`Believe' ads aren't for those fleeing the city Ed...


May 22, 2002

`Believe' ads aren't for those fleeing the city

Ed Burns' column "City's troubles beyond belief" (Opinion * Commentary, May 14), is exactly the kind of negative thinking the "Believe in Baltimore" program is trying to combat. It's an attitude that says there is no use believing in anything -- the problems are too big, too complex, too manifold to tackle. Throw in the towel, move to the county if you can.

Is the "Believe" campaign's message intended for those fleeing the city? No.

It's meant for those of us who are staying and wouldn't dream of moving, those of us who love our 15-minute commute, those who have lived in the county and found it empty and expensive, those of us who enjoy the human campfire that is the city, with all its idiosyncrasies.

It's meant for those who know drug addicts live in every town and every county and we will never eradicate them, but who are determined that the addicts will not rule.

It's meant for those of us who see a glittering city on the dawn of a new sunrise, steeped in history -- not flawless, but beautiful nonetheless.

Is it a crime to spend money on a program that provides a message of hope? No.

We will feel united in our belief, work on the problems, help whomever we can, support the police and the mayor and believe in our city.

Georgia Corso


Slogans won't cure what ails Baltimore

At last, a shot of truth and honesty for a society addicted to short-term fixes, failed policies and now the joke that is the "Believe" campaign. As Ed Burns states in his column "City's troubles beyond belief" (Opinion * Commentary, May 14), "not a single penny of what must be millions of dollars for this campaign went into the pockets of the poor."

What is needed is systemic change: universal health care, available and affordable day care, training programs for mothers coming off welfare, a living minimum wage, schools that work and treatment on demand for every addict who wants it.

How can any thinking person believe we can solve the problem of heroin addiction in our city by arresting addicts and small-time dealers?

Isn't a more rational approach one that views addiction as a health problem and harm reduction as the goal?

Jessica Heriot


It's hard to believe when funds wasted

The article on the city over-paying for electric bills, even continuing to pay bills for properties it had sold, once again reveals the gross incompetence of city government ("City overpaid its BGE bills by $200,000," May 16).

The new advertising campaign to save the city can't be taken seriously when those in charge throw away hundreds of thousands of dollars. With huge portions of the city rundown, filthy and overrun by drugs and crime, this is an absolute slap in the face to the citizens of Baltimore.

The city is dying, ravaged by decades of terrible policies, strategies and programs aimed at treating the symptoms instead of the diseases.

Only when Baltimore's elected officials have the guts to deal with the root causes of the ailments, and not just treat the wounds, will anything start to change.

Eric Wilkes

Bel Air

The buck must stop at president's desk

Harry Truman's White House desk had a sign that read: "The buck stops here." It is disgusting to hear the Bush administration's excuses for not heeding the warning of possible hijackings ("Bush was warned of threat of hijack, link to bin Laden," May 16).

Terrorists had attacked the World Trade Center previously. What did the terrorists have to do? Send President Bush an e-mail about their intentions?

The buck stops at your desk, Mr. President.

R.A. Steinberg


Arab `resistance' really is terrorism

No matter what definition one uses, any and all acts of "Palestinian resistance" are "terrorism," when they include blowing up an 88-year-old on March 27 at a Passover seder and shooting 5-year-old Danielle Shefi as she slept in her bed on April 27 ("Before peace, one war," Opinion * Commentary, May 16).

Samuel Zygler


Abandoned baby is the only victim

I find it incredible that the writer of the letter "Manhunt for mother sends wrong signal" (May 16) would state that a mother who abandoned her newborn baby in a bathroom did "all the right things for her daughter."

The only victim I see here is a newborn baby girl.

And, as for the message the manhunt sends other mothers in such situations, I believe it says that abandoning a newborn in a bathroom is not the right thing to do.

Rick Proctor

Forest Hill

Suit over chocolate will cost us all

When chocolate falls victim to a frivolous lawsuit, we know our legal system is out of control ("Chocolate products have unsafe lead levels, suit says," May 9).

A state investigation last year discounted the lawsuit's claims. Yet, despite a U.S. Food and Drug Administration study indicating that children who eat "lots" of chocolate ingest 6 percent or less of the daily amount of lead allowable by law, the courts are now forced to deal with this suit.

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