Coldspring and Cylburn ParkHaving attending the Planning...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Coldspring and Cylburn Park

Having attending the Planning Commission meeting at which the amendment to the Coldspring planned unit development ordinance was discussed, I thought I might add a few facts which were inadvertently omitted or incorrectly reported.

Speaking on behalf of the Coldspring Community Association, I testified in support of the PUD amendment reducing the development density of the property. The residents of Coldspring Newtown have found the developer to be open and responsive to their requests.

Members of the Coldspring Community Association's planning committee have met regularly with the city and the developer over several years and have been able to influence to some degree the design of the project.

As it is currently proposed, the project will be 75 percent less dense than the 414 units for which the area is currently zoned. The owners of the 250 existing units of Coldspring consider this reduction to be a significant feature of the plan.

At the request of Coldspring residents, the developers and the city narrowed the planned width of the streets from 34 feet to 30, partly to diminish the environmental impact of the new homes and partly to reduce through traffic.

The planned location of homes has been altered on several occasions so as not to adversely impact existing specimen trees on the property. In some instances, this sensitivity to existing trees has required placing homes closer to the Cylburn Arboretum property line than some users of that park would like.

It was also at the request of Coldspring residents that the developer proposed to link pathways from the development and Coldspring to the arboretum.

The new Coldspring development should not be described as coming at the expense of the arboretum.

Coldspring residents view the arboretum as a valuable neighbor they visit often. They have spoken in defense of the arboretum when it was proposed to be the site of intense development.

Coldspring residents have worked hard to have their community be an extension of the arboretum, having planted and maintained a bird sanctuary.

William W. Toole

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Coldspring Community Association.

Clinton's tax plan will sink the economy

From coast to coast the snake oil salesman from Arkansas and his henchmen are pitching mumbo-jumbo economics to sell the American people his package of monetary magic. This taxpayer isn't buying.

No amount of talking can convince me that by increasing corporate and energy use taxes on energy intensive industries such as steel and autos, they will somehow become more competitive.

Such intermediate-level taxes are an increased cost of production and ultimately must be borne by the customer in the form of price increases.

Steel and autos, already threatened by competition, cannot possibly become more competitive when their prices are going up.

This can only lead to the greater importation of foreign-made autos and steel products with increasing numbers of plant closing and worker layoffs in this country.

Similarly, using terms such as "fairness," the administration and others seek an even steeper progressive income tax rate. Popular as this may seem to those who assume that someone else will foot the bill, nothing could be less productive.

In general, those among us with the highest incomes are the leaders in our society. Not politicians, they are the professionals, managers, entrepreneurs and investors who keep our economy alive.

The wealth and income they create are continuously returned to our economy through spending and reinvestment to sustain it and create new jobs without government help.

Punishing their success through increased taxation can only lead to diminished risk-taking, more emphasis on tax avoidance and ultimately fewer jobs.

Proponents of the administration's plan for increased taxation cannot point to a single instance in history where increased taxation ever improved an economy -- not in the U.S. or abroad.

But examples of the opposite abound. Taxes destroy economies, not build them. Governments create waste, not jobs.

Mr. Clinton's time would be better spent pursuing those issues for the benefit of all taxpayers rather than the few he has sought to embrace.

Edward J. Naumann Jr.

Baltimore

Nun stories

It was unfortunate that, in her attempt to call attention to Catholic Schools Week, writer Jean Marbella did not select a more positive theme for her article "Nun stories and then some" (Feb. 1).

Her emphasis on such tired jokes as the patent leather shoes story (which I suspect is pure fiction -- I certainly never heard it during my 12 years in Catholic schools), and her choice of such questionable sources as John Waters and Madonna to describe their complaints, raises questions regarding the sincerity of Ms. Marbella's article.

The nuns who taught us were for the most part caring, intelligent, well-educated women, many of whom had advanced degrees.

They were totally dedicated to teaching, always available for help and advice and, while maintaining a proper perspective for their work, tempered it with a keen sense of humor.

The nuns' habits were signs of their dedication to their vocation, much like a nurse's uniform or a military uniform. Ms. Marbella's remark about "full penguin dress" and clacking rosaries" was in very poor taste, especially since such items have been treated with respect for centuries, and the rosary has always been the embodiment of a beautiful prayer.

Nuns, of course, are human, and it is only natural that all of us have our funny school stories and memories regarding them. But most of the nuns who taught us are remembered with affection, admiration and respect, not resentment.

Ms. Marbella's patronizing attitude toward women who devoted their lives to the education of young people does them an injustice.

I don't consider myself a "survivor" of Catholic schools but a former student who is grateful for the opportunity to have received an excellent Catholic education.

Mary L. Pipkin

Baltimore

Enough sacrifice

Bill Clinton wants us to feel a pang of patriotism and "sacrifice" more of our earned income.

I don't technically work for any government, yet my tax burden to sundry political entities doesn't end for nearly five months of every year. And Clinton wants sacrifice?

It would appear that the proponents of ever more hoggish taxation and elephantine government have no conception of reality.

What is being asked for is that we start giving our entire salary to the all-knowing elected gods of gross expenditure and pray that they throw back a few slivers after supping heartily at the ever-filled trough of middle class taxes.

If Clinton and his band of entitled liberal tax robbers want sacrifice, let them offer up a lamb.

Forty percent of my income given up to ineffective legislating is well beyond fair and patriotic. I would be better served by joining the military (if the armed forces are not made obsolete).

Ronald L. Dowling

Baltimore

Living high

I read the Feb. 17 Evening Sun article about teens getting high -- and dying -- because they inhale nitrous oxide from whipped cream cans.

I think this is one more good reason marijuana should be legalized.

No one has ever died from inhaling marijuana smoke.

John M. Stone

Baltimore

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