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Letters to the editor

THE BALTIMORE SUN

SAVE WESTMINSTER TREES

EDITOR'S NOTE: The state is planning to widen East Main Street in Westminster. To accomplish that, most of the trees along the street will have to be removed. A number of citizens oppose the project, especially if the trees -- part of the city's historic nature -- are removed. We have been asking readers if they think the street should be widened and if so, is it acceptable to remove the trees. We also are asking if they would prefer to see parking limited to only one side of the street as an alternative to the widening. Here are some of the replies we've received:

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From: Dorothy Sadowski

Sykesville

No parking!

Instead have free shuttles all day long from nearby malls to Main Street and back -- also between malls. Local businesses can pay toward it.

Study Dallas, Texas method of Bunny Hop buses.

Another suggestion: Usehigh school parking lots on weekends with shuttle service to Main Street. Both methods will bring business to Westminster.

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From: Caprice Ericson

Westminster

I oppose the project.

I don't see a need for it. I hope they preserve the historic look of the city.

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From: Theresa D. Scarborough

Eldersburg

Westminster shouldconcentrate its efforts on maintaining the quaint small town feelingthat it has.

Leave the roads and trees as they are. Not only for us, but also the environment.

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From: Gloria C. Bader

Finksburg

No, the trees should not be cut down.

If the street does need to have parking limited to only one side, so be it. Trees take years to grow. They are essential to our well-being.

They give out oxygen, absorb noise and dust. Their roots hold soil together. Leaves provide shade and shelter to birds, animals and us poor frazzled humans.

Our eyes behold the beauty of the changing colors in the fall.

In Ethiopia it has become a dust bowl because of lack of trees. Rather harsh comparison to Carroll County.

But cutting down the trees on Main Street is a step in the wrong direction. We people need these trees.

Apart from the above mentioned contributions, Main Street trees provide stability. They are part of Westminster.

It is easy to destroy. We need to know that some things in this mixed up violent world are permanent. Trees, in their quiet, noble way, provide uswith a sense of peace and permanence.

Let them remain and live!

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From: Joyce Bullock

Westminster

I don't think the streetshould be widened unless it is absolutely necessary.

If it is widened we should only have parking on one side of Main Street. We should try and save at least one row of Main Street trees.

The trees that get cut down should be put to good use, like sold for firewood or ground up into wood chips. Then the people of Carroll County can buy the wood and chips and that money can be used to maintain the trees still standing.

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From: Virginia Lee Prins

Westminster

Please, please don't destroy the charm and quaintness of Westminster.

One only has to remember Joyce Kilmore's beautiful poem, "Trees." Ittells it all!

Change parking to one side. No widening.*

From: Aliki McDonald

Hampstead

I would prefer having Westminster maintain its historical nature and small-town atmosphere.

I'm sure there are alternative ways of dealing with the problem of parking.

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From: Walter M. Talbott Jr.

Westminster

I think the wideningof Main Street will seriously damage the historic look of Westminster.

We do not need it. So tell the state to keep hands off. Make one side of the street parking.

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From: Nina L. Strucko

Westminster

Recently, we moved to a lovely court in Westminster.

The day we drove in to our street, we were greeted with a winter wonderland of snow-laden trees. It was beautiful.

There are many streets where no trees live and they look barren compared to ours. Trees add charm and beauty -- they give shelter from the sun and nourishment forthe soul.

They are priceless living works of art.

Please do not let anyone remove them from Westminster.

The street is wide enough.

Study the alternatives and save the trees.

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From: Shirley E. Shipley

Manchester

I think parking on just one side of the street would be acceptable so as not to destroy the country, historic mode of Westminster.

Also, I would be concerned that the widening of the street would start a trend toward other projects detrimental to the atmosphere.

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From: Amy Newman Smink

Woodbine

Part of the charm of Westminster is the mature trees.

The trees address the issue of time, the fact that some things do not change, despite the fact we grow and we live in a world of change.

My generation is all about change. It makes me sad at heart to see so many changes in the things around me.

Feelings of powerlessness and being unimportant consume me as I ask, "Who makes these decisions?"

I experienced my high school years in Westminster. Then, I moved away.

Now, 17 years later, I return and as I walk to one of my favorite restaurants on East Main I feel strong, safe and a sense of belonging.

I agree to the replacing of those trees that must be removed. I also vote for limited parking as a way to save the trees.

The only way to satisfy progress and conservation is to compromise.

How about it?

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From: Nina Strucko

TreeAction Committee

Westminster

If you want to help save the trees of Westminster, please send a Valentine to show you care.

Send it to: Trees, c/o TreeAction Committee, P.O. Box 2136, Westminster, MD. 21157.

CONSERVATIVE, NOT RACIST

From: Tracy D. Haines

Westminster

I am writing this letter mainly to inform you, and hopefully out of this information, to fully persuade you of the following: The vast majority of people callingthemselves "born again," "evangelical," or even "fundamentalists" are not supporters of racism.

Specifically, I am speaking for the conservative Christian community of this area. Because of my background, I believe I am able to do this.

I am a 1982 graduate of the Washington Bible College in Lanham, Md., and I have been involved in several different churches in this area and was once on the staff of Hampstead Youth for Christ. All this, not to mention the many friends andrelatives I have that attend church all over central Maryland.

The reason I feel the need to persuade you (or maybe more fully persuade you) is that last fall during the political campaigns there were numerous articles that linked racism with conservative Christian movements.

In particular, Larry Haines, who won the 5th District Senate seat, was suspected of such racism. As a nephew of Sen. Haines (my dad is an older brother), I can vouch for him and say that I do not believe any of his Christian beliefs would lead him toward racism.

Infact, whether it is Sen. Haines or any one else, I firmly believe ifa person applies a Christian belief system to his life, racism, if it exists in that person's attitude or behavior, will begin to change into acceptance and compassion.

I am not saying that there are notproblems within the community of people that call themselves "Christians" (I am positive there are problems), but to equate the movement with racist organizations or to imply that in theory Christianity supports racism is a blatant lie.

I hope that with the other evidenceI have provided (the enclosed copy of "The Biblical Case Against Racism" in the newsletter of the Washington Bible College/Capital Bible Seminary), you will be more convinced that equating a "fundamentalist" Christianity with racism is presumptuous.

I would encourage you to read the newsletter article and consider the following.

It is written by Ken Barker, the general editor for the "New International Study Bible." He has taught many who undoubtedly have become pastors in our own area. Professors teach the future pastors and the pastors teach the everyday folk called Christians.

I hope and pray that it is the kind of teaching Mr. Barker provides that filters down to these everyday people. Sadly, this is not the case in many instances.

Sometimes teachings are perverse in nature and twist the truth to allow for racist doctrine. This I pray against very much.

With this letter I hope to convince you (not you personally but newspapers in general) to research more thoroughly before describing someone as a racist and never to assume a conservative Christianity supports racist ideology.

GROUP PUTS UP A SIGN

From: Vincent J. Perticone

Carroll County Right To Life

Billboard chairman

The Carroll County Right To Life organization announces the placement of its newest pro-life billboard on the south side of Route 140, about one mile east ofWestminster.

In continuing efforts to educate the public as to the precious human life that is lost in each abortion performed, the billboard stresses that at no matter which stage of the baby's development, "Abortion stops a beating heart."

The cessation of a heartbeat on an EKG graphically demonstrates this fact.

Public feedback onthe billboards has been very positive, most persons expressing gratefulness for this pro-life public information vehicle.

Who can estimate the positive impact that the billboards have had on young and old alike as they are confronted by the humanity of the preborn and thereality of abortion?

There is a continuing need for contributionsfor the expensive billboard project and invite all who have a heart for the preborn, the newborn and the long-born to give as they are able.Tax-deductible donations and checks made out to MRTL Foundation may be sent to Carroll County Right To Life, P.O. Box 241, Westminster,Md. 21157.

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