Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 08, 2005

New law wrong way to a quieter city

"Unusually strict" is a mild way to describe the Baltimore City Council's pending proposal to evict home and business owners for making excessive noise ("Noisy? Shut up or get out," Nov. 1).

Anyone who lives in Baltimore, or any other major city, will grant that excessive noise is bothersome and a downside to urban life. But Council Vice President Stephanie C. Rawlings Blake's proposal is beyond excessive.

Indeed, she undermines the logic of her "tough approach." In the article, she is quoted as saying that "in order for it to be taken seriously, there has to be enforcement."

Fair enough, but this simply demonstrates that what is needed is enforcement of Baltimore's existing noise ordinances, not new legislation that probably would not be evenly enforced.

The eviction threat could be an attempt to scare potential offenders rather than enforce existing laws. The scarier possibility is that the hidden motivation of this proposal is to advance the cause of gentrification.

One can only imagine reading in The Sun in future years of noise-related evictions in "up-and-coming" neighborhoods, even as residents of more demographically stable communities continue to complain of the lack of enforcement of this bold new ordinance.

One hopes that one's political paranoia is just that. But as a wise bumper sticker once said: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you."

Jason Lewis

Baltimore

Baltimore needs noise ordinance

Last week, I had the honor of offering the invocation at the beginning of the City Council meeting. I knew that during this session the anti-noise bill was to be proposed ("Anti-noise bill meets praise, concern," Nov. 2). I secretly prayed that it would pass.

I also prayed that one day soon the same attention will be given to noise generated by certain (but not all) motorcycles.

I have nothing against motorcycles. However, when they ride by our church and we have to stop the service because of the noise, something is not right. There is no need for them to be so loud.

If the car I drove made that type of racket, I'm sure I would get pulled over.

Another quality-of-life issue is the noise generated by certain sound systems in cars, trucks, etc. As they ride by, the building vibrates because they have the volume and bass of their CD players or radios cranked up so loud.

In both of these cases, I believe that the people who perpetrate the noise feel the need to be noticed because something is missing in their lives.

But, please, don't take it out on the rest of us.

Father Ross Syracuse

Baltimore

The writer is the pastor of St. Casimir Church.

City must mute the motorcycles

I was particularly pleased to see that the problem of excessive noise is to be addressed.

But The Sun's article "Anti-noise bill meets praise, concern" (Nov. 2) made no mention of the roaring noise output of some motorcycles.

There is an ordinance making such noise illegal, but it is regularly ignored by our police force.

This situation must be changed.

Samuel M. King

Baltimore

Banning smoking is good for business

Reading The Sun's article "Proposed ban on smoking has both sides all fired up" (Nov. 3), I was particularly interested in the reference to Sonoma's Bar and Grill.

I was there recently to meet a friend and we both turned and walked out after reeling from the secondhand smoke. We took our business to a restaurant at a mall that is smoke-free.

I don't think restaurant and bar owners really understand how much business they lose by allowing smoking. But it is the first question I ask when deciding on where to dine.

And when you consider that nine out of 10 Howard Countians are nonsmokers and eight out of 10 Marylanders are nonsmokers, it is illogical from a business standpoint to allow smoking anywhere.

Debra Kubecka Annand

Columbia

The writer is a volunteer for Smoke-free Maryland.

Liberal news media fuel anger over war

The Sun's editorial "Inept at the top" (Nov. 4) notes that a lot of Americans are unhappy with the way the war in Iraq is going. But it is the liberal media, such as this newspaper, that are feeding the public all of the negativity they can possibly muster.

To read The Sun, one would think that President Bush has never done anything right.

Does not the fact that Iraqis can now vote and that they now have a constitution mean anything to the safety of the world and America?

Keep it up, and you will find the number of readers of this newspaper declining every year, as the public will be seeking the truth.

Stan Goodman

Hampstead

Cutting aid to needy betrays our brothers

I have always thought that the United States was a country that cared for its people. But to reduce and cut social programs that provide a lifeline to the neediest is inhumane ("Senate acts to trim Medicare, Medicaid," Nov. 4).

We must take care of our brothers and sisters who need a helping hand, instead of giving to the rich through tax cuts.

Jeanne Ruddock

Baldwin

Councils provide grassroots a voice

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