Public housing on waterfront is a bad deal After...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 14, 2002

Public housing on waterfront is a bad deal

After reading "A better view for public housing" (April 8), I imagine that the residents of Bloomsbury Square will be the envy of many longtime Annapolitans, some of whom have worked and sacrificed their entire lives and, in the words of public housing resident Marion Howard, "ain't never had a new place" on the waterfront.

I'm a firm believer in public housing as a stopgap measure for those in need, but the deal the residents' council struck sounds like an act of extortion against a state government willing to pay an exorbitant amount in land value and new construction costs for a few more offices and a few less clotheslines.

Laura D. Johnston

Timonium

"A better view for public housing"? Not from my vantage point. And the home and business owners of Annapolis must be thrilled to fund housing that may be better than their own.

I really don't see any incentive in working hard, saving money and protecting your credit rating when the state is handing out prime real estate. Is it any wonder taxpayers are fleeing cities statewide?

Eric Crabtree

Baltimore

When I die, I want to be reincarnated as a public housing resident and live in a new waterfront home in Annapolis.

Dave Pawloski

Baldwin

Homicide rate dims the city's charms

The Sun's article "Homicide pace in city exceeds last year's" (April 2) has to be frustrating and embarrassing for every citizen of this city.

With eight people killed in our city between March 29 and April 1, I wonder if it is appropriate to use the slogan "Charm City."

Perhaps "A City Searching for Answers" would be more appropriate at this time.

We have to come up with strong, effective solutions to this crisis immediately, so that all citizens of and visitors to Baltimore can enjoy the greatness we know our city possesses. And perhaps we need to embrace the "zero tolerance" idea after all.

Earl M. Cooper

Baltimore

Baltimore must save Howard St. landmark

The 1880 Johnston Building on South Howard Street is too important a landmark to be lost at this late date ("Johnston building might become thing of past," April 8).

The city sold the building to its present owner in the 1980s with the understanding that it would be renovated within two years. The owner shouldn't have let it deteriorate, and the city shouldn't have allowed him to do so.

It's therefore up to the city to reacquire the building, stabilize it and sell it to someone who will preserve it.

John R. Breihan

Baltimore

The writer chairs the History Department at Loyola College.

Certification isn't key to ability to teach

I would like to commend Robert C. Embry Jr. for having the courage to state what must have been apparent to many for years ("`Certified' doesn't mean better," April 7).

Having worked as a non-certified educator for more than three years, I can tell you I would not have entered education had I been required to take a series of courses having little or nothing to do with my subject area.

Coming from private industry, where certification may or may not be required in many careers, I can tell you from experience that a designation or special training in many cases has little to do with technical competence.

John Orban

Easton

Require reporting of child abuse

In response to the letter "Impose criminal penalties for failure to report abuse" (April 4), it should be noted that legislation was introduced this year (House Bill 477) to require sanctions for failure to report child abuse or neglect. The bill received an unfavorable vote of 15-2 in the House Judiciary Committee.

I agree with the letter-writer that it is a major failing of our existing law that we do not impose criminal penalties for failure to report abuse. I hope the General Assembly will act responsibly on this matter in the future, because our children need to be protected.

Susan C. Scanlon

Glen Burnie

Taking Israel's side in Mideast conflict

By terming the recently increased Israeli military presence in Palestine an effort "to suppress Palestinian violence and terrorism" ("Israel starts pullback of forces," April 9), The Sun repeats the Israeli government's position rather than considering the Palestinian position: namely, that the Israeli presence in Palestine itself constitutes terrorism.

To voice only one position on any conflict is not to write news but to editorialize.

Eric Allen Hatch

Baltimore

Palestinians need to take responsibility

What the Middle East needs is Palestinian responsibility, not Palestinian authority.

Responsibility for creating a democratic entity, not a dictatorship. Responsibility for choosing leaders who have a real vision of peace, instead of those bent on destruction.

Responsibility for adhering to all components of peace accords and cease-fires, not for using them as tactics to eliminate those with whom one just reached an agreement.

Responsibility for speaking the truth, rather than spreading lies. Responsibility for being consistent in messages given to the world at large and to one's own people.

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