Plaza's rebirth gives Northwest Baltimore a welcome...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 10, 2001

Plaza's rebirth gives Northwest Baltimore a welcome boost

The announcement that Home Depot will be building a new store at Reisterstown Road Plaza is wonderful news for our community, Northwest Baltimore and our city ("Plaza upgrade," editorial, Oct. 31). The overhaul and renovation of the plaza is long overdue and critical to the continued success of the northwest city area.

A new Home Depot and the investment it represents for our community is analogous to hitting the lottery. Not only will a renovated plaza provide jobs, tax revenue, quality shopping venues, restaurants and a gathering place for our senior citizens, but it also will likely provide a new supermarket for our diverse population.

And Home Depot's history of community involvement is what our neighborhood schools have been missing. We hope other businesses will follow its lead.

The city's northwest communities have worked closely with Continental Realty Corp. on plans for the plaza, along with our City Council members to assure it meets the needs and concerns of residents. What we need now is to make sure the operational issues associated with a new plaza (i.e. police protection, traffic, lighting, landscaping and tenant selection) get the same attention to guarantee the project's success.

We have many people to thank for this project, especially Mayor Martin O'Malley for his continued effort to make Baltimore more marketable to new investment.

Eric J. Benzer

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Cross Country Improvement Association.

Pikesville area confronts development challenges, too

The Sun's editorial "Plaza upgrade" (Oct. 31) aptly summarizes the challenges - and successes - facing Pikesville.

Baltimore County's commercial revitalization effort is having difficulty attracting national businesses anywhere inside the Beltway. But new investments by Target and Giant help persuade other large companies to look beyond their artificial "red line." Meanwhile, more than a dozen smaller businesses in Pikesville have taken advantage of more than $5 million in county loans and incentives to improve and upgrade their properties.

And efforts by developers to recoup higher land cost by overbuilding lower-cost townhouses and apartments unnecessarily compete with existing, traditional neighborhood housing sales.

I encourage new, higher-income single-family housing to meet strong demand in the area. This, along with an ample supply of new housing for the over-55 population, will provide the greatest stability.

Kevin Kamenetz

Towson

The writer represents the 2nd District on the Baltimore County Council.

Anti-terrorism law hands our attackers a victory

The purpose of terrorism is to instill fear, interrupt life and take away freedom. On Sept. 11, an attack was made on the United States, but we are a resilient people. The response, although mixed with grief and sorrow over what had happened, was that the American people were filled with resolve and determination and showed they would not be kept down.

Then, several weeks later, things changed. A law was passed that clinched what the terrorists couldn't do themselves ("Bush signs anti-terror bill giving broad new powers," Oct. 27).

This law took away our American freedom. It gives police the right to read our e-mail, open our letters, tap our phones, search our homes and seize our possessions without our ever even knowing it.

The government is supposed to protect us, but this law could easily be used against us and takes away our Fourth Amendment rights. And since there is no date for it to end, there is no provision for these things to stop, even after the war against terrorism is over.

Our freedom has been taken away. It seems to me that the terrorists have accomplished their goal.

Polly Tomlinson

Randallstown

New law threatens to create police state

I hope every thinking subscriber to The Sun has read Susan Goering's column "Anti-terrorism act imperils liberties" (Opinion

Commentary, Oct. 30).

In the interest of fighting terrorism, we are in real danger of becoming a police state, and it's terrifying.

Eleanor N. Lewis

Baltimore

Failing to protect borders puts our future in peril

It's good that U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is demanding that the State Department and law enforcement become partners in eliminating the terrorist threat within our borders ("U.S. cracking down on immigration," Nov. 1). But he needs to do much more.

More than 8 million illegal immigrants reside in the United States. Apparently, there is no accounting for their identity or whereabouts.

While the Immigration and Naturalization Service has come under fire, it is not to blame for the entire immigration debacle. The guilt must be shared by Congress, immigrant advocacy groups, churches and businesses seeking foreign, cheap labor.

Any country that won't protect its sovereignty, control its borders or limit its foreign-born population is doomed.

It's time we woke up to the betrayal of our welfare and our children's future.

Rosalind Ellis

Baltimore

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