December 01, 2008

New convenience store could add to crime

I am appalled that 7-Eleven might successfully lease a property for a new 24-hour convenience store at a corner adjacent to Mount Vernon Square ("Bid to block 7-Eleven in Mount Vernon falls short," Nov. 25).

As it is, the neighborhood often serves as a crossroads for the homeless and - much worse - for muggers, petty thieves, drug dealers, prostitutes and recently even a serial rapist.

The fact that administrators of the Peabody Conservatory apparently view this development with indifference is especially outrageous, since their own students are frequently mugged and sometimes raped in the area.

Gregory Friedman, the owner of the property that may be rented to 7-Eleven, may doubt that the Mount Vernon-Belvedere Association represents neighborhood interests.

But it's clear to many residents of Mount Vernon that Mr. Friedman, a resident of Roland Park, couldn't care less about our collective welfare.

Robert Beachy, Baltimore

A blight on charm of Mt. Vernon Square

The proposed 7-Eleven on Mount Vernon Square is beyond belief ("Bid to block 7-Eleven in Mount Vernon falls short," Nov. 25).

Born and raised in downtown Philadelphia, not too far from its historic Rittenhouse Square, I've developed a keen appreciation for all things historic.

And I know that a project such as the proposed 7-Eleven would be not only be deemed unbelievable but simply laughable if presented to the citizens of Philadelphia.

I've lived in, worked in and supported the Mount Vernon area for almost 30 years now. Its beauty, charm and historic value are a priceless commodity not only to the city of Baltimore but to the rest of the country.

This issue here goes beyond a question of taste or appearance or crime or even outright greed. It's about the heart of our city and what we citizens hold dear.

As citizens, we must unite against this proposed travesty for Mount Vernon Square.

If we do not speak out, we fail.

Johnathan Schoening, Baltimore

24-hour store boosts the area's vitality

I welcome a 7-Eleven store to the corner of Charles and Centre streets ("Bid to block 7-11 falls short," Nov. 25).

I have an apartment at that corner, as do more than 300 other seniors. It will be so convenient for us to be able to go across the street to get cough medicine, toothpaste or some ice cream. The coffee there will be brewed fresh, even when I am up early and no other place in the neighborhood is open.

The Mount Vernon neighborhood is a special place. But it pretty much closes up after rush hour. What little foot traffic we have is comprised of people exiting area restaurants or young people coming home after a night on the town.

Mount Vernon should not be the dark spot between the Harbor and the Penn Station area.

The neighborhood will be none the worse for the presence of a 24-hour business.

The people, the lights and the traffic will make the neighborhood safer, and the store will be an added amenity in the neighborhood.

Vince Gomes, Baltimore

Why can't the state balance own budget?

The first sentence of the article "Governors hanging in till Jan. 20" (Nov. 25) says, "With congressional action on a fiscal stimulus package by year's end far from certain, Gov. Martin O'Malley and other state leaders are pinning their hopes for the economy and besieged state budgets on an Obama administration that takes over in January."

Wasn't it around this time last year when a special session of the state legislature raised our taxes by more than $1 billion to fix our besieged state budget, including a 20 percent raise in the state sales tax?

That's a nice gift that should keep on giving to the state budget.

Then, in the months before the November election, proponents of slots told us that if we voted for slots, that would help solve the state's financial problems. And now the governor is looking to the federal government to bail out his budget?

Are we ever going to have a Maryland administration that can balance the budget on its own? Or should we just endorse our paychecks right to the state and eliminate the middleman?

David Gosey, Towson

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