Letters To The Editor


July 15, 2008

Healthier food, healthier city

The Sun's article "Thin School" (July 10) should make area policymakers and parents ask why a Baltimore youth needs to travel across the country to find an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity.

As the author of a study published in June in the American Journal of Epidemiology that used data from Baltimore to look at obesity rates and local environments notes, "even highly motivated individuals will find it very difficult to be more physically active and eat healthy foods if they live in environments that do not support these lifestyles."

For a while a farmers' market organized at the state office complex improved the food environment around Preston Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard for neighborhood consumers limited by the selection at corner stores, as well as for state workers.

Concerns about security put an end to that market but for a time it served the same purpose as the Healthy Stores Project so aptly described on the front page of this same issue of The Sun ("An uphill nutrition fight," July 10).

Baltimore residents should lobby for city and state action to make Maryland workplaces, schools and communities healthier places to be.

Peggy Yen, Baltimore

The writer is a member of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.

Old way to bring fresh food home

In response to The Sun's article about the lack of fresh vegetables at corner stores, I would note that I think this is always the case ("An uphill nutrition fight," July 10); my area corner stores don't sell fresh vegetables either.

And while the efforts of the people at Johns Hopkins University to get better food into stores are admirable, they need not reinvent the wheel.

Remember how fresh vegetables were provided before refrigeration was widely available? By the arabbers.

Let's bring them back.

Troy Tingler, Dundalk

Focus on land deal badly misplaced

If I owned a home with a large backyard and allowed my neighbor's children to play in it, I would be considered a nice and generous person ("The park in Roland park," editorial notebook, July 12).

If I decided to sell my home and the new owner declined to allow anyone in her yard, my neighbor might be disappointed but would have no right to dictate what happened to the property.

And now some residents of Roland Park apparently consider themselves "down at the heels" ("A bit 'quirky' in Roland Park," July 11).

Perhaps my definition of wealth is out of date, but with many homes in the Roland Park area selling for more than $500,000, I'd hardly call the area "down at the heels."

It's a shame the residents of Roland Park couldn't rally their considerable monetary resources and free time to ensure that all Baltimore's children are fed, educated and kept off the streets.

It's a shame the community hasn't united behind a cause such as decreasing homelessness or domestic violence.

And it's a shame that few people in Roland Park seem to understand that someone who doesn't own a property has no claim to decide what's done with that property.

Jessica Lee Fehr, Baltimore

Move to block all foreclosures

History is being made in our floundering stock market, where billions in wealth are being lost overnight. At the same time, millions of homeowners may lose their homes through foreclosures ("Worries batter mortgage giants," July 12).

This country cannot allow these foreclosures to continue.

A federal moratorium on home foreclosures must be passed by Congress that would allow homeowners and their mortgage lenders to come to an agreement as to what amount the homeowners must pay without allowing foreclosure to take place.

Philip R. Grossman, Baltimore

Execution panel a waste of time

I read with just a modicum of interest about the governor's commission to study the death penalty ("Civiletti heads Md. panel on death penalty," July 11).

There are several noteworthy members on that commission, including a very high-ranking former official of the most-failed presidency in the history of this nation, that of President Jimmy Carter.

Former Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti should stick to private practice. And all the people on the commission could find better ways to invest their time.

Any student of politics knows that such commissions are constructed with one purpose - to return a finding that supports the position of the person who convened them.

Why wait until December? Just give the governor what he wants, a finding that the death penalty needs to be banned in "The People's Republic of Maryland."

That would save everyone a lot of time.

Robert L. Di Stefano, Abingdon

Teacher merit pay no help to students

As a 25-year veteran teacher with the Baltimore County schools, I think the proposal for merit pay for teachers leaves much to be desired, especially if anyone thinks teacher merit pay will be a quick fix for students who are not learning ("Teacher pay set by the results," July 6).

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