City residents should clean up their parks In The Sun's...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 16, 2002

City residents should clean up their parks

In The Sun's article "Conditions of parks frustrates residents" (July 9), a city resident deplored the condition of Baltimore parks and compared them to the parks, particularly baseball fields, in the suburbs.

This resident stated that his "wife has complained to the city parks department several times," and asked, "Why is it the kids in the white neighborhoods have well-maintained fields, and we have to put up with this garbage?"

But the parks in Harford and Baltimore counties are in use all year long. In warm weather, they host programs most every evening. On weekends, there are programs from dawn until after dark.

And the fields are in shape not because the county parks people are there all the time, but because coaches, players, fathers and mothers are out there keeping them in shape. The neighborhoods are involved. The parents are involved. Everyone participates.

Instead of complaining about "waist-high weeds," city residents should cut them down. And clean the glass and weeds from the pitcher's mounds.

Don't complain to the city parks department - do something. Pick up the box springs and computer terminals. Clean up the graffiti. Take back your neighborhood.

You want good parks? Do something about it. It's your city and your park.

Do exactly what is done in the suburbs: Clean up the parks and maintain them. Don't expect someone to do it for you.

David Easter

Fallston

I have lived in Baltimore my whole life, and while the city parks have never been in the disgraceful state they are now, neither have they ever matched the amenities I found in Baltimore County.

Therefore, I was distressed to read Reggie Wilson's comment: "Why is it the kids in white neighborhoods have well-maintained fields, and we have to put up with this garbage?"

I always considered the problem more of a city-county thing than a black-white thing.

But I hope Mr. Wilson also reminds his ballplayers that the residents in Baltimore County use trashcans for their bottles and wrappers, and do not regularly dump broken box springs, computers and other bulk trash in the parks, as some city residents do.

Virginia Kline

Baltimore

Condition of parks grows even worse

One has to sympathize when someone loses his job. However, the mayor was right to fire the director of the city's Department of Recreation and Parks ("Mayor fires 2, hints at more terminations," July 4).

Over the last several years there has been a deterioration in the parks' appearance, and Herring Run Park between Sinclair Lane and Belair Road is an example.

Trees along Sinclair Lane have been allowed to encroach on walkways and in some locations onto Shannon Drive.

A stream bisects the park, and environmentalists, quite properly, recommended allowing vegetation to grow undisturbed close to the stream to prevent soil erosion during heavy rains. Park maintenance people have taken this to give them a blank check to allow larger portions of the park than necessary to become a jungle of weeds and uncut grass, which harbors insects (ticks and mosquitoes) and rats.

While this policy interpretation reduces work load, it also degrades the park's appearance and discourages use.

Richard L. Lelonek

Baltimore

Ratify the U.N. treaty that protects women

It is appalling that the United States has not ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

If we are known by the company we keep - Somalia, Sudan, Iran - then the United States should be ashamed.

Signing this treaty may not immediately stop female genital mutilation or death by stoning for adultery, but it is, as Ellen Goodman says, the least we can do ("Time to sign women's rights treaty," Opinion

Commentary, July 11).

Nancy Spies

Jarrettsville

Plan to invade Iraq deserves censure

I don't understand why the Democrats are so mute in speaking out against the administration's plan to invade Iraq ("Bush vows to topple Hussein," July 9).

Why aren't the countries that border Iraq, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran, shivering in their boots over Iraq's build-up of weapons of mass destruction? Instead, they have spoken out quite forcefully against any military invasion.

We want the whole world to back us in our own battle with terror, but we are acting like a big egotistical bully when we refuse to listen to our allies.

If this tension wasn't enough, we have added fuel to it by refusing to allow the International Criminal Court to prosecute Americans.

Why should America be above international law?

Ruth Von Bramer

Randallstown

Striking first violates the nation's values

The idea of using a pre-emptive strike against Iraq or any country is insanely contrary to traditional American values ("Bush vows to topple Hussein," July 9).

As an individual, I am entitled to one mark against any policy of striking a first blow.

And, as a grandmother of three fine grandsons, who are being trained by parents and schools in the highest ideals of understanding, my position is firm and definite.

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