Letters To The Editor


December 03, 2004

Callous owners, unruly pets ruin the city's parks

It's about time the city cracked down on dog owners who are spoiling the city parks for everyone else ("Lack of dog parks unleashes acrimony," Nov. 28).

It's not just that dogs frighten off wildlife and foul the parks with their waste. It's almost impossible to walk through the city's parks anymore without encountering dogs blocking your path, barking, growling or simply staring at you menacingly.

If you politely step aside, they won't pass. If you brush past the dog, you run the risk of startling it. Almost to a person, the owners expect you to drop whatever you are doing and let their animal sniff you and decide if he's going to deign to let you pass. They feel no compunction to call their animal to heel and let you pass by unmolested.

Anyone conscientious enough to train his dog to respect people and property almost certainly would not choose to own a dog in a crowded city.

Most urban dogs lead lives of misery and loneliness, imprisoned in tiny apartments or chained up in tiny yards - a kind of living death relieved only by the occasional outing in which, unfortunately, they become nuisances to all the rest of us.

It's time we reclaimed our city parks from those who think they exist to serve as giant toilets for their dogs.

Patrick D. Hahn


Unleashing dogs is very selfish

Anyone pondering the decline of civility in the United States need look no further than The Sun's article "Lack of dog parks unleashes acrimony" (Nov. 28).

I have to agree that the city does need more dog parks.

I also wish, however, that there were more manpower to police off-leash scofflaws, since the quotes in the article, while reflecting dog owners' understandable frustration, also reveal the same mindset of red-light runners, school bus passers and MARC train quiet-car cell phone users: It's illegal but I'm going to do it, because it's all about me.

Tim Marshallsay


Television networks far from objective

David Zurawik's column "Captains of TV weigh the future of the anchor" (Nov. 28) leads me to believe that he has not been watching what he is writing about.

His statement that "the mainstream journalistic tradition of striving to maintain objectivity may be challenged" shows a lack of objectivity of his own.

The networks have most certainly been driven by ideology. And by treating the Dan Rather-President Bush fiasco as an isolated incident, he misses the obvious fact that this incident was just the culmination of a long-standing liberal bias by the "mainstream networks" that is obvious even to a casual viewer.

The viewing public has clearly rejected their approach, as the ratings show.

Thomas R. Foster


Suburban slab does little for downtown

As if it wasn't bad enough losing the old Southern Hotel, the proposed new apartment tower at Redwood and Light streets is a banal-looking, suburban slab that will look particularly ignominious right across from the old Maryland National building - one of the best buildings in Baltimore ("Residences may rise at Redwood and Light," Nov. 29).

Of greater concern is that this intersection is supposed to anchor the central business district. Any new building there shouldn't be so singularly residential in character that it practically screams of a loss of confidence in downtown Baltimore's future as a viable place of business.

Residences are vital for a vibrant downtown, but not front and center.

Steven H. Allan


The writer is an urban planner.

Malls can't capture the soul of a city

Timothy B. Wheeler's article about housing being built on the grounds of malls is a truly pathetic glimpse into the efforts of revisionist planners and mall developers to create a false idea of cities inside of suburbs ("Residences at mall yield urban flavor, convenience," Nov. 29).

Cities are not suburbs. Cities are cultural, educational, social, commercial and civic entities, with history and a soul.

On the other hand, a mall is just a mall; you can call a mall a "Town Center," a "Main Street" or a "Festival." But it is not a city.

Baltimore is a city. If suburban readers want to live in a city, they should move - to Baltimore.

Carl Hyman


Scandal didn't taint local United Way

Unfortunately, the writer of the letter "United Way scandals deter some donors" (Nov. 28) blames our local United Way for a scandal it had nothing to do with, and one that occurred many years ago.

Each United Way operates independently of all others, and it is counterproductive to blame all United Ways for the mistakes of a few individuals.

The vast majority of United Way organizations have a strong record of dispersing funds in an efficient manner to community organizations that provide a wide range of important services to those in need.

Additionally, the United Way of Central Maryland makes it easy for people to reach many organizations through one donation, most often through payroll deduction.

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