Preservation efforts help revitalize many city...


November 22, 2001

Preservation efforts help revitalize many city neighborhoods

It is ironic that The Sun printed an article blaming preservationists for a delayed hotel ("Downtown parcels sit, wait for funding," Nov. 15) the day after the mayor and other dignitaries attend a celebration of Montgomery Park, the largest preservation project currently underway in Baltimore ("Revitalization project," Nov. 15).

Once again preservationists are cast as obstructionists, yet preservation projects are the most successful developments taking place in Baltimore City. The American Can Company and Tide Point anchor Baltimore's Digital Harbor.

Elsewhere downtown, five major adaptive re-use projects are converting a department store, a former hotel, two high-rise office buildings and an old YMCA building into market-rate housing. Revitalization is taking place along Baltimore's historic main streets, and nearly all of its most sought-after residential neighborhoods are designated historic districts.

It is time for The Sun to pay more attention to the positive accomplishments of historic preservation, rather than regurgitating unfounded statements concerning an ill-advised, poorly conceived and under-financed project by a misguided, suburban-based developer.

Fred B. Shoken


Congress should study shortage of flu vaccine

It is unfortunate that enough flu shots aren't available for those who are at the greatest risk ("Say ouch and avoid the bug," Nov. 14). This is the same problem we had last year and still no improvement - in fact the situation is worse.

It seems the suppliers are asleep at the switch. We should wake them up.

Hello, representatives in Washington: Where are the hard questions as to why the problem persists?

John L. Grumbach


The `Hollywood treatment' of bin Laden shows bad taste

What an utterly tasteless piece crept into the Nov. 14 Sun ("Giving Osama the Hollywood treatment"). Congratulations on reaching new lows in both good manners and journalistic discretion.

The "star" of that tongue-in-cheek piece, after all, is a mass murderer of nearly unprecedented proportions, and yet The Sun perkily contributes to the cult-of-the-personality dynamic that our society attaches so readily to all newsmakers, good or bad.

Do you truly understand the deep revulsion felt toward the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks? I know The Sun doesn't run light-hearted pieces about local cop killers or carjackers; bin Laden has brought about suffering on a scale several thousand times greater than such individual criminals do, yet somehow he is fair game for such an ill-considered piece.

Ask yourselves this: Would you have written and run this story in a New York City daily, where thousands of people more directly affected by Sept. 11 would read the story at their breakfast tables, in their living rooms, on the subway?

Do you think they would find the piece at all funny, or cathartic, or anything at all but insensitive? Do you think Sun readers would? This reader sure didn't.

Christopher J. Doherty


Could anyone stomach an O.J. trial for bin Laden?

In his column "No regrets on liberties," Opinion Commentary, Nov. 16), Jules Witcover joins the hysterical overreaction to the decision to permit trials by military tribunal for foreign enemies who commit acts of war against the United States.

Mr. Witcover implies this action somehow impairs our rights as citizens of the United States. But if this action by President Bush's team has no other beneficial effect, it may at least prevent the spectacle of a captured Osama bin Laden being defended at great length by one or more of America's most outlandish lawyers (Alan Dershowitz? Johnnie Cochran?).

Who among us could stomach that outcome? A military tribunal is far preferable.

Robert E. Venkus

Ellicott City

Mailman's kindness shows us how to be good neighbors

Thanks so much for putting such a positive article on the front page about a mailman giving a person on his route a kidney ("A very special delivery," Nov. 10).

Small towns and close communities are very special places. It would be great if our city could take the same interest in our neighbors and friends.

Dianne Beil


Saving school matters more than beautifying the basilica

As a good Catholic of more than 70 years, I am upset that the church hierarchy would even consider renovating the basilica before repairing the historic St. Alphonsus-Basilica School ("School's days dwindle," Nov. 4).

Jesus came to serve people, especially children, not churches. Please get our priorities right.

Agnes McAvinue


Oprah's Book Club encourages reading ...

In his article "Oprah Winfrey and Franzen: One snit begets yet another" (Nov. 11), Michael Pakenham makes several misrepresentations of Oprah's Book Club. The book club is about books; it is not about probing an author for facts about his or her private life, nor is it about trivializing or humiliating authors or exploiting the issues they raise.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.