Dislusioned with GOPin WashingtonAlthough I have been...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Dislusioned with GOPin Washington

Although I have been a Republican for close to 30 years, I never had much reason to look deeply into the philosophy of the Republican Party.

Raising a family and being a property owner, I felt their views reflected my concerns at the time. I certainly was not in favor of giving away my money for some of the hare-brained ideas the Democrats espoused.

However, now that my party is in control in Washington, even for this short time, I am coming to the sad conclusion that the Republican idea of a future is really no future at all.

It is a return to an America of the 1840s where landowners (white, of course) were the decision-makers. To an America of minimal federal government.

The reality, though, is that America and the world have moved on since that time.

Republicans know that having 50 individual state welfare

programs is going to hurt us all, but especially the poor and near-poor.

They know that having 50 state educational standards is going to ensure the lowering of educational growth in this country and keep us from competing with the rest of the world.

Perhaps Newt Gingrich has forgotten who guaranteed his living -- college students using federally guaranteed loans.

I didn't vote for my party to "cut people off at the knees." I didn't vote for my party to demolish the 60-year improvement in the health and well-being of our elderly by reneging on Social Security and Medicare commitments. I didn't vote for my party to ensure the continuing poverty of children by attacking the single-parent home.

There is simply no forward thinking in the Republican Party. Rather than exhibit leadership, it is merely pandering to our anger as it tries to return us to a period of some 160 years ago. Any period in history looks good from such a distance.

Perhaps the Republican Party's real strength lies in serving the country as the permanent minority party in government.

Thus, it could provide a reality check, fiscal and otherwise, to some of the Democratic Party's hare-brained ideas. As hare-brained as those ideas can sometimes be, however, they do offer us a future.

Although I'll probably continue to be a Republican, it is the Democrats who have forward thinking ideas.

Richard Troy

Timonium

Crime Rides Rails

When the light rail system came to Linthicum, there was a sharp decline in the quality of life. Crime skyrocketed dramatically to the point that almost 200 angry residents showed up at a Linthicum-Shipley Improvement Association meeting in May 1994 to express their frustration with crime.

There was no adequate funding to provide police protection and the honor system for purchasing tickets is not working. These flaws in the light rail system must be addressed in upcoming public hearings. If not, the future light rail extension into the Glen Burnie area will also bring the same rash of crime as experienced by Linthicum, Timonium and other communities along the light rail lines.

Anne Arundel County Councilman Ed DeGrange was absolutely right when he said the light rail system should support the commercial side of the community. This is where the ridership would be best served, not by going through residential areas and dividing our communities and not by creating traffic jams such as those at Maple Road in Linthicum.

Ken Goon, the Mass Transit Administration director of planning, and his office did not support a route through the industrial park along Nursery Road west of Linthicum to BWI Airport, where the ridership would be best served. Instead the Linthicum area received a lot of misery from the criminal element.

Our elected officials in the 1996 General Assembly need to convince their colleagues that the honor system must go and provide adequate funding for police protection before extending the system through Glen Burnie.

Gerald Starr

Linthicum

Guilford traffic

The board of directors of the Waverly Improvement Association would like to voice dismay over the mayor's decision to erect a barrier on Southway and Greenmount Ave.

JTC This was in violation of an agreement worked out by a traffic "charette" held in the fall of 1994 involving the surrounding communities.

The Guilford and Oakenshaw communities have fought for years to establish an enclave that isolate themselves from Waverly and other less affluent neighborhoods. The final and successful impetus came when a brutal murder took place within the neighborhood.

The conclusion of the charette was to support a process to look over the whole traffic patterns of the Greenmount corridor. Although it included the possibility and even likelihood of closing off many streets, it had to go through a continuing process that included the surrounding communities.

We had full City Council support in our opposition to such closings.

The mayor's office, on the other hand, apparently thought otherwise. Its decision seemed based on the weighing of political clout between the competing neighborhoods.

The Waverly Improvement Association heard about this fait accompli without having the opportunity to respond.

This does not bode well for a relationship between this administration and the communities based on trust and mutual respect.

yles B. Hoenig

Baltimore

The writer is a board member of the Waverly Improvement Assn.

Little League

I just finished reading your article about the Little League lawsuit (Sept. 8).

I've been going to Little League games for over 16 years and I've seen it all.

My three sons, ages 23, 20 and 15, have made me president of the D.L.L.P.A. -- that stands for Disgruntled Little League Parent Assocation.

S. Levin

Baltimore

Arts and the City

As a resident of Baltimore City, I see things each day which worry me: vacant buildings where businesses and families once thrived, schools emblazoned with graffiti and shabby from lack of resources for repairs, teachers working hard with minimal resources for less money than they deserve, apparent dope dealers hanging out on corners I routinely drive past.

These problems and more are crying out for attention and for funds to help correct them.

At the same time, arts organizations such as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra are in need of support to continue their programs.

It looks like a clear decision: Which areas most deserve our limited funds, those which impact our day-to-day living or those which only enhance the lives of some of the citizens of our city, metropolitan area and state?

Unfortunately, the decision is not so simple. All of these things affect our quality of life.

High quality of life is why I choose to live in the Hamilton neighborhood of Baltimore City.

There are parts of the city which make me cringe to drive through (and I am ever thankful I don't have to live there), but we also have places such as the sculpture gardens at the Baltimore Museum of Art, where beauty and peace sit side by side.

We have the Walters Art Gallery, where children like my son become entranced at the idea of life in ancient Egypt, the European Middle Ages or the Orient. Plays at Center Stage, books and other resources at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Our city has something for everyone.

And, we have the BSO, playing not just for those who can afford high ticket prices, but also at lower cost with the casual and family concerts; playing for people of all tastes and backgrounds, at the Discovery Concerts given in the past, the SuperPops series, the Classically Black series, and for children from schools around the area.

When I feel tromped down and walked-over by life, I know that in 15 minutes I can be warmed up by the purples and crimsons of the Matisses at the BMA, in 25 minutes I can be taken out of myself by the delicately sculpted della Robia wreaths at the Walters, and I can float through the space in my mind created by composers from Rouse to Strauss as performed by the BSO under David Zinman's expert leadership.

Yes, we need more teachers, police and inducements to families and businesses to reside in Baltimore. Yes, we need the arts.

And so we also need to commit ourselves (personally and, as citizens, through government) to financially supporting arts organizations, which show us not just how things are and were, but all that they might be.

Karen Elliott Hudnet

Baltimore

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