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Aid to CityRegarding Barry Rascovar's column of...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Aid to City

Regarding Barry Rascovar's column of May 10 on the counties' aid to Baltimore City:

Doesn't he realize that for every dollar from the city that goes to Annapolis, the city receives about $1.40 in return, and for every dollar the surrounding five counties send, they receive considerably less?

Baltimore County receives about 68 cents for every one of its dollars sent to the state.

These additions to the city and subtractions from the counties means that we in the counties are obviously subsidizing the city very strongly, and Mr. Rascovar knows this.

Please, no more taxes for anyone.

E. C. Chavatel Jr.

Timonium

Smoking Anger Over Tobacco

How can the lobbyist representing an industry like tobacco convince the state's legislators to pass a bill that will result in our state remaining number one in the cancer death rate?

Why should it be detrimental to the interests of the tobacco industry for the state to produce anti-cancer messages? Does this tobacco spokesman actually believe that spending on anti-smoking messages is throwing away good money?

Of course lobbyist Bruce Bereano doesn't believe that. He is just a mouthpiece for an industry that can't stand the thought of losing any of its potential new clients, young smokers and those who may be influenced to stop or curtail their smoking.

To not allow the state government to advise its citizens about the dangers of certain activities is plain stupid and can be deadly. This is like not allowing people to advise against drinking and driving or wearing seat belts. These messages to the public have proven effective and were not just good money being thrown away, as Mr. Bereano claims the anti-smoking ads would be.

The part of the bill that was "neglected" by the legislators is a sin and will only do the tobacco companies any good. Don't our lawmakers read the bills they vote on, or was the late Harry McGuirk the last one to bother to do this before voting?

Joseph Vavra

Baltimore

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This shamelessly predatory smoking lobby induced the legislature to cancel the anti-cancer ad campaign on the grounds that it would hurt tax revenues from tobacco sales. Our legislature should have the courage of its convictions and also save the $4.7 million to be spent on medical services.

In fact, the legislators ought to carry their contemptible timidity one step further and pass a law denying medical treatment or compensation to anybody diagnosed as having terminal lung cancer.

That will save tons of money and really show smoking lobbyist Bruce Bereano that we mean business.

Ronald Blum

Timonium

Forge Park

We are responding to your April 28 editorial, "Swapping Forge Park." The editorial discussed a proposed project involving an expansion of the York Road Plaza Shopping Center into a small neighborhood park located directly behind the existing Giant Food and Pharmacy.

Giant Food and the owner of the center, BTR Realty, want to assure the community and our customers that the Forge Park Recreation and Park resources are not in jeopardy whatsoever as a result of our proposal to revitalize York Road Plaza. Both Giant and BTR are strongly committed to replacing any lost facilities or open space to the satisfaction of the community.

We continue to explore this proposed redevelopment project. We are therefore committing to the community that if we have not satisfied the neighborhood residents by Sept. 1, prior to the beginning of County Council hearings on our proposed zoning request, we will move to withdraw our zoning request.

In the meantime, we ask for the community's cooperation so that the zoning can be recommended by the Planning Board, and so that the proposal can be reviewed by other public agencies involved.

This in no way guarantees that the project will be constructed but simply gives us an opportunity to discuss the project with the planning representatives in Baltimore County. Our pledge is simple and straight-forward: If we have not satisfied the community by the end of the summer, expanding the Giant Food and Pharmacy store onto Forge Park will be a moot issue.

We have been corporate citizens of the Baltimore community ever since the early 1940s.

We have built a strong reputation of being involved citizens in the many communities we are privileged to serve.

We pledge to continue to work alongside the community to revitalize a shopping center that is over 25 years old, so that it continues to be a viable and attractive retail resource.

Barry F. Scher

Washington

RF The writer is vice president for public affairs of Giant Food Inc.

Serbian Danger

Your May 12 editorial, "The Murder of Sarajevo," tacitly urges U.S. international intervention in Yugoslavia.

Your enthusiasm for such action should be tempered by the awareness that the Serbian nationalists of the present day are no more concerned about the consequences of their rapacious nationalism than were their forbears of four generations past.

They will surely erect a monument to lionize and honor whoever ignites an international war in the cause of Serbian nationalism, as they did for Gavrillo Princip, who lit the fuse in 1914.

Bismarck said it best: "The Balkans are not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier." Unfortunately, he was dismissed and his advice rejected. Germany embroiled itself in a Balkan nationalistic-imperialistic powder keg that was of no vital interest to it.

Its involvement internationalized what should have been a local, albeit bloody, quarrel. The world suffered greatly because of that involvement, the repercussions of which still reverberate.

Although the possibility of a repetition of August 1914 is remote, let's not resurrect the guns of August by internationalizing a local dispute.

Seymour Baida

Baltimore

Good News

The Sun's Washington Bureau reporter Gilbert Lewthwaite has gone to almost comical lengths in his front page articles about "moderate and sustainable recovery" of our economy.

Mr. Lewthwaite's source of wisdom is that master of magic, the economist. This poor soul must simply work himself into a sweat as he tells us time after time that "most economists" believe this and "most economists" believe that.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Lewthwaite. With an official Baltimore City unemployment rate approaching 11 percent and with thousands more having given up looking for work and therefore not counted, we need all the good news we can get. Even if it isn't true.

And remember the words of President Calvin Coolidge to guide us through these difficult, but apparently improving times: "The final solution of unemployment is work."

Peter French

Baltimore

Hatchet Job

As a former confidential assistant to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, I object to the biased story by Lyle Denniston in the May 12 issue.

The writer's only "evidence" for asserting that a "burden" of "legitimacy" hangs over Justice Thomas is a quote from People magazine by Virginia Thomas.

It is unfair to judge Justice Thomas by a remark his wife made expressing her own view, not his.

Further, the body of the story fails to address the "legitimacy" issue in the lead, but consists mostly of anecdotes from unidentified sources.

The argument that Justice Thomas sides reflexively with Justice Antonin Scalia is as fallacious as the rest of the story.

Where are the facts to back up the editorializing claim that Justice Thomas is "wont" to follow Justice Scalia's philosophical lead?

Your story was not researched, not investigated, but thrown together from convenient snatches of conversation, possibly from sources with axes to grind. There were only two identified sources, and only one source was fair to Justice Thomas.

Where was the balance? Where was the objectivity? Where was the professionalism? For that matter, where was the effort that should go into a major story such as this?

The Sun has done Justice Thomas an injustice by publishing such a sloppy hatchet job as this. If you are not concerned about the truth, you ought to be concerned about your credibility.

Armstrong Williams

Washington

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