Letters To The Editor


January 29, 2003

Revival efforts bring new life to old Pigtown

Three cheers for The Sun's recent article and editorial highlighting the potential of the Washington Boulevard-Pigtown neighborhood, ("Struggling Pigtown awaits boost from Montgomery Park," Jan. 12, and "A chance for renewal," editorial, Jan. 8).

This neighborhood, indeed, is primed for regeneration. And although The Sun was right to focus on Montgomery Park and the large-scale redevelopment efforts of the Baltimore Development Corp. in the Carroll Camden Industrial Park, a number of smaller, but no less important, efforts are under way to revitalize this historic community.

By marketing the area, acting as a liaison with the city and securing grants to benefit the neighborhood, the Washington Boulevard Main Street program has generated more than $5 million in public and private investment.

Along Washington Boulevard, six businesses have opened, 15 others have undertaken storefront improvement projects funded by the Washington Boulevard Main Street project and 85 full-time jobs have been created.

In the coming months, Pigtown will celebrate the opening of a long-awaited coffeehouse and begin planning the 2nd annual Pigtown Festival.

There are big things happening in Pigtown, but the smaller efforts count too.

Jack Dann


The writer is program manager for the Washington Boulevard Main Street program.

A recent Sun article was titled "Struggling Pigtown awaits boost from Montgomery Park" (Jan. 12). But Pigtown is hardly "struggling." As a matter of fact, there are many positive developments that are now under way.

Montgomery Park has been and will continue to be an anchor for the west side of the neighborhood and will draw many businesses and residents to the area. Camden Crossing, an 8-acre housing development featuring homes five blocks from downtown whose prices start at $150,000, will also bring people to the neighborhood.

Washington Boulevard's Main Street program has brought new business owners to the area. And the University of Maryland is building a new heath care facility.

Cultural amenities such as the B&O Railroad Museum (celebrating its 175th anniversary with many special events), Mount Clare Museum House and the successful annual Pigtown Festival held in September have also helped bring new residents and business owners to the area.

Maybe the next article should have the heading "Pigtown is in Hog Heaven."

Rodney Carroll

Narda Carroll


State is already taxed too much

I can't believe Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly are proposing an increase in the sales tax, gas tax and liquor tax ("Md. Democrats to introduce tax increases," Jan. 23). Is it not bad enough that Maryland residents are already heavily taxed on everything?

With the economy slumping, people losing jobs and more baby boomers retiring, the General Assembly is trying to put the squeeze on the taxpayer to dig the state out of debt.

But if these tax increases are approved, more people will be traveling to nearby states to shop and live.

The Assembly should go along with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s budget proposal and his slots initiative.

The slots initiative will not only bring money into the state's coffers but will provide jobs and help the sagging economy in Maryland.

George Pruchniewski


Fight against slots creates curious allies

The Maryland Restaurant Association should be very careful who it goes to bed with in the battle to keep slots out of Maryland ("Groups unite to oppose slots," Jan. 16).

Some of these same "friends" will be coming back later with pushes for higher liquor taxes and smoking bans in all public buildings.

In politics, a friend is rarely a friend for very long.

C. D. Wilmer


What about voices backing Bush?

The Sun has done it again - showing itself to be a newspaper that reports not the facts but the biased opinion of its writers.

The subheading on the Jan. 24 article "Putting `why' before `war,'" for instance, said: "Views: A sampling of voices from newspapers across the United States indicates disagreement with the Bush administration's stand on Iraq."

The article proceeded to list quotes from publications from across the nation, none of which included support for the Bush administration's stance. How can that be a reasonable "sampling" of voices?

I guess it would have taken too much effort to show a balanced view of the news.

Scott Lancaster


Toppling Hussein won't stem anger

Thomas Friedman's column "Why Hussein must go" (Opinion

Commentary, Jan. 23) was pure sophistry.

Mr. Friedman suggests that a regime change in Iraq will somehow solve the problem of Middle Eastern youths who threaten Western societies. Give me a break. Most of the young men behind the Sept. 11 attacks were from Saudi Arabia. So why don't we get rid of the oppressive leaders of Saudi Arabia?

And while we're at it, why not go after the leadership of Israel, Syria, Egypt and all the other oppressive Middle Eastern states?

Would that solve the problems of the Arab youths? I doubt it.

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