Spare some land
I was dismayed, though not surprised, to learn of the Baltimore County Board of Appeals decision to allow for the development of up to 500 homes on Todd's Point in Edgemere.
The area has only one major artery in and out of the community. The community leaders who spoke against this plan are absolutely correct in their misgivings, the Board of Appeals notwithstanding.
The article to which I refer appeared Jan. 23. In the same edition of The Sun was an article about "the shadow of urban sprawl spreading over the quaint, rural village of Maryland Line."
Baltimore County Zoning Commissioner Lawrence E. Schmidt says that Maryland Line's days as a small rural community "are clearly numbered." Arnold E. Jablon, director of the Office of Zoning Enforcement and Development Management, agrees.
I address these two articles because I believe they point to cultural presuppositions that development is good, is inevitable and improves the quality of life.
I believe these suppositions are wrong, and the governmental policies that support them must one day change.
Wherever you look today in the metropolitan counties' open spaces, parcels of wooded land are being gobbled up. The natural quality of the land is destroyed to accommodate parking lots, more housing, superfluous shopping centers, business parks, etc.
This rapacious development is destroying the rural and suburban quality of life that many people sought in the first place when they removed themselves from "the city."
It also seems to me that by promoting the development of every un-filled space, the efforts to improve air quality and "save the bay" are further compromised.
A better policy might be to give tax breaks to land owners who leave the land untouched, unpaved, undeveloped.
Unfortunately, the environment, non-human species and a less urbanized quality of life will continue to suffer so long as our consumption-oriented, consumer-based economic assumptions persist.
In the meantime, profits will be made by the few as the quality of life continues to deteriorate.
Subsidize the rich
Bill Clinton believes in cracking down on people on welfare, yet he may send billions for the welfare of earthquake-shocked ++ California.
The beneficiaries probably will be millionaires who need cash to pull their mansions out of their swimming pools and buy food stamps to feed themselves in the manner to which they have become accustomed.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum needs $35 million for earthquake repairs so the welfare of football fans will not be disturbed during next year's football season.
When the wealthy receive billions in such cases, the word welfare is never used; it's called a farm subsidy, S&L; buyout or Chrysler bailout.
Bill Clinton's scholarships to Georgetown, Oxford and Yale were not for his welfare, but an honorarium to the universities just for having him enrolled there.
Establish a harem
The relevant question about Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy is not, "Did they plagiarize?" It is not, "Did they commit adultery?"
The relevant question is, "Did they lead us, inspire us, motivate us to create a more just society?"
Dr. King and Mr. Kennedy spoke from their hearts and awakened our souls.
Open your Bartlett's and read their words.
I may be growing more conservative as I age, but I will never forget Dr. King's dream. I will judge a man by the "content of his character."
I will remember the wisdom of John Kennedy, "All of this will not be finished in the first 100 days. Nor will it be finished in the first 1,000 days, nor in the life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin." I am reminded
that Lincoln was told that U. S. Grant was not fit to command because he drank too much alcohol. "What brand does he drink?" Lincoln asked, adding, "I'd like to send a case to all of my generals."
Dr. King and Mr. Kennedy were leaders. Perhaps they were adulterers. If there is a connection there, then I suggest we establish a presidential harem.
As for plagiarism, did the plagiaree get buried with them? God knows the successors to Mr. Kennedy and Dr. King could use some help.
ohn C. Benwell
Havre de Grace
The play's the thing
Is a new "Theater of the Performing Arts" needed? I think not. The Lyric Opera House and the Morris Mechanic Theater together provide more-than-adequate coverage for all live performances in Baltimore.
I recently attended "The Madness of King George III" at the Mechanic. The theater is in excellent shape and is ideal for stage plays, visually and auditorily. The house was full.
For larger shows we have the Lyric. Millions have been spent in past years providing a beautiful new lobby, comfortable seating for 2,800, new stage machinery, a backstage wing with a large scenery elevator and much more.
Further improvements are in progress. These, together with the Lyric's famous acoustics, will satisfy the requirements of large productions.
The Mechanic, a fine Le Corbusier-style structure, is vitally needed to anchor the threatened Charles Center district. The Lyric is already situated centrally in the vibrant Mount Royal arts area.
I hope the proposals being reported in The Evening Sun will receive critical analysis by the staff. Sometimes bad ideas gain momentum when they go unchallenged.
What next? Use stadium money for the new center?
David R. Howes
She likes to skate
When told she would be an alternate on the Olympic skating team, 13-year-old Michelle Kwan commented that it would be good to practice in Norway in case she was called upon to compete.
She ended her statement with a phrase I never expected to hear in relation to sports again: "And besides, it would be fun."
With the Olympic figure skating competition now merely a multimillion-dollar audition for Ice Capades, what a refreshing change it would be to have our country represented by an athlete who actually enjoys the sport.
Our country is not defined politically or internationally by the number of medals we bring home, but by the quality of people who represent us. I would rather see Michelle Kwan lose with a smile on her face than see anyone else cry over lost endorsements after "only" winning a Bronze Medal.
!Nathaniel E. Parkinson
The American way
I really don't get all the concern over Tonya Harding's representing the United States in the Winter Olympics.
Even if she is guilty, she would be a perfect representative. After all, the name of the game in the U.S. is "get it anyway you can."
And even if you are found guilty of a crime, you can still win in the fame-and-fortune department.
Barbara J. Wilson
Seeds of doubt
Thank you for Jean Marbella's Jan. 28 article, "Seeds of doubt." It was refreshing to hear these sadly neglected views.
Now if only television writers would abandon their overwhelming desire to make every television family consist of a minimum of three children.
There are many men and women who are actively choosing to have smaller families, but you would never know it from the television's representation of women everywhere with biological clocks ticking so loudly they seem unable to hear reasonable alternatives.
I would like to see scripts representing adults making their reproductive decisions based on a concern for the global environment, not simply their own emotional wants or needs.
Mary Beth Kircher
The recent City Council session to meet the new police commissioner was a disgrace and a prime example of twisted logic. After a litany of complaints about the many problems that are not addressed in black neighborhoods, the statement was made that a black commissioner would be preferable because he would be more sensitive to the needs of the African-American community.
Who was commissioner while these problems were accumulating?
If these complaints are valid, one would think anyone who had the potential to correct them would be welcome, even if he were from Mars.
Anastasia D. Miller