Losing supermarkets hurts elderly and poor city dwellers...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 16, 2001

Losing supermarkets hurts elderly and poor city dwellers the most

The loss of supermarkets is a major quality of life issue for city residents and, as "Loss of supermarkets hurts seniors" (Nov. 7) points out, disproportionately affects the aged, poor and less mobile.

If national and international grocers want to do business in our city, a portion of their business should be in smaller-format stores. A reasonable requirement might be that they build one smaller-format store for every two megastores.

The city could then target specific neighborhoods, identify surplus properties and parcels and make available tax credits and the like to assist the development of new and locally accessible food stores. This public investment may need guarantees that smaller stores operated by mega-chains charge prices equivalent to those in the large-format stores in the region, so that inner-city residents don't carry an unfair burden.

If we use public monies to create the roads, sewers and services that develop land into endless and (inaccessible) suburban sprawl, why can't we do the same to stabilize (if not grow) the city?

D. Druckman

Baltimore

I recently became a Meals on Wheels volunteer serving West Baltimore.

I quickly wondered how even an able-bodied person without a car could go out and do a few days' grocery shopping, for there are no supermarkets. The task for a senior citizen lacking support would be insurmountable.

So I strongly urge some of the supermarket chains that dot the suburbs to get civic-minded and service the inner-city areas. There might not be room for mega- stores, but some adjusted model could fit.

Access to food should be a right for everyone.

Dorian Borsella

Baltimore

Howard Park needs a new food store

I have lived in Howard Park all of my life and, in fact, my house is right down the street from where the supermarket once was ("Neighbors call for market, not gas station," Nov. 5).

For years my parents and grandparents shopped at that supermarket. And I can still remember my mother sending me up the street to get milk and other things when I was young. That supermarket made life easier not only for my family, but for many families in the area - because it was close by and convenient.

What we need is another supermarket for the elderly and the many hard-working people of our community who have had a supermarket at that location for more than 40 years.

Murphy Edward Smith

Baltimore

O'Malley must finish job he's started in Baltimore

After enduring a do-nothing mayor for many years, our city finally elected an active mayor in Martin O'Malley, who is an intelligent, enthusiastic person trying to do all the right things for Baltimore.

We voted for Mr. O'Malley in good faith to be mayor for at least four years. After two years his work is far from complete, but he's trying hard and has made a good start.

Now some are saying Mr. O'Malley is considering running for governor. He has not denied it. If he does run he would be breaking his promise to be mayor for four years. That was the contract.

Baltimore needs Mr. O'Malley now more than ever. He is still a young man who will mature in office. Let him try to duplicate the enviable record of his predecessor, mayor and governor of Maryland, William Donald Schaefer, who led our city into a new era of prosperity.

Mr. O'Malley should stay put, keep his promise to Baltimore and keep up the good work. We need him.

Philip R. Grossman

Baltimore

Maryland's roadways put all cyclists in danger

The Sun's article "An often dangerous cycle" (Nov. 8) portrayed the dangers suffered by immigrant workers riding bicycles in Howard County, and seemed to suggest that their status as immigrants is an underlying cause of the problems.

Unfortunately, all bicyclists in Maryland are at risk. The state has a transportation infrastructure that forces cyclists onto poorly designed roads and into conflict with motorists and a law enforcement mindset that views assault, harassment and injury to cyclists as a low priority.

Simon Elliott

Baltimore

Treating Islam as our enemy betrays blatant intolerance

According to the letter "The enemy we confront is extraordinarily strong" (Nov. 8): "Our enemy is a belief system held by more than one billion people"

I guess what this writer was saying is that every follower of Islam is a threat to the United States. As a 17-year-old student at the Boys' Latin School, an American-born citizen and a Muslim, I guess I am a threat to my own nation.

Not even in school or among my peers have I heard such intolerance or blatant disregard for one of the world's fastest-growing religions. And it deeply saddens me that our nation, one of the most successful and educated in the world, still has people who can harbor such a hatred.

Jamil Batcha

Hunt Valley

Let old stadium's wall come tumbling down

As a daily walker who often circles the Memorial Stadium demolition site, I have watched the painfully slow process of isolating the memorial facade from the adjoining structure.

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