Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 14, 2002

Merger of GBA, GBC can better business climate

Donald P. Hutchinson will be stepping down as president of the Greater Baltimore Committee in order to lead the Maryland division of SunTrust Bank. We all owe Mr. Hutchinson our thanks for his service to our community and our best wishes for success in his new challenge ("Hutchinson's leaving fuels talk of merging GBC, 2 other groups," Oct. 8).

But the corporate and economic development world of Baltimore has changed tremendously since the founding of the GBC and since the start of Mr. Hutchinson's tenure.

Far fewer companies are headquartered here. And companies that are based here are part of a much different economy from that of a generation ago. It is fair to say that there aren't the corporate resources necessary to sustain the GBC and other vital business advocacy organizations.

I strongly urge the GBC board to give serious and long consideration to a merger of the GBC and the Greater Baltimore Alliance (GBA).

Presently, the GBC focuses its efforts on public policy matters and certain capital project needs that will improve the business climate of Baltimore. The GBA works very effectively to market the Baltimore region in order to attract new business investment here.

But I do not believe the Baltimore of today can (or should) sustain both organizations. The two groups' missions complement each other. And they share the same goal -- a vibrant and growing economy in this region.

Now is the time to bring these organizations together. The Baltimore business community and, indeed, every citizen of Greater Baltimore will be better served.

William Donald Schaefer

Baltimore

The writer is comptroller of the state of Maryland.

Controlling violence starts in the home

I read with concern the article "A broad offensive on youth violence" (Sept. 29).

Writer Andrew C. Jones mentions the words "program" and "studies" no less than 10 times -- "educational partnership programs," "violence prevention programs," "rites of passage programs," etc.

Where do such programs end? And where does all the money come from to support these programs? Out of taxpayers pockets -- the same hard-working taxpayers who have already taught "violence prevention" to kids for years.

Where? In their homes. It's something we learn from our parents as we grow in our families and communities.

Yet in this article the word "family" was not mentioned.

Domestic violence has always been around. But years ago kids didn't assault teachers and carry lethal weapons to school.

What we need is more adults to act like parents and more parents to get involved in their children's education.

Joseph P. Laun Jr.

Catonsville

There's no security without self-defense

The only ones who should be forced to defend themselves are those such as Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend who support gun control as they hide behind 24-hour armed protection paid for by the taxpayers ("Ehrlich defends gun stance," Oct. 6).

Gun control is pushed as a panacea to end all violence. So where is the safer society and safer streets that we were promised if we just surrendered some of our freedom? And will surrendering more freedom change the situation?

Gun control kills, since it only controls those who obey the law.

Security is not obtained through laws but through the freedom of the law-abiding to protect and defend themselves.

James Mullen

White Hall

When did Reimer become Iraq expert?

Since when did we need Susan Reimer (self-professed "carpooling mother of two") to tell us how threatening or non-threatening Saddam Hussein had become ("Since when did Hussein become such a U.S. threat," Oct. 8)?

Most of us don't read the Today section for world news.

Marsha LeBrun

Sparks

Tell us the truth on security threats

A quote in "A growing number in government have misgivings about Iraq policy" (Oct. 8) caught my attention: "Analysts at the working level in the intelligence community are feeling very strong pressure from the Pentagon to cook the intelligence books."

My understanding is that the administration and Congress are in the process of trying to make sure that stock market analysts tell investors the truth about publicly traded companies so investors can make rational decisions.

Shouldn't we hold our government to similar standards -- and insist it tell citizens the truth about our security?

Kevin Frick

Baltimore

Canton's volunteers deserve a dog park

I take offense to the letter "What about a park for Canton's kids?" (Sept. 27).

I'm not offended by the idea of a children's park. I am offended by whining about what one wants and expecting others to make it happen rather than doing it oneself.

I am also offended at someone begrudging others something they worked so hard for.

I believe in the dog park and its value to Baltimore. I don't live in Canton. But I wrote a personal check to the Canton Community Association for the dog park. I went to meetings, I volunteered and I'm still volunteering.

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