Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 11, 2006

Harbor hotels boost county renaissance

I commend The Sun for its excellent report on the National Harbor and on the possible move of the NAACP's headquarters to this development along the banks of the Potomac River in Prince George's County ("NAACP ponders suburb of D.C.," Aug. 1).

Although the article highlighted the significance of the National Harbor project, one minor correction is required. The Gaylord hotel and convention center, currently under construction, is now expected to have 2,000 rooms, not 1,500 as The Sun indicated.

In addition, the National Harbor project expects to house five other hotel properties, which could add an additional 1,000 hotel rooms.

This is important for it would give the National Harbor more convention facilities than now exist in downtown Washington and make the area a major force in the convention and tourism business.

In reference to Prince George's County and the National Harbor, NAACP President Bruce S. Gordon correctly said, "There's a lot of excitement here. "

In fact, that excitement is visible throughout the county, from the National Harbor in the south to Konterra in the north and to Largo Town Center and the M-Square research park in College Park.

Much of the credit for that must go to the visionary leadership of County Executive Jack B. Johnson, who has spearheaded the renaissance of Prince George's County.

Pradeep Ganguly

Glenn Dale

The writer is deputy director for public works and transportation for Prince George's County.

Razing Rochambeau betrays its neighbors

In light of the views and offers expressed at Monday's hearing by city Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano and City Planning Director Otis Rolley III, it is now even more clear that razing the Rochambeau building to create a prayer garden defies common sense ("City says hands are tied in demolition decision," Aug. 8).

As a nearby property owner, I have invested a significant amount of my own money to renovate what had become a mostly forgotten storefront. Several other property and business owners near me have done the same.

We do this because we "BELIEVE" (remember that word?) in the character and the rich history of the area, and that it can once again thrive as a destination for future generations to live and work.

A restored Rochambeau could be an integral part of achieving that goal.

Shame on the Archdiocese for letting its ego trump the will of the city and of its neighbors and for donning the cloak of religious freedom to justify demolishing the building.

John Dickie IV

Baltimore

Embrace city's plan to aid rehabilitation

I'm a lapsed Catholic for any number of very good reasons, most recently the Archdiocese of Baltimore's plan to raze the Rochambeau ("City says hands are tied in demolition decision," Aug. 8).

The plan is bad for the city and bad for the church, because it will diminish interest in the area and make the church look like a destroyer. And it's like a lobotomy for our city's history.

Compounding the situation is that demolition is completely avoidable since a good alternative is available, namely rehabilitating the building as shelter for people - and God knows Baltimore can use that.

The church's intention to raze the building is breathtakingly confounding when we read that the city is willing to help pay for its rehabilitation.

Harry DeBusk

Reisterstown

Naval Academy chief running a tight ship

Why did The Sun publish an article like "Academy may face fallout on Owens," (Aug. 7)?

It is time for everyone to remember who is in charge of the United States Naval Academy. His name is Vice Adm. Rodney P. Rempt. He is an American hero and he is doing exactly what is expected of him.

He is running a tight ship and he is strict on discipline. So why do we have all these nosey do-gooders trying to tell the admiral how to run his ship?

It is time to recognize his authority and stay out of his business.

Walter Boyd

Lutherville

Failure of diplomacy led to Mideast crisis

The Sun's excellent editorial "A lesson from Qana" (Aug. 2) left out perhaps the most important lesson that the Bush administration has never learned concerning the Middle East - the art of diplomacy.

Everyone knows the United States is the most essential nation in the world. When a problem arises, the world looks to this nation to lead the international community to resolve it.

But a monumental failure in diplomacy is the root cause of the current problem in the Middle East.

When the Bush administration took office, it chose, as a matter of policy, to ignore the Palestinian-Israeli problem (which cannot be solved without our active participation) and allowed the problem on the Israeli-Lebanese border to fester.

Imagine what could have happened if the Bush administration had used robust diplomacy to follow up on the hard work of President Clinton to achieve a two-state solution, a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state, and had created an opening to Iran.

Instead the Bush administration decided to substitute ideology for diplomacy and peacemaking.

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