Letters To The Editor


September 27, 2004

The Sun's article "After nearly 2 years, construction on JFX finally winds down" (Sept. 17) did a wonderful job detailing the benefits of connecting downtown Baltimore and the suburban areas of Baltimore County.

Unfortunately, for the historic Midtown communities that abut the expressway in the heart of Baltimore, the road's benefits are fewer.

The Jones Falls Expressway fills the Midtown communities with noise and pollution, and treats mainly residential St. Paul Street as an exit ramp for expressway traffic, while the parking needs of our local business corridor along Charles Street must take a back seat to the needs of the rush-hour commuters rushing up Charles Street to get to the entrance ramp at Penn Station.

While Midtown understands the need to connect downtown to the suburban areas, we should also be looking at ways to mitigate the problems the expressway brings to our inner-city communities.

It may be time to look at the Boston model and think of burying the expressway especially between Maryland Avenue and Guilford Avenue, along Mount Royal Avenue, and creating green spaces on top of it for community use.

The Mount Royal area of the expressway is already below grade and would only need a concrete cap built over the existing roadway with fill placed on top of it.

This would eliminate the noise of the expressway and create much-needed public green space in an area of the city that lacks this basic amenity.

In addition, the city should look at closing the St. Paul Street ramp to help relieve this completely residential area of the noise and pollution associated with traffic that exits the expressway.

And finally, the city should consider removal of peak-hour parking restrictions on Charles Street so that the parking needs of area merchants could be met.

Charles L. Smith


The writer is the executive director of the Midtown Community Benefits District.

Providing real choice for women of faith

The letters from representatives of the National Organization for Women and from Planned Parenthood of Maryland commenting on Gregory Kane's column on the Greater Baltimore Crisis Pregnancy Center only further confirm the reasons GBCPC's work is so important ("Many centers provide help to women in crisis" and "Women must know full range of options," letters, Sept. 20).

Once again, we can see the fallacy of the use of the word "choice" by pro-abortionists. The writers seem to suggest that any form of counseling that doesn't encourage the abortion option is biased, scornful and judgmental.

For them, "choice" really means the right for a woman in a crisis pregnancy to choose how she is counseled, as long as she chooses to be counseled only by them.

Some choice.

If faith-based counseling centers didn't exist, where would women of faith, who know they don't want an abortion and don't want to be counseled by pro-abortionists, have to go?

GBCPC is a "choice" - a choice for women who want to hear more than the "virtues" of abortion. Shouldn't "choice" organizations be applauding the option, or choice, the GBCPC offers those women?

Vince Clews


The writer's wife is development director for the Greater Baltimore Crisis Pregnancy Center.

Incompetence leads to failed presidency

Sen. John Kerry is right to point out President Bush's failure in Iraq ("Kerry accuses Bush of `stubborn incompetence,'" Sept. 21).

Mr. Bush's stubborn incompetence has killed more than 1,000 U.S. soldiers and wounded thousands more in invading a country that did not pose a threat to the United States.

Mr. Bush's stubborn incompetence led him to pull special forces gathering intelligence on al-Qaida out of Afghanistan to work needlessly in Iraq.

Mr. Bush's stubborn incompetence leads him to hold no one accountable for the failures at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

In short, this administration has been a colossal failure because of the president's stubborn incompetence.

Allyson Mattanah


Ehrlich must explain unsafe conditions

It is a terrible shame that the former director of the state-run Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center, Phyllis D. K. Hildreth, resigned after repeatedly warning her supervisors about unsafe conditions at this institution ("Juvenile Services head defends agency," Sept. 18). She was doing her job under unreasonable conditions.

If Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. were doing his job, he wouldn't have accepted Ms. Hildreth's resignation, but instead would have demanded the resignation of Juvenile Services Secretary Kenneth C. Montague Jr., who is obviously not doing his job.

I think Mr. Ehrlich has a lot of explaining to do as to why he has let a new $60 million facility deteriorate into its current pathetically managed condition.

Walter Boyd


Civil Rights Act isn't an entitlement

Dr. Keiffer J. Mitchell's article on the positive results of the Civil Rights Act failed to point out that the law provides opportunities, not entitlements ("Strong foundation," Opinion

Commentary, Sept. 21).

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