Give the taxpayers a chance to rename PSINet Stadium...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 02, 2002

Give the taxpayers a chance to rename PSINet Stadium ...

The Sun's article about the Ravens' pending settlement with PSINet Inc. on the stadium name renewed the animosity I feel toward greedy sports moguls and arrogant government officials ("Ravens poised for replay of stadium name game," Jan. 24).

As one of the Maryland taxpayers whose taxes paid for the construction of both the football and baseball stadiums, I am outraged that the Maryland Stadium Authority usurped the citizens' right to name the stadiums.

The Maryland Stadium Authority gave the naming rights to the Ravens without first asking citizens of Maryland. Then it had to pay Peter G. Angelos $10 million because it didn't give him the same rights as the Ravens.

Somehow, government leaders, politicians and agency heads have grown to feel that they have the right to spend our tax dollars without taxpayer consent, approval, or even some public input. They feel that taxpayers exist for the sole purpose of providing finances.

It is about time they came to realize that government and politicians only exist because of the taxpayers and their generosity. We taxpayers are the state. Maryland citizens have the right to name, or sell the naming rights of, any sports buildings that our tax dollars have paid to build.

It is time to right a wrong. Give taxpayers back their right to name or to sell the naming rights to both stadiums, now.

Ron Parsons

Glen Burnie

... and make the complex a new tribute to veterans

The demise of the Ravens-PSINet stadium deal ("Ravens poised for replay of stadium name game," Jan. 24) and the imminent fall of the memorial wall on 33rd Street opens a great opportunity for the city of Baltimore, the Maryland Stadium Authority, the local business community and the Ravens.

Rather than trying to find one large company to spend $100 million, they should find 20 local companies that will spend $5 million each to turn the stadium into a fitting memorial to honor those once remembered on 33rd Street.

Contributing companies would be able to associate their names with a worthy civic project, and this would be appreciated by local customers.

The time is right for local government and business (including sports teams) to honor those who have fallen (and those who will fall) to protect their enterprises. The best advertising money that could be spent would be to create a Memorial Stadium at Camden Yards.

Ron Hammans

Lusby

With the decline of PSINet it appears that "our" stadium will be looking for a new name. To me, there is a very easy and proper answer to the question of what it should be: Memorial Stadium.

Before the Modell family goes through a whole bunch of trouble looking at all the new contracts, will someone please relay this basic information to them? And make sure that they hear you speak, directly and clearly, into their wallets.

Jeff Crockett

Halethorpe

It's far too late to rewrite state's contract with Angelos

In his Jan. 21 column, Dan Rodricks again complains about the fee the state agreed to pay Peter G. Angelos.

The arrangement was made with Mr. Angelos because he was the low bidder. The agreed fee was 25 percent of any award received. If there was no award, Mr. Angelos was to receive nothing for the thousands of hours of work done and the expenses incurred by his office.

Mr. Rodricks now wants to change the fee from a contingent fee to an hourly rate. Would he favor such a change if there had been no recovery and Mr. Angelos was now asking to be paid by the hour?

Of course not: He would then be leading the chorus shouting that, notwithstanding the great monetary loss sustained by Mr. Angelos, "a deal is a deal."

Evan Alevizatos Chriss

Baltimore

How can Arafat compare himself to Washington?

So Yasser Arafat, the terrorist, considers himself to be like George Washington, the statesman ("Palestinian leadership calls for cease-fire," Jan. 27). What a blasphemous concept.

Mr. Arafat has conveniently forgotten that Washington fought British soldiers and did not send terrorists back to England to slaughter civilians.

Zev Griner

Reisterstown

Protest unfair treatment by airport security officers

I urge those who question current airport security procedures to do what I did following my recent experience of being treated like a common criminal suspect at airports: protest by writing letters and boycotting ("Terrorist grandmas?" Opinion*Commentary, Jan. 25).

When government and airline officials realize paying customers do not want to be treated disrespectfully and can see through the current charade of airport security, perhaps some common sense and logic will be applied to protecting fliers -- without resorting to such nonsensical tactics as searching grandmothers' bodies and little boys' backpacks.

Susan Laurie Tusa

Timonium

Enforcing drug laws only intensifies crime

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