Article omitted the granddaddy of power centers
I am writing to comment on the feature story in the business section on Jan. 28. The article was Kevin McQuaid's profile of "power retailing" and its growth in the Baltimore metro area. I have been intrigued by this trend both as a consumer and as a businessman for many years. I was disturbed by the piece because it ignored the largest power retail center in Baltimore the retail corridor along Ordnance Road in Glen Burnie.
The two miles of retail centers in this area contain a Who's Who of power retailing. You can find a Price-Costco, Home Depot, Computer City, Petsmart, Sports Authority, Wal-Mart, Syms, Office Depot, Comp USA, BoatUS Marine Center, Dick's
Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Toys R Us and a Hechinger's. This area also contains a number of traditional retailers such as Sears, Montgomery Ward, Franks and K mart. The growth and development of this area reflects every trend mentioned in the article.
It mentioned big power retail shopping centers. Where was Price Club Plaza? This mammoth center containing Price-Costco, Computer City, Sports Authority and Home Depot both dwarfs and pre-dates any of the centers mentioned.
Where was Leedmark? This hyper-market splashed into the industry, failed and gave birth to the shopping center now occupied by the Wal-Mart.
It mentioned redevelopment of old plazas into power retail centers. Where was the resurrection of Governor's Plaza next to the Department of Motor Vehicles?
It mentioned mixing traditional malls with power retailing. How about the rebirth of Glen Burnie Mall with its addition of Best Buy and Dick's Sporting Goods?
Shame on you for profiling all the new trees sprouting up around Baltimore while the true old growth forest lies in Glen Burnie. Too bad you didn't see it.
You just couldn't help yourself
It's hard to break old habits. The Sun can't break its habits even in the very act of condemning them.
Your editorial entitled, "Ray of Hope," in the Feb. 2 Sun for Anne Arundel was largely in support of the widespread impression that newspapers harm communities by disproportionately publishing bad or negative news. Among the things you said communities need to know is as you put it with good old accustomed acerbity, that "there's such a thing as an honest politician."
Even while inveighing against the journalistic compulsion to be negative, you couldn't resist indulging, could you?
Put $280 million to better use
The thought of building new stadiums is ludicrous. The $280 million could be put to good use. Imagine what this city could do with that much money. Why not invest in our children; the next generation? Why not set up scholarship funds? Can the money be directed toward solid investments that yield a profitable return? That way funds will always be available for education. Why not provide funds for those who want to do outreaches into drug- and crime-infested neighborhoods? Can we show these youngsters that we care for anybody other than ourselves?
Our nation is morally corrupt. Our priorities are in the wrong place.
Lawrence J. Connell
Sitting judges deserve re-election
As an attorney who has practiced before the courts for more than 35 years, primarily in Anne Arundel County, I am concerned by the fact that our highly qualified and experienced sitting Circuit Court judges, Eugene M. Lerner, Martin Wolff, Clayton Greene and Pamela North, are being challenged in the primary on March 5.
The judges of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel have always been recognized as being members of one of the most respected courts in the state. Judges Lerner, Wolff, Greene and North have each demonstrated by their records that they should continue to serve the courts in their present judicial positions.
Leonard Z. Bulman
Anti-drunken driving system needed in cars
I looked in wonder last night at a video describing the '96 Lincoln and the marvels of modern technology available to those who buy and drive one. One option is "Rescu," which will ring up a 24-hour Lincoln-manned operation center and convey to them your car's satellite-based "geolocation" should you crash, be injured and unable to use that system.
One system was conspicuous by its absence -- a fail-safe (totally reliable) system to prevent a drugged or drunken driver from operating the vehicle. I believe that American car manufacturers are capable of making such a system. What's missing is their faith that American car buyers will pay the tab for development and installation/fielding of the equipment.
Why doesn't one of the "Big Three" spend the money to effectively survey the American public on this matter? There are thousands of lives and billions of dollars of property damage riding on the public's answer. The manufacturers may be surprised.
John M. Trently
Travel breeds tolerance
When one is the child of a military member, the chances of having a permanent place of residence become pretty slim. After living at a location for around three years, just as things finally settle and feel comfortable, the family is transferred, and suddenly all that was considered routine and normal is thrown away, and a new setting, a new challenge, takes its place.
Through such an upbringing, those things that most youths take for granted (old friends, familiar surroundings, a history) become almost alien. In many cases, these children feel as though they are rootless.
However, these youths don't lose out completely. They receive an unparalleled introduction to other cultures. Not every youth has the opportunity to live and visit places all around the country, or the world. These youngsters gain knowledge on foreign languages and customs first-hand. This type of "education" makes the introduction of racial prejudice or prejudice of any kind much more difficult, for these children have had the opportunity to see and understand the great many differences of this world. If more people had the opportunity to witness other cultures objectively, we would breed an understanding society, one quick to learn and not to judge.
I am the child of an Air Force officer and have had the opportunity to witness and learn about the many differences, and more prevalent similarities, of cultures around the United States and the world. Born in Wichita, Kansas, I have lived in Michigan, Texas, Colorado, Italy and Maryland. I often find that I am much more resistant to stereotypes and generalizations than those I have met who have never lived anywhere but one town, and rarely vacation elsewhere. Because "ignorance breeds prejudice," people should travel more. If we teach each other to accept, the world could work together to solve problems instead of create them.
Clinton R. Green
ASO's growth a credit to Ben-Dor and others
The board of directors of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra joins me in thanking The Sun for Anne Arundel for its kind assessment of our growth over the past 35 years ("Annapolis Symphony in transition," Jan. 26).
While Leon Fleisher's guidance of the orchestra in its crucial early years is of the greatest significance, the surge in audience growth and artistic quality over the past 5 1/2 years can only be attributed to the outstanding leadership and musicianship of our music director, Gisele Ben-Dor, who is still with the orchestra today.
Mark Allen McCoy, whom you describe as our new director, has recently been appointed music director of the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra, as noted in a story by Philip Greenfield in the same edition of the paper.
We further want to note that the orchestra is not on shaky financial grounds, that the board has demonstrated its fiscal responsibility by cutting back the budget for the next season in response to any anticipated cuts. And we certainly agree that financial gifts to the orchestra will keep this organization strong and able to further contribute to the cultural amenities we wish to keep alive in this county.
The writer is executive director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.