Mayor opposes casinos in Cambridge
I read with interest your Sept. 17 editorial related to the prospect of casino gaming in Cambridge. I was particularly surprised to read your assertion that I am an advocate for legalized gambling.
Since the prospect of legalized gambling was first raised with respect to my community, I have expressed my personal opposition.
In numerous and accurate articles in area newspapers, I have been quoted at length as being personally opposed to this legalization issue.
As the mayor of Cambridge I believe that I have a responsibility to express my personal convictions even as I understand and respect the duties and responsibilities which come with this elected position.
In my capacity as mayor, I determined that it would be in the collective best interest of this community to appoint a task force to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of casino gambling as it would or might apply to the City of Cambridge.
I continue to believe that my mayoral responsibilities require me to base the city's direction on facts, not rumors or emotion.
For these reasons and these reasons only, I created the task force to provide an objective, accurate and factual basis on which future decisions on this matter may be based.
avid J. Wooten
The writer is mayor of Cambridge.
Baltimore needs what Las Vegas has
My husband and I took a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful experience.
We not only enjoyed the gambling, but the Broadway-style shows there. We were impressed with how elegant each casino was.
We did not see prostitutes hanging out on the street corners. We saw well-organized, professional entertainment centers. There were fantastic shows for families with children.
From the minute we arrived, we were pampered and spoiled. The people who work in the casinos were pleasant and helpful. And we are not "high rollers" requiring special attention.
We're life-long residents of Baltimore. We don't want to see Baltimore turn into Atlantic City, but why should it? Don't we have something to say about it?
We believe that if Maryland opens four or five casinos across the state and operates them with the same professionalism that Las Vegas does, it would be a welcome addition to our state.
The casinos would bring jobs. And they would be another attraction where we can take friends and relatives from out of town.
Biblical names preceded churches
The Sept. 15 item about Mount Paran Presbyterian Church at Randallstown did not fully explain the fact that the Biblical name "Plains of Paran" was already the name of the colonial land survey upon which the church was built.
Every tract of land surveyed for the early settlers by the Lord Proprietor's Land Office was given a name selected by the first owner, in this case, Henry Owens, who received a patent in 1729.
Another Baltimore County Church, Mount Gilboa A.M.E. near Oella, was built on part of a 1761 land survey called "Mount Gilboa." Its name is found in the book of Samuel. The church is 99 years younger than the land survey that provided it with a ready-made name.
The writer is executive secretary, Baltimore County landmarks preservation commission.
A new angle on the pope's visit
It is the biggest news on the streets, on television, in the newspaper and especially in the Catholic church. The pope's visit to Baltimore is as hot as the O.J. Simpson verdict.
Between the television stations and the newspapers, the public knows everything it needs to know about the visit. His arrival time, his itinerary, his departure and especially the ceremony.
In his article "Nothing left to chance for the pope" (Sept. 26), Michael James found a new angle in the pope's visit and reported it. It is not about the religious significance of the visit, it does not list where the pope will visit and it does not speak of the ceremonies.
Instead, Mr. James writes about the amount of work that went into this visit. "From 80,000 wafers needed for the Holy Communion to the two tons of steel for the altar crucifix, the planning for the pope's visit to Baltimore is a task of nearly biblical proportions." This captured my attention and lured me into the story. Its description made the visit once again interesting.
Religious traditions are not the same
Gregory Kane needs to know that "Judeo-Christian" is correct, not "Judeo-Christian-Islamic."
In the Bible, Jesus Christ constantly refers back to the Jewish prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, etc. While many Jews do not accept the references to Christ in the Old Testament, it cannot be denied that Christ references himself to the Jews.
Mohammed, the prophet of Allah, the founder of Islam, was born more than 500 years after the death of Jesus Christ and more that 500 years after the last book of the Bible was written. The earliest account of Mohammed's life was not written until a century after he died.
The point Mr. Kane seemed to be making in his column of Sept. 27 is that all three religions advocate forgiveness. This may be true.
But each group that advocates forgiveness cannot change history and make itself a part of Judeo-Christianity.
Margaret D. Pagan
Simpson verdict nothing to cheer
The O.J. Simpson case had very little to do with a search for justice. This is not a judgment about the outcome of the trial, which we all have to respect, but more about the issues that our society attributed to it.
Reading a menu at a restaurant, we see what we like or dislike. We offer opinions as to the ingredients of each entree. Sometimes we make general comments about entire courses, based on our preconceived notions.
Similarly, everyone who followed the Simpson case criticized everything from the lawyers to the inane DNA evidence and found themselves with a very strong opinion about the outcome. With the verdict, many of us were left with troubling observations.
Law is now perceived as a cruel equation: that more money equals a better defense, that race-baiting is a legitimate tactic and that criminal trials are sporting events. It should disgust and be disgraceful to you that some would attempt to score political points and push their agendas by latching onto this tragic trial.
We have two brutally slain people -- a mother whose two young children will never see her at their graduations or weddings and a son who will never become a father. In all, we have two families torn by loss. Also, Mr. Simpson will have to fight to regain respect, and there's still a murderer at large. So there really is nothing to cheer about.
dam Drew Lippe