City residents must take care of their parks What...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 16, 2002

City residents must take care of their parks

What really irritates me about The Sun's article "Parks problems still aren't fixed" (Sept. 6) is the tone that assumes the entire onus of the problem rests within the city's control and/or responsibility.

Sure, the city has an obligation to use our tax dollars to maintain a reasonable standard of cleanliness. But by looking at the photographs I see that much more work than this is needed in these parks.

My disgust at how these parks are absolutely ruined is beyond my ability to express. Why are the residents around these parks unable to manage the destructive behavior of their neighbors?

Why must those who make an effort not to add to the city's monstrous burden by helping maintain our neighborhood parks have to accept that our tax dollars go to fix other parks that are destroyed time after time?

It's time we stop allowing people to blame the city for failing to fix problems that are within the control of the people who live adjacent to our parks. It's time we all start taking a little more control of our actions and report the destructive actions of others.

If people are not able to manage their environment then they don't deserve the city's assistance.

Michael H. Rogers

Baltimore

Why is it the city's responsibility to clean up its parks?

What is wrong with neighborhoods taking a little responsibility and organizing a park cleanup or a neighborhood cleanup instead of waiting (expecting) someone else to do the job for them?

What is wrong with individuals picking up trash, hauling junk to the dump, etc.?

We are so quick to complain but so slow to just handle the problem ourselves.

Gail May

Baltimore

The article "Parks problems still aren't fixed" heavily criticized Baltimore's Department of Recreation and Parks for the state of our city's parks.

While accountability for our city's agencies is important to ensure that the services we are due are provided, we must also hold those accountable who are responsible for the trash or vandalism affecting our parks and those who make no effort to improve them.

And, in contrast to what was reported in the article, I have experienced support and dedication from the Department of Recreation and Parks when organizing an effort by citizens to help clean up our trash.

Before we criticize the city for not removing our trash and vandalism fast enough, remember that it is us who put it there in the first place.

It is up to all of us to keep our city clean.

Mark Terranova

Baltimore

Amprey is working to improve parks

The Sun's article "Parks problems still aren't fixed" (Sept. 6) accurately reports the state of many parks in Baltimore. We wish, however, that The Sun had interviewed those at our organization for a more positive view.

We have been working closely with acting parks director Kimberley M. Amprey to solve a variety of problems in City Springs Park. Our park had become a hangout for drug- and alcohol-addicted vagrants and prostitutes who left needles, bottles and trash strewn throughout the park. The park is adjacent to a middle and elementary school, and we needed help before school started.

The day after discussing our complaint with Ms. Amprey, trucks hauled away the furniture and trash. We have been trying to get benches and tables removed from the park since 1999, and city crews are now handling this request.

The quality of life has thus improved in this area of our community. The vagrant population has moved on and the schools are using the playing fields again.

Our residents are also actively involved in maintaining the park. Several residents pick up trash and clean the sidewalks around the park.

Let's give Ms. Amprey more than eight weeks to turn around the Recreation and Parks Department.

Simon Hemby Maureen Sweeney Smith Baltimore

The writers are, respectively, president and executive director of Citizens for Washington Hill.

Two debates aren't enough

I am disappointed to read that Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is unwilling to debate Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. more than two times -- and only in highly scripted, impersonal, staged events ("Townsend agrees to pair of TV debates with Ehrlich," Sept. 7).

Ms. Townsend seems to only want to give us an artificial look at her opinions and views through a staged, stale debate format. Her spokesman, Peter Hamm, said, "You want to limit the number of debates so that voters take them seriously. A campaign is not a reality-based TV program."

Well, this is reality, and people want to know what the candidates think and how they handle difficult situations.

Douglas Arnold

Glen Burnie

So Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's camp says that Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s call for a larger number of debates is "unrealistic and immature" and that "in a serious campaign for serious offices, having nine or 14 or 42 debates is just not a grown-up way of viewing the world."

How about seven?

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