Parks where city dogs can romp help sustain middle-class...


November 08, 2001

Parks where city dogs can romp help sustain middle-class enclaves

The Sun's article on the ongoing debate on unleashed dogs at Robert E. Lee Park failed to mention that there are significant numbers of middle- and upper-income folks who remain city residents solely because of the community of dog-walkers in parks such as Robert E. Lee, Herring Run and Patterson ("Leashes become a bone of contention," Oct. 30).

Just look at where the pockets of middle-income neighborhoods are sustained in the city; they all surround the parks frequented by dog-walkers.

As someone who fled the city years ago after repeated run-ins with its animal control staff, I sympathize with the regulars at Robert E. Lee Park. This park seemed the last safe city haven where city dogs could exercise without the constraint of a 6-foot leash.

Although I continue to move further into the suburbs, I am still dodging park rangers, paying fines, hiking the trails after dark and doing whatever else is necessary to ensure that my dog has his hour or two of unleashed time every day.

I realize that many, if not most, people consider such behavior absurd, but I am not alone. My fellow canine supporters are out there, looking over their shoulders, while their dogs run free.

Until we organize and demand open space, we will remain criminals, ever vigilant of the law.

Mark P. Orth

Owings Mills

Mayor chooses stadiums over community planning

After meeting with the mayor on Halloween afternoon, it is quite evident he feels that the disintegration of a community and destruction of an urban forest takes second place to helping a non-taxpaying institution, Loyola College, build sports complexes ("Loyola land acquisition for athletic fields OK'd," Nov. 2).

Elected to serve the citizens of Baltimore, the mayor has instead chosen to back an environmentally destructive development project and oppose real, comprehensive community planning.

Myles Hoenig


The writer is a member of the Woodberry Planning Committee.

Putting secular law before canons of faith

A court decision regarding an Episcopal parish would probably not attract quite so much attention if it did not reveal the deterioration of church-state separation and the folly of what passes for religion in these United States ("Court ousts Episcopal priest in Md.," Oct. 30).

For Bishop pro tem Jane H. Dixon, secular law comes before scripture, since she asked a civil court to rule on her dispute with Christ Church. Secular law came before canon law as well, since she filed charges in an ecclesiastical court but was either too impatient or not sufficiently confident in the outcome to wait.

It would seem faith took a back seat to secular law as well, as Christian charity, in the guise of a "period of reconciliation," which "as Christians ... we're commanded to work toward," will come only now, after the decision of a secular court.

Ms. Dixon allowed a chink in the wall separating church and state to form. And she, along with the Episcopal Church hierarchy, revealed once again why attendance in mainline parishes continues to fall.

Steven M. Rouzer


Half-measures won't win the war in Afghanistan

As a former special operations soldier in the U.S. Army, I am deeply concerned that the military strategy in Afghanistan has been one of half-measures. I am reminded of my friends who came home from Somalia in body bags because of similarly irresolute strategies. I thought we'd learned a hard lesson from that debacle.

We still have time to rethink the current strategy and, to be sure, we are fighting a war without precedent. But the strategy thus far looks all too familiar.

Now is the time for overwhelming force.

John D. Nazelrod


The enemy we confront is extraordinarily strong

One can only hope our government does not share The Sun's view that we are "waging war against one of the weakest powers on earth" ("Bigger fish than missiles," editorial, Nov. 2). Our enemy is a belief system held by more than one billion people that is extraordinarily powerful.

The focal figure in this conflict, Osama bin Laden, has managed to galvanize a very large portion of the Islamic world against us and the rest of the West. To think we can change the ideals of this system by dropping bombs on those they consider heroes is a sad mistake.

Our CIA has managed to topple dozens of regimes clandestinely - perhaps we should leave it to CIA agents to infiltrate and ultimately topple the machinery and the fanatics behind this horror story.

Peter Stewart


Corporate tax cuts won't give economy the boost it needs

Is anyone else aghast at the tax giveback legislation passed by the Republican House of Representatives? Billions of dollars would be returned to needy corporations such as General Electric and General Motors ("Boosting the economy with good sense," editorial, Nov. 5).

If Congress believes the country can use a shot in the arm, as I do, let it return more to those who need the dollars and will spend them on consumer goods.

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