Balto. Co. needs to safeguard its landmarks Sheppard...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 14, 2002

Balto. Co. needs to safeguard its landmarks

Sheppard Pratt Hospital is a National Historic Landmark, the highest historic distinction any site can receive. And now the County Council should place all of the buildings on its campus that the Baltimore Landmarks Commission put on its Preliminary Landmarks List on the Final Landmarks list ("Council eyes historic status for 9 buildings at hospital," Aug. 5).

Without this measure, these structures have no protection from demolition, despite their National Landmark status.

Baltimore County's elected officials have failed time and time again to recognize the value of the county's distinctive architectural heritage and significant landscapes. This has allowed the demolition of many important historic structures, including the Samuel Owings House.

The preservation of the historically significant structures on Sheppard Pratt's campus will not stop necessary growth and progress. But it will help ensure that Sheppard Pratt's important and distinctive past continue into the future.

Historic structures give us a sense of place, and it will be a sad day if Baltimore County looks like Anywhere, USA.

Our elected officials need to do a better job of protecting what makes Baltimore County unique.

Joyce B. Routson

Towson

Why stress bad news from Johns Hopkins?

As an extremely satisfied Johns Hopkins Hospital patient, I would like to ask: Why was the article "Hopkins again tops list of best hospitals in nation" buried on page 1B of the July 13 Sun while the article "Boy lost hearing in Hopkins overdose" was featured on the Aug. 1 front page?

I agree that mistakes of this kind should not be made and, although apparently the boy has recovered some hearing, this mistake was awful for the child and his family.

But I consider it equally deplorable that The Sun did not think enough of Johns Hopkins to feature the great news from U.S. News & World Report on the front page.

Susan S. Lynne

Owings Mills

Taxing tobacco helps other businesses

A spokesman for Republican candidate for governor Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. says Mr. Ehrlich doesn't support proposals by the Maryland Citizens' Health Initiative that include another tobacco-tax boost because "we are pro-business" ("Townsend backs 36-cent increase in Md. cigarette tax," Aug. 7).

Actually, tobacco taxes are good for non-tobacco businesses. They ease the pressure for higher taxes on others. They result in less smoking, which means consumers have more money to spend on non-tobacco products and services.

Workers who don't smoke are more productive, take less sick leave and put less upward pressure on health-care costs. And non-smokers live longer, so they continue to work, buy things and pay taxes.

What other revenue measure has so many benefits?

Mort Paulson

Silver Spring

Anti-smoking ads, tax increase at odds

The Glendening-Townsend administration is spending millions to get Marylanders to stop smoking. Yet the lieutenant governor wants to pay for health insurance for the uninsured with a 36-cent-a-pack cigarette tax increase ("Townsend backs 36-cent increase in Md. cigarette tax," Aug. 7).

Therefore, if her anti-smoking campaign is successful and people stop smoking, thousands of Marylanders could lose their newly acquired health insurance.

Does this make any sense?

Kurt S. Willem

Hydes

Why Townsend says so little about guns

Given the failure of Maryland's tough gun laws and the high crime rates that have resulted from them, who would open their mouth in support of gun control ("Strategy differs in war of words," Aug. 3)?

When you compare Maryland, the fourth most violent state in the nation, with states such as Virginia, Pennsylvania and Vermont, no one with any intellectual honesty can claim gun control reduces crime.

James Mullen

White Hall

Caribbean carnival actually lost money

The Caribbean-American Carnival Association of Baltimore would like to correct information that appeared in The Sun's editorial "Rethinking city parks" (July 25).

Our carnival did not collect $100,000, as the editorial said we did. Indeed, because of enormous expenses incurred, our carnival was not a profitable venture and suffered a severe financial loss.

When it is completed, we are prepared to make available a full financial report. But we are extremely concerned that this incorrect and unsubstantiated information will severely hinder our continuing effort to raise financial support.

Tyrone Peters

Baltimore

The writer is vice president of the Caribbean-American Carnival Association of Baltimore Inc.

Priest is right; zero tolerance wrong

I applaud Father Robert Hartnett's questioning of the "zero tolerance" policy adopted by the Catholic Bishops ("Confessions of Father Bob," Aug. 4).

Father Hartnett questions the policy in reference to the forced resignation of the Rev. Thomas R. Malia. I have known Father Malia for more than 17 years. He has consistently been a man of compassion and would never place any child at risk.

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