Letters To The Editor


October 26, 2003

Easy evictions add to the woes of city's poor

Thanks to Sun reporter Laura Vozzella for her compelling illustration of the direct relationship between poverty, housing, health and homelessness in Baltimore ("In Baltimore, evictions are quick, common," Oct. 19).

As The Sun reported, 7,443 households were evicted in Baltimore last year - and this only adds to the ranks of the more than 30,000 individuals who experience homelessness in this area annually.

Like Margie Jones, many of these individuals have serious and untreated health care problems. Many others (again like Ms. Jones) have worked all their lives at wages too low to create real security.

Our public policies continue to regard "the homeless" as a separate and unequal class of people, as if their very homelessness were a characteristic of the individual.

Rather, homelessness is a tragic experience to which our impoverished neighbors are vulnerable. Indeed, each day the waiting room of Health Care for the Homeless is crowded with people such as Ms. Jones - hard-working Baltimoreans who become homeless when they lack health coverage, a sufficient income and decent, affordable housing.

We can only prevent and end homelessness by ensuring the availability of these essential resources.

Jeff Singer


The writer is president and CEO of Health Care for the Homeless Inc.

Closing Supermax would be a waste

I am a retired warden who worked for 34 years in the Division of Correction. Prior to my retirement in 1994, my last position was as warden of the Baltimore City Detention Center, which is right across from the Supermax prison.

I know that the state's new administration now wants to tear down the Supermax facility after only 14 years of operation, which is a waste ("Raise a toast to decline of Supermax era," Oct. 19). My question is: Why did the state enlarge it only a couple of years ago with taxpayers' money if it now wants to destroy the same facility?

And shouldn't someone be held accountable for this waste of taxpayers' money?

Bernard D. Smith


Casino would make Rocky Gap a success

After reading The Sun's extensive article about Rocky Gap ("Allegany gives tourist resort mixed reviews," Oct. 19), I thought about what could be done to make it a success. And there really is only one good answer: Bring in a casino.

It's an idea whose time has come. There's no need to tip-toe around the issue of gambling by just talking about putting slots at the racetracks.

We're in a budget crisis here, and for some reason our elected leaders have chosen to take the easy way out. But let's bring in the casinos and put one in Baltimore, one in Salisbury and one in Rocky Gap.

It's time to jump into the water just as the state did when it built the Rocky Gap complex. It's time to make that project a success and make Maryland a destination once again.

Tim Nicholas


Don't let politicians control our bodies

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's order to reinsert a feeding tube into a vegetative patient has led me to a firm conclusion ("Comatose woman to be fed again," Oct. 22). The next time I visit my doctor, I will ask him to help me record a clear and specific declaration that I have no desire to exist in a prolonged vegetative or comatose state.

That way, I can be protected against grandstanding politicians seeking to violate my wishes - or my body.

David Spivey

Bel Air

Peace promotes real respect for life

If President Bush is committed to building a "culture of life in America" as he stated in remarks after the passage of the "partial-birth abortion" bill ("Senate OKs bill to limit abortion," Oct. 22), perhaps he should stop sending young men to die in Iraq and support the banning of guns that kill the children on our streets.

John R. Nauright Jr.

Ellicott City

Philippine insecurity betrays Bush bluster

Does anyone else see the absurdity in President Bush's claims concerning the war on terrorism? He recently held up the Philippines as a model for the fight against terrorists, yet he could only stay in the country for eight hours ("Bush speeds through Manila," Oct. 19).

And why did he have to leave so soon? Because Mr. Bush's own security detail was worried about his safety.

If this makes the Philippines a model, then we should all be rethinking Mr. Bush's policies.

Tony Andrione


Pressure Arafat to stop the carnage

It absolutely amazes me that Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian Authority are able to quickly arrest suspected terrorists in the roadside bombing and killing of three Americans in the Gaza Strip last week but often cannot determine who is responsible for terrorism against Israelis ("Six arrested in U.S. convoy attack," Oct. 17).

The fact that these suspected terrorists were apprehended so quickly proves that Mr. Arafat can stop the violence if he chooses to do so.

Shame on the world community for not putting more pressure on Mr. Arafat and the Palestinian Authority to curb the violence that has gripped the Middle East for the past three years.

Ed Hershon


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