Keep pushing for improvement of city's parks The Sun's...


August 05, 2002

Keep pushing for improvement of city's parks

The Sun's editorial "Parks: A call for action" (July 19) was a welcome boost to those of us who are advocates of neighborhood parks.

Friends of Mount Vernon Place is one such group, which works together to supplement the city's responsibilities for that most historic city park. We have initiated summer activities, movable chairs, flowers and a study for a master plan, and have awakened a focus on the park by residents and visitors alike.

However, the city's budget for parks has continued to erode, reducing the work being done by the dedicated city parks employees.

For a viable city, for a healthy city, we must nurture our urban parks. And one of the city's jewels is the park in Mount Vernon Place surrounding the first monument to George Washington.

Let us urge Mayor Martin O'Malley to continue to turn up the heat for better management of one of our city's primary gifts -- our parks.

Helen A. Passano


The writer is vice president of Friends of Mount Vernon Place.

Take the high road and say no to slots

I'm a middle-class white guy in the suburbs who would benefit from the revenue generated from the elderly and impoverished who think they can hit it big with that last dollar in a slot machine ("Slots for tracks, no tax increases, Marylanders say," July 26).

With a wink and a nudge, we call slot machine gambling entertainment. But we all know the reality: Grandma spending the money for her medication and Joe Sixpack squandering his kids' lunch money in the hope of hitting the big one. The only winners are guys such as me, and I just don't like the smell of that money.

Instead, let's get real and work a little harder at bringing high-wage jobs and affordable health care to the state and at tackling our horrific drug problem.

Can't we take the high road just this once?

Thomas P. Evans


Slots can give money back to Maryland

With Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend opposing slots in Maryland (even at race tracks), I wonder how much money is flowing into her campaign from the states of Delaware, West Virginia and New Jersey, which would be adversely affected if Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., with his pro-slot position, is elected governor.

Every time I see a busload of people heading up Interstate 95 or out Route 340, I envision dollars seeping through the sieve of our state boundaries that could support our state budget with added employment and gaming taxes.

David B. Lott


This argument over whether to have slot machines is ridiculous. The slot machines are already here -- in Delaware, New Jersey and West Virginia.

These contiguous states are raking in Maryland dough because some of our home-grown idiots in Annapolis think the need to travel 50 miles is going to stop consenting adults from gambling. It's embarrassing.

It's time to keep Maryland bucks in Maryland.

Robert Donadio


Why isn't Townsend against other games?

It's truly amazing that the lieutenant governor adamantly opposes slots while saying nothing about the state-sanctioned lottery, which operates every day, all day, thanks to scratch-off tickets ("Ehrlich, Townsend get major backing," July 26).

If Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is concerned about folks becoming addicted to slots, I suggest she visit lottery outlets located near senior citizens' housing when their checks come in.

If she's interested in saving someone, she can start there.

McNair Taylor


Lieberman isn't fit to be a watchdog

One wishes that such an astute observer as Jules Witcover had taken a sharper view of New Democratic audacity ("Democratic leaders urge corporate responsibility," July 30).

The elevation of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman to watchdog status, for instance, smacks of foxes guarding chicken coops.

Mr. Lieberman is one of the Senate's most flagrant beneficiaries of corporate largesse. Not surprisingly, he is also a strident opponent of making corporations report stock options as an expense.

In so doing, Mr. Lieberman collaborates with corporate leadership in bilking the American investor.

Stephen Desiderio


Shameful treatment of students must stop

Shame on McDonald's and shame on Donna Maertens, who recruited 400 foreign students this year for jobs at McDonald's, for taking advantage of foreign students ("Foreign students' pay wiped out by deductions," July 30). What a terrible impression of the United States this will leave with these students and their families.

And for McDonald's to refuse to comment and point the finger at Ms. Maertens is a real cop-out -- both Ms. Maertens and McDonald's share the blame for exploiting foreign students in this manner.

Unfortunately, it appears McDonald's is not the only one involved in this sort of thing. Last summer, we befriended three students from Taiwan who were in the same situation -- paying big rents in Ellicott City and working at a local theme park for long hours and little take-home pay.

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