baltimore County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger's announcement of plans to expand the main jail in Towson last summer, I applaud Councilman Wayne Skinner's bill requiring earlier preparation of bond documents to allow the separation of public buildings such as a jail on the ballot ("Bills aim to inform public," March 19).

If the framers of the county charter indeed intended that the budget and bond bills be handled at the same time, this bill would ensure this vision is obeyed.

And, by requiring public notification for public projects, Mr. Skinner's bill would prepare residents for what is coming. Had there been such a provision last year, Towson residents would have known the jail expansion was imminent and thus been better equipped to deal with it.

While one Towson resident quoted in the article may feel that Mr. Skinner will not be re-elected in 2002, many of us look forward to him serving a second term.

Considering the parameters Mr. Skinner has to work within, he's done an outstanding job on behalf of Towson on the jail expansion and other projects.

Corinne Becker

Towson

The writer is president of the Riderwood Hills Community Assoc. Inc.

Put your kids on the bus, then enjoy the improved air

Why do so many suburban parents think it's necessary to drive their children to school when school bus transportation is available? ("Some say light rail can be a heavy burden," March 26.)

The purpose of public transportation is to reduce traffic congestion and pollution.

What we need is public support for more efficient public transportation. This would create less frustration and leave the air and bay a lot less polluted.

My advice to the mothers: Put your kids on the bus, have a second cup of coffee and read a book.

It's less stressful, and doing this will help improve air quality.

Alta Haywood

Perry Hall

Eradication plan won't stop drug use or benefit Colombia

Peter Romero's column "Colombia wars won't be another Vietnam for U.S." (Opinion

Commentary, March 23) promotes Plan Colombia, which is designed to interdict drugs and reduce the flow of cocaine to our country. He says the numerous unfavorable reports about Plan Colombia are largely misrepresentations.

But in Colombia, U.S.-backed mercenaries run radar installations, pilot helicopter gunships and spray planes. These planes have decimated coca and food crops alike, forcing peasants into slums in and near cities. With assistance from the paramilitary forces, large landowners will seize much of their abandoned land.

Decades of experience show source-country eradication efforts have no significant effect on U.S. drug use. The Bush administration should end military aid to Colombia and stop aerial crop fumigation.

Instead, we should provide funds for crop substitution for small farmers and work to strengthen the Colombian state.

Kevin Fansler

Havre de Grace

Trashing recycling shows little regard for our future

I am disgusted with the decision by the city to stop curbside recycling ("Costs of reduced recycling weighed," March 25). I can only hope that in the future Baltimore will look beyond its pocketbook when making decisions that affect us all.

When we will learn to think beyond the moment and look into the future?

Barbara McLean

Perry Hall

I usually defend our mayor when his detractors charge he has a "lack of vision." Unfortunately, this is exactly what has driven his decision to suspend our curbside recycling program.

It's past time to wake up to the possibility that doing right for the environment can be a source of opportunity and growth, rather than a burden.

Julie E. Gabrielli

Baltimore

If shop owners had influence, the city would be great again

I read with amusement of Sen. Perry Sfikas' defecting from the comparative negligence bill ("Flood of calls dooms personal injury bill," March 21). Mr. Sfikas claims his switch to a "no" vote was prompted by calls from Italian and Greek restaurant and shop owners.

If the Italian and Greek communities truly had so much power in Baltimore, what a wonderful city we'd have again.

At least, the sidewalks would be swept and the streets cleaned regularly.

Gerardine M. Delambo

Baltimore

Young hit-and-run victim should have been at home

Ramon Thomas, the 15-year-old hit by a car in Cockeysville, is a sad story ("Cockeysville boy dies from injuries suffered in hit-and-run," March 26), But what was a 15-year-old doing out at 2:15 a.m.?

Don't his parents know about the crime in Baltimore County at that hour?

When I was a kid I had to be in by 9 p.m. and in bed by 11 p.m. My, how things have changed.

Richard Nolan

Essex

It's not awnings that scare Lexington Market patrons

It was reassuring to read in The Sun that Lexington Market is to get a "major face lift," but just how realistic is it to attack the "big ugly orange awnings" as the market's major problem ("Lexington Market to get major face lift," March 21).

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