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Wal Mart IssuesI read with interest the...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Wal Mart Issues

I read with interest the article in the May 13 Maryland section about the proposed bulldozing of wetlands property in the White Marsh area for a new Wal Mart store.

Isn't the proposed site near the intersection of White Marsh Boulevard and Bel Air Road the area where there is already a Price Club, several discount stores and a B.J.'s ?

I live in Chestertown -- another area of distinction in the Wal Mart story. There have been battles in this county even since Wal Mart proposed building a "mega-store" here. I am on the Wal Mart side in this one. Kent County is a small area with plenty of people on the low-income side of the socio-economic scale.

There used to be a McCrory's and an Ames here, but a fire claimed one and Chapter 11 claimed the other. All the people have left is some higher priced stores and a Rose's department store, whose very future is uncertain. The Rose's stores down South are all closing down for good, and that trend is getting closer to reality in Kent County too.

A Wal Mart would be good for our local economy as well as provide inexpensive merchandise for the local people.

Now I have to balance these two issues. Even though a Wal Mart store would create many jobs in the area and would increase the tax revenues for the county, not to mention the fact that many people could remain in town while they purchased needed goods, I would have second thoughts about supporting their impending arrival in Kent County if they have such little regard for the environment that they can't see the forest for the profit.

If they have so little respect for the environment, how much respect will they show their future Kent County employees?

Who works at a Wal Mart store? Single parents and low-income parents. What if one of these mom-type employees needed time off to take a child to the doctor? To see a social worker to lower welfare aid?

Would Wal Mart respect the rights of these employees to handle their errands on company time when needed? Not if they can't respect Mother Earth's need for her natural resources.

Let's see Wal Mart exhibit some compassion for something other than the almighty buck, and I won't have to go elsewhere to shop when Wal Mart comes to Chestertown.

Alexandra N. Olver

Chestertown

PC Architects

Shades of Ellsworth Toohey! Edward Gunts just doesn't get it.

The theme of Ayn Rand's novel "The Fountainhead" is the right of every person to maintain control of his work unless he voluntarily relinquishes part or all of that control.

For most of us, that translates into doing what our employers say in exchange for a salary or wages. For others, it may be the terms negotiated in a contract. For still others, like Howard Roark, the terms are take it or leave it.

That's it, Mr. Gunts. If you don't like an architect's work (or a writer's column), don't buy it. Don't try to assert a right to change another person's work in the interest of political, environmental or any other correctness. Only he or she can give you that right.

Roberta Rambol

Baltimore

Save Nukes

If nuclear weapons testing stops, there is no real reason for having them. As long as these weapons are tested frequently, they are safe. If testing stops, they are unsafe and we would have to get rid of them.

Whenever there is a major arms reduction, there is a greater threat of nuclear war. If a superpower takes a dramatic fall in inventory, a nuclear war could be won.

Right now, there is not a threat of nuclear holocaust, because everything would be eliminated by the weapons the superpowers have. If there is a large reduction, a nuclear war could be won because everything could not be eliminated.

It seems paradoxical to say that we are more safe with more nuclear weapons, but . . . a major reduction in nuclear weapons would end in world disaster.

Christopher Francis Campbell

Columbia

History of Macedonia

R. C. Longworth's news article on Macedonia May 15 is replete with misinformation and contradictions and shows a general lack of knowledge of the history of the Balkan Peninsula.

Although a Slavo-Macedonian dialect, closely related to Bulgarian, is used by the people in the area of Skopje, the name "Macedonia" never has been the name of a nation, nor is there any basis for any claim that there is an ethnic Macedonian people.

Macedonia has always been only a geographic area. As stated by Mr. Longworth in his article, the population of the part of Macedonia which wants to call itself the "Republic of Macedonia" is two-thirds Slav and one-third Albanian.

Alexander the Great and his father, Phillip, were kings of an independent kingdom, which linguistically, culturally and in other aspects was a part of the Greek nation, the same as Athens and Sparta.

It was not until the Slavic invasions more than 1,500 years later that the ancestors of the people who now inhabit the part of Macedonia which was in Yugoslavia arrived on the scene.

The people of the Skopje area of Macedonia have a history of their own. Since their ethnic background and history have no connection whatsoever to Alexander the Great, by what justification do they claim the right to use his 16-pointed star in their flag?

By what distortion of history does Mr. Longworth snidely question that Alexander the Great was Greek?

The creation of the so-called "Republic of Macedonia" was nothing but an invention of Tito to be used as a bridgehead for the penetration and eventual annexation of Greece's northern province.

Tito's Macedonia did not exist on any map 50 years ago. After 1945, Tito began openly talking of a Greater Macedonia that would include not only his small artificial republic but also most of northern Greece.

In pursuit of this policy, during the Greek Civil War of 1945-1949, the Communist-led rebels were supported by Tito with supplies, recruits, training and safe harbors.

They raided Greek villages, kidnapping children who were taken ZTC to Yugoslavia to be indoctrinated and trained as a fifth column for the future assault on Greece.

Greece's objections to the distortions of history and the misuse of the name "Macedonia," so cavalierly dismissed by Mr. Longworth, are well-founded.

It is well for politicians and commentators -- unaware of both the ++ ancient and recent history of the region -- to claim that the petty new state presents no threat to anybody.

That could be as fatally optimistic as their unrealistic expectations that the disintegration of Yugoslavia could be peacefully managed by the Western powers.

Evan Alevizatos Chriss

Baltimore

Student Paper Encourages Diversity

Your front-page article (May 15) about racial tensions at the University of Pennsylvania mentioned the student newspaper only from the perspective of unnamed detractors who, citing the output of a conservative columnist, say it's racist.

For the past six years I've been a regular reader of the Daily Pennsylvanian. Giving any paper's opponents the first and last word on its reputation is unfair. Your readers -- especially those who will soon have to choose a college -- deserve a fuller picture.

At the DP, as the paper is known, any student can become a regular columnist if he or she can write and meet deadlines. That's all it takes. Pay comes in the form of experience, glory and sometimes notoriety -- not bad for a walk-on with neither a resume nor a faculty sponsor.

The DP is a student enterprise from the top down, not the hostage of a journalism school or public relations office. Columnists choose their topics and develop their own prose style. Their names and photographs are at the top of their columns, so no cowards or poison pens need apply.

The young authors' faces leave no doubt: Many of the most compelling and enlightening essays are written by African-American, Asian and Hispanic students. Some columns confront issues of unequal opportunity and our stubborn gender- and race-consciousness.

Others columns discuss the miserable dining service food, the even more miserable job market and the petty educational bureaucrats.

Over the last six years, I have encountered many talented voices in the DP -- eloquent, blunt, funny and urgent -- from all circumstances of color and class. Diversity blooms on the op-ed page with a frequency and intensity The Sun has yet to match.

The University of Pennsylvania's current tensions are real and uncomfortable. Diversity keeps giving way to compartmentalization, and the best minds of a great institution can't seem to figure out how to stop this slide.

But the DP is part of the solution, a mosaic in cold type, publishing good old-fashioned free-for-alls of clashing youthful opinions.

If the aim of a college education is to produce better writers and more thoughtful readers, then a healthy roster of student journalists -- thriving, bickering, annoying, right or wrong -- can tell a college when it's right on the mark.

Eileen O'Brien

Baltimore

Get a Gun

A letter by Jane Caplan of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse (May 19) correctly stated the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Unfortunately, she is in error interpreting the Supreme Court's decision and its meaning.

The Supreme Court has affirmed that the militia is not the National Guard or reserve forces but consists of able bodied, law abiding citizens, i.e. "the people."

If the Second Amendment were correctly interpreted, we would follow Switzerland's example, in which all military-eligible, law-abiding citizens would store their "fully automatic service assault rifles" at home in order to protect against all enemies foreign and domestic.

In addition, a .50-caliber B.M.G. bullet is only about two inches long and weighs approximately 500 grains, more like a Vienna sausage that a "hot dog."

Thomas S. Bartholomae

Baltimore

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