Letters To The Editor


July 29, 2008

Enriching youths pays big dividends

The Sun's article "Enriching parks and self-esteem" (July 23) offered welcome recognition of the fact that, despite the challenges and threats city youths face, the majority of our city's young people welcome the opportunity to work hard and improve their communities.

The article correctly notes that programs such as the Civic Justice Corps helps get those youths "off the streets." I would add that these programs also provide essential job skills that will prepare Baltimore youths for jobs in the emerging green economy that are vital to creating a cleaner and greener Baltimore.

The Parks and People Foundation is proud to be one of the partners in the program.

The program is an important rung of our "green career ladder," which works to develop, through education and job training programs, our next generation of environmental stewards.

We applaud leaders at the city and state level for creating opportunities to connect young people to the outdoors and to jobs.

The young women and men profiled demonstrate that there is a demand for such opportunities and that increasing our investment in young people will provide dividends for years to come.

Mary L. Washington, Baltimore

The writer is assistant director of the Urban Resources Initiative for the Parks and People Foundation.

Camps give kids a taste of green

The Sun's article "Enriching parks and self-esteem" (July 23) failed to mention that the Civic Justice Corps was a personal initiative of Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Toward the end of the legislative session, he instructed the Department of Natural Resources to put this program together, which it did in record time.

For city kids, the departure from the solid surface of asphalt to the "green" that the program provides satisfies their souls and alerts their minds to all kinds of new ideas and possibilities for their young lives.

Having visited this camp and talked to and listened to the youngsters, I can say that many doors are being opened for these youngsters - and that's all to the good.

Thank you, Mr. O'Malley.

Chris T. Delaporte, Pasadena

The writer is a former Baltimore director of parks and recreation who is a now consultant to the state parks superintendent of the Department of Natural Resources.

Foolish to oppose a local windmill

I was shocked and saddened when I read about neighbors in Baltimore County resisting a windmill being built in their neighborhood ("Residents to appeal windmill," July 24).

Finding alternative energy sources is not just a matter of lowering utility bills; it is socially responsible.

Maryland faces an energy crisis. Our power supply is old and is not keeping up with rising demand. Our transmission system is antiquated and may soon be unable to transport enough electricity to meet our needs.

We need to reduce the demands on the current system by finding alternative sources of energy and practicing conservation.

I applaud homeowner Barry Antonelli and his builder for their efforts.

I hope their good efforts will open the door for many such energy-efficient homes.

Denise Budnitz, Baltimore

Doing more to aid profligate debtors?

Now that the federal government is about to commit billions of tax dollars collected from responsible citizens who live within their means to bail out those who bought houses they could not afford ("Housing rescue bill OK'd," July 27), perhaps it is time to focus on helping those who borrowed more than they could afford to repay to buy a home to pay for their other excesses - such as luxury cars that may also be in danger of being repossessed.

Also, let's not forget about their boats and country club memberships; we wouldn't want to have these folks suffer the indignation of having to wait in line for tee times at municipal golf courses behind those of us involuntarily picking up the tabs on their houses, now would we?

Mark Haas, Timonium

Attacks on Obama appear two-faced

What gives with Sen. John McCain?

He had been attacking Sen. Barack Obama for failing to visit Iraq or to seek other sources of information overseas. Then Mr. Obama goes overseas and does just that, overshadowing Mr. McCain's campaign. And now the McCain campaign is complaining that Mr. Obama should be at home talking policy with the American people (which he has been doing for some 18 months) ("Obama calls for U.S.-European unity," July 25).

Is Mr. McCain just not with it, or is he being two-faced?

Philip L. Marcus, Columbia

Most Iraqis want occupation to end

Sen. Barack Obama was correct when he said the Iraqis "do not want an open-ended presence of U.S. combat forces."

What he said is neither rocket science nor political. Anyone who has been paying attention during these last six disastrous years of war in Iraq should have figured out by now that the war has always been about occupation, occupation, occupation.

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