Funding new aircraft carrier is essential
Congress is currently considering whether to fully fund construction of a new aircraft carrier, the CVN-76, a decision which will have tremendous implications for both the nation and for this region.
In recent years, the aircraft carrier has proven a most versatile and flexible tool for protecting our national interests, serving as a force for crisis stabilization all over the globe.
However, the American fleet of carriers is aging. If we are to meet the challenges of the next century with strength and vitality, we must move forward with the CVN-76.
Beyond its role as a key element of our national defense, the CVN-76 has meaning to the Baltimore area. Fully $32 million in contracts to build this carrier are with Baltimore companies (with another $14 million in contracts spread through the rest of the state), providing employment opportunities for thousands of highly skilled workers.
These are jobs that do not come along every day. Baltimore's industrial base is by no means the only community economy affected. The $2.3 billion spent on components for this ship will be spread among suppliers in 42 states.
Funding the CVN-76 supports American workers now and will enable us to develop new technologies useful in meeting commercial as well as military needs of the future.
It is most important that the United States Congress support the Clinton administration's request to fully fund this project without delay. Any delay in funding will run up the cost of construction, threaten our national security and affect thousands of jobs.
This ship is important to our long-term strategic interests, as well as to our local economy.
We strongly urge Senators Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski to vote in favor of full funding of the CVN-76.
H. Grant Hathaway
The writer is the chairman of the Baltimore County Economic Development Commission.
I though that ticket scalping was illegal in Baltimore.
My daughter and grandchildren made one special request of me, in anticipation of their forthcoming visit from California: "We want to attend a baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards."
A call to Ticketmaster quickly killed that dream, for there were no seats available.
The For Sale column in The Sun indicated differently.
I phoned several of the numbers listed, and learned that there are plenty of tickets available, for a price ranging from $25 to $75 per ticket.
Has our national pastime become a sport only for the wealthy in Baltimore?
Is our beautiful new stadium to be out of the reach of the ordinary citizen?
It sure looks that way!
As a resident of the Inner Harbor area, I have been wondering why the city allows this tourist area each summer season to have more beggars, drunks and mentally disturbed persons to bother residents and tourists.
The harbor walk has become an obstacle course in trying to stay clear of these people. Many of these beggars are becoming more persistent in their quest for money and much nastier when they do not get a handout. They will follow people for blocks and start yelling obscenities.
Those of us who live in the area have given up taking our complaints to the Inner Harbor police station.
We are told that police cannot do anything or that they will move these persons out of the areas, but they do not.
I have sat outside the station for 30 minutes after making a complaint, and not one officer has come out of the station.
It's all for a good cause
When I was a young man growing up in East Baltimore, my mother would always say, "If you don't have something nice to say about someone, say nothing at all."
I understand that in the newspaper business that axiom can't apply, but it was the first thing that came to mind after reading Dan Rodricks' comments in "Boog vs. Bikinis" May 25, concerning the Metropolitan Fire Fighters Burn Center Fund, Inc.
Whenever there is a fund-raiser to benefit our organization, we distribute a press release. Most never make the pages of your newspaper.
You do not report to your readership that we pay to send 30 to 35 children to the Mid-Atlantic Burn Camp each summer at the cost of $600 per child.
You do not report that we have allocated $130,000 to provide rehabilitation equipment for physical and occupational therapy for burn survivors.
You also ignore reporting about the ongoing fire/burn-prevention program, which utilizes a $25,000 robotic character to enhance the valuable life-saving lesson taken to elementary schools by members of our organization on their off-duty time.
It is not newsworthy to report that we provide housing for family members of patients being treated at the Baltimore Regional Burn Center.
Remember, the Burn Center accepts patients with major burns from all over Maryland and parts of Pennsylvania, and it is impractical for some family members to commute, and their support to the burn victim is essential. It also goes unnoticed when we inform you of such fund-raising events as our annual "Fill the Boot for Burns."
The business of charity is a very competitive one, and some charities maintain quite an overhead at the expense of the ones whose hopes hinge on the money that trickles down.
No salaries are paid to anyone associated with the Metropolitan Fire Fighters Burn Center Fund, Inc. We meet at local union halls to save money. Some of our events are sponsored by us, and others are sponsored on our behalf.
The event commented on by Mr. Rodricks is one which is being sponsored by someone else.
If he had taken two minutes to make one phone call, he would have learned that we are not the only recipient of money from this event.
The homeless are also benefiting, by splitting the portion of the proceeds which this event will generate . . .