Rail, not sail
As far as I'm concerned, the tremendous amount of money needed once again to recondition the Constellation could be better spent on something else.
It will never sail again, so why not put it up on dry land somewhere along Light Street, repair it and leave it there? It won't rot out on land nearly as fast as in water.
The money might be better spent on building the tracks and overhead wires to move the street car collection to the B&O; Railroad Museum or Inner Harbor area, as has been proposed. I don't think the Baltimore Streetcar Museum could afford to make this move on its own.
Besides, the cars go. The old ship just sits there.
How do we teach our students about responsibility when the leadership of our school system acts otherwise?
As the Baltimore County school budget was being frozen due to what I consider Superintendent Stuart Berger's mismanagement, he and nine of the 12 members of the Board of Education went to an education convention in San Francisco.
How do we teach our students to abide by the law when the school system leadership seems to act otherwise? I believe Dr. Berger violated state law when he misappropriated $7.2 million of taxpayer money.
Without the approval of the County Council (as required by law) he spent insurance fund rebates (part of which came out of teachers' pockets) to reimburse his administrators for unused vacation pay and to support early retirement incentives.
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. ran on the promise that he was tough on crime. Are we to teach our students that if you wear a suit and only break the education laws of Maryland that your crime will be ignored? Let's hope not.
Kenneth J. Shapiro
I am certain that Baltimore City officials have bigger fish to fry, yet I am equally sure I am not alone in my exasperation over the lack of enforcement of leash laws in city parks.
Recently my wife, our son of 18 months and I found ourselves seeking the higher ground of a jungle gym in the park at Linkwood Road and Coldspring Lane, as an unleashed, snarling Rottweiler roamed the area (owner present).
The next afternoon, my son was knocked on his back by an unleashed mutt of some 35 to 40 pounds in Robert E. Lee Park (again, owner present.)
In these and other instances, our frustration has been met with the ubiquitous, "He's friendly, he won't bite," which is beside the point.
Please let the rest of us enjoy the parks.
The writer is a dog owner.
Two thoughts on the proposed USF&G; expansion plans, as reported April 18:
I have attended a community meeting and public hearings before the Baltimore City Planning Commission and the Land Use Committee of the Baltimore City Council concerning this issue.
The comment attributed to USF&G;'s Gary R. Preysner that the corporation's plans "ain't going to change" typifies the arrogance displayed by USF&G; representatives at all three proceedings.
In addition, I wonder how corporation representatives will encourage employees to use car pools and mass transit, when their proposed development plans would yield approximately one parking space per employee.
ohn B. Hammond
OK, Newt Gingrich, so you want to cut welfare, fine! Let's start with the $1.4 billion in welfare (price support payments) to U.S. sugar cane growers.
Just re-establish with Cuba -- an entire island of sugar cane -- the same diplomatic relations we had with the former dictator Batista and we would save the taxpayers $1.4 billion annually.
That would be a $14 billion savings in just 10 years. Consumers, incidentally, would also save some cash on cheaper sugar.
That should make it sweet enough for everyone except the unreconstructed cold warriors -- still paranoid about an invasion from Cuba.
A. Robert Kaufman
McNamara's book is a warning
The chilling revelations of former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara in his book "In Retrospect" should be a warning to this country.
While the Vietnam War was being fought in both Vietnam and with students at home, Mr. McNamara confesses that he and, subsequently, three presidents concealed what was really happening in the war.
Now, think about that when the older "experienced" politicians in Washington seek to explain their agenda to you.
My blood runs cold when I see members of the House of Representatives fall into lock-step behind a leader who may or may not be a brainless demagogue or worse.
Somewhere a powerful man might be willing to pounce into the White House and lead us on a path crazier than the one we suffered in Vietnam.
While tons of praise are heaped on President John Kennedy, the fact remains that he goofed when he sent advisers to back up the U.S. personnel that President Dwight Eisenhower had already sent at the request of the South Vietnamese government.
Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon extended the nuttiness.
Can politicians be trusted to do the "right thing" when the need arises?
Mr. McNamara's book should be a "revelation," a warning, for us to probe into the intentions of our leaders and demand an accounting when something "seems funny."
We may be getting the funny business from a party, instead of a person, concerning the environment, welfare, tax cuts and capital gains.
Think about it.
A bill passed by the Senate expands federal offenses for which the death penalty can be invoked. It also stiffens the penalties for a number of drug and firearms crimes. If this bill was in effect it would save the United States.