Still 55w syndrome. Let's all hope and...


Still 55

w syndrome. Let's all hope and pray that the vowed appeals won't take an eternity, and that the final court will pass a judgment which exhibits the wisdom of Solomon.

Thomas G. Bodie.


Too Many

Editor: George F. Will once wrote, "It was like trying to stop the wind with a machine gun." I thought about that when trying to make sense out of your May 5 special section, "Baltimore and Beyond."

What's special about it? It tells us what we already know and groan and moan about. It deals with effects, not causes. It doesn't offer solutions.

Neither do I, but I can be excused because I'm a high school dropout. But I can tell you two words we'd be wise to consider as causes for most if not all of our worsening problems: too many.

Too many people. Too many stores. Too many hotels. Too many murders. Too many everything.

Let's tackle too many people first. When controlled, we'll see other problems vanish.

Where are the brains, our leaders, to get us out of our mess? Action is needed, not words, not special reports as you glamorized "Baltimore and Beyond."

B. J. Small.


Too Big

Editor: A lot of us agree wholeheartedly with Del. Ellen Sauerbrey's assessment: the Linowes-driven locomotive is barreling full speed ahead -- and the middle-class appears to be helpless. But if you listen, you will hear the distant hoofbeats of the cavalry.

Ellen Sauerbrey and like-minded legislators are at work building a consensus among the General Assembly leadership: a tax increase by any name is unacceptable. Something is terribly wrong with a system where nearly 50 percent of every dollar goes to taxes, and where far too many of us have no disposable income after taxes.

Somehow sanity must be introduced into government financial management. Revenue projections must be anchored in reality, and budgets must reflect the economic times. Government has gotten too big. We need to systematically slice away until the government work force is affordable. I'm firmly convinced downsizing government will make it more effective and efficient.

# Patricia Rybak. Baltimore.

Shelter First

Editor: I have a suggestion concerning the condition of the Holocaust Memorial as left by the homeless people who inhabit it (article, May 31).

Rather than raise $120,000 to create an impenetrable fortress out of the plaza, as the Baltimore Jewish Council envisions, why not raise that money and use it as a cornerstone to fund a project geared toward relief and rehabilitation for the homeless people themselves?

The Holocaust Memorial/homeless problem is not a problem in itself but a symptom of a much greater problem and we, as Americans, have a history of treating effects while ignoring their cause. We must stop this trend.

I am sure that the BJC is not the only organization dealing with the consequences of the homeless (their clutter, feces, etc.), and I am sure that the BJC is not alone in thinking of solutions for its own immediate predicament.

Well, imagine the potential that a network of these institutions could have in really doing good for those in need -- by creating new or supporting existing shelters or kitchens, funding an urban beautification program which would employ the homeless and benefit the entire citizenry, restore and maintain any of the many closed-up public comfort stations, etc.

Imagine the national headlines generated by such a network truly committed to tackling the homeless problem, because it affects them directly, head-on with altruism and integrity. Imagine the subsequent focus and positive interest (and later business) bestowed upon this city whose shimmering skin has a rotting core.

Imagine the pride and self-esteem coming from being associated with such a network, or from being a recipient of its benefits.

Imagine the alternative: All the organizations that could comprise such a common-interest network, instead committing only to their own self-interest, putting up so many fences that homeless people are driven further into the madness that accompanies being part of a system in which they are dysfunctional and unwanted.

Now imagine this underclass becoming so embittered to their "motherland" that it develops a behavior which sends our crime rate soaring even further.

The Baltimore Jewish Community has already committed itself to resolving its crisis. I challenge it to resolve it in a way that brings our community together, rather than further apart.

If it accepts that challenge and encourages others to do likewise, I am sure that visitors will be forgiving of the mess at the plaza until the big problem (and all its symptoms) have been remedied.

Scott Neilson.


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