Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 07, 2005

Funding hotel, local projects is win-win for city

I applaud the efforts of City Council President Sheila Dixon, Mayor Martin O'Malley and members of the City Council to put forth a proposal that would build a convention center hotel and provide as much as $59 million for neighborhood projects ("Hotel passes first round in council by tight 8-7," Aug. 2).

Tying community development funds to a downtown inner harbor project is nothing new.

Some 20 years ago, Clarence H. "Du" Burns and Robert L. Douglass, both leaders of the Eastside Democratic Organization (EDO), brokered a deal to support the funding of the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown in exchange for money to develop Ashland Park Mews.

This 235-unit condominium development is now a middle-class development in what was once a rundown portion of East Baltimore.

To this day, Ashland Park Mews continues to thrive. It has even been used as a model for other community development in and around Baltimore.

This sets a precedent for the success of a deal like the one the council is working on for a convention hotel.

I urge city and community leaders to move forward with the housing trust fund and the convention center hotel.

It is a win-win proposition for Baltimore.

Nathaniel J. McFadden

Baltimore

The writer represents the 45th District in the Maryland Senate.

Invest city's money in lives of children

Baltimore is two cities, and by far the best investment for our community's future would be to spend $305 million in its neighborhoods and its education system.

Educated children are employable. Uneducated children perpetuate the murder, the drug trade and the lack of family values.

What in the world is the City Council doing even considering $305 million of taxpayer money for a private hotel that might be successful and might employ 500 people, mostly in low-paying jobs ("Hotel passes first round in council by tight 8-7," Aug. 2)?

Let's come to our senses and understand that $305 million for neighborhoods and schools would produce far greater dividends for Baltimore.

Henry F. LeBrun

Owings Mills

Mayor of violent city can't criticize Bush

On Oct. 16, 2002, one year after the terror attacks of 9/11 and half way through John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo's killing spree, Angela and Carnell Dawson and their five children were burned to death in their Baltimore home in retaliation for their repeated stands against the drug dealers in their neighborhood.

In 2004, Baltimore had the distinction of having a murder rate three times that of Los Angeles and five times that of New York City.

And Mayor Martin O'Malley feels that he is qualified to challenge President Bush's commitment to protecting the security of our cities ("O'Malley accuses Bush of weakness on homeland security," Aug. 3).

Mr. O'Malley cannot even protect innocent children from being burned to death in their homes by drug-dealing thugs in his own city. Yet he feels qualified to offer the president advice on how to prevent a terrorist from launching an attack in one of our cities?

Someone needs to tell Mr. O'Malley that until he comes up with an eight-point plan to clean up the mess in his own city, he should keep his policy advice to himself.

Todd Eberly

Columbia

The writer is a graduate student in public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

No `design' alters the facts of evolution

Given that President Bush has exhibited a minimal understanding of science on such subjects as environmental protection and global warming, it is no surprise that he now speaks in favor of inserting the concept of "intelligent design" into science instruction in our schools ("Bush comments inflame `intelligent design' debate," Aug. 3).

However, in the nearly 150 years since Charles Darwin first published The Origin of Species, a great body of research has established his theory as fact.

Even if the "theory" of intelligent design was accepted as a tiny feature of natural selection - the engine that drives evolution - the fact of evolution would still stand.

As a scientific issue, creationism is dead, and no injection of "intelligent design" can give it life.

Jeffry D. Mueller

Eldersburg

New homeowners hurt by assessments

Thank you for The Sun's article about the injustice of Maryland property tax laws for homebuyers ("Homebuyers fume at tax differences," July 31).

After buying a house last year, I suffered a fate similar to those described in the article with a reassessment that is completely out of line with similar houses in my neighborhood that have not changed ownership.

I appealed to the Property Tax Assessment Board, but my claim was rejected since the board interprets the law to allow for such variances.

Our lawmakers should at the very least amend the current law so that first-time homebuyers are eligible to remain under the cap for tax increases.

First-time homebuyers are already subjected to an inflated housing market without the benefit of existing equity.

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