Otis Warren's work earns him praiseThe front...


Otis Warren's work earns him praise

The front page of the April 1 Business Section reads "Underdog wins city contract."

It could have been a celebration of a man who has worked hard his entire life to accomplish what few people have accomplished before.

It should have applauded the Baltimore Development Corp. for making a selection other than the companies that have traditionally taken all the commercial properties in Baltimore City and granting an opportunity to a man who was not grandfathered into Baltimore City property ownership. The article should have portrayed an African American who has accomplished many things in an industry that has traditionally been closed to African Americans. But it did not.

Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to praise the Baltimore Development Corp. for promoting the future of African Americans and small, growing companies. I would also like to congratulate Otis Warren on all of his accomplishments

Gus Siperko


Insurance industry could be eliminated

I feel compelled to respond to the March 22 letter of Janice K. Schneider of Columbia.

Just as she resents paying inflated insurance premiums and higher costs for goods, services and medical to support the illnesses of smokers, I resent paying those same costs for people who become ill due to their lifestyle and lack of self-control.

Why should those of us who exercise control over our emotions, actions and desires pay the costs to support those who damage their bodies with the intake of fatty foods, alcohol and other drugs? And, most assuredly, I do not want to pay for the sexual practices and mistakes of other people.

With tongue in cheek, I ask why don't we just eliminate the insurance industry and government payments of medical and welfare costs and everyone pay for their own problems and mistakes?

R. M. Lam


City and county police combine against crime

The seven marked police cars that Michael Olesker (column, March 25) saw within a mile of the city-county line on Reisterstown Roadd could very well have been part of a regional effort that has significantly reduced auto theft in the Northwest corridor.

The rate of auto theft in the region has fallen 19 percent in the three years since the inception of the Regional Auto Theft Team, composed of officers from the two jurisdictions.

These efforts have led to the arrest of 702 adults and 482 juveniles as well as the recovery of 703 stolen vehicles.

Funding for this successful operation has come from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Council. County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger and Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke have introduced legislation now before the General Assembly to keep the council in existence.

City residents will continue to vote with their feet unless they feel safe driving their cars, walking the streets and sending their children to public school.

Efforts to address these problems should be recognized, instead of casting everything into a pall of gloom.

Samuel I. Rosenberg


The writer represents the 42nd district of Baltimore City and County in the Maryland House of Delegates.

UMBC theater has imagination

It's amazing how many smart, educated, cultured theater-goers in the Baltimore area have never been to a play at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. To me, it has the most imaginative theater in town.

This imagination can be seen in UMBC's staging of Moliere's "The Misanthrope." All three walls were mirrors, divided into small window-pane size. You could see an actor's face no matter where he or she was facing!

The Maryland Stage Company is UMBC's professional theater in residence. It uses faculty members, outside professional actors and sometimes students. The highly respected national magazine, Theater Week, wrote, "New Yorkers are not aware that the most exciting, most significant theater in America is often created by regional companies and on university campuses. . ." The magazine then named UMBC's Xerxes Mehta production of Marat/Sade as one of the most memorable productions of the year.

By the way, I have no connection with UMBC.

$ Richard Wendell Fogg


Handicapped need Accessible parking

I commend The Sun's story on abuse of handicapped parking. Reporter Marina Sarris was thorough and insightful, but I wonder if many readers still might not get it.

Accessible parking is not a privilege. It is a necessity.

For some with disabilities, proximity of parking to public accommodations is critical, particularly in inclement weather.

For those of us who use wheelchairs, the access aisle (the striped area next to the parking space) is vital. Without that access aisle we cannot get in and out of our cars.

Yet countless individuals -- even those with parking permits -- illegally park on these access aisles, blocking the only access wheelchair users have.

The police can enforce the law, but seem reluctant to do so. I challenge police departments to take this issue seriously.

Officers should not be uncomfortable about approaching any of us, including those using wheelchairs, to determine if we have permits.

I carry my permit (as is required by law). Officers do not have to ask personal questions about our disabilities, simply ask to see our "Application for Parking Permit." If we cannot produce, we get a ticket, not a warning.

Officers should report to MVA whenever a parking permit is used illegally. MVA should refuse to re-issue a permit to someone who has let a family member or friend borrow it.

MVA must monitor the re-issuing of permits. I am willing to have my physician verify my disability every year, if that is what it will take.

Even those of us with permanent disabilities should encourage such verification, for how else can MVA uncover fraud?

To increase the number of spaces which persons using van lifts can use, businesses should use the "universal parking design" recommended in the Americans with Disabilities Act Architectural Guidelines.

Persons with disabilities should use only what they need. Many elderly individuals who have a parking permit remain in the car while able-bodied Sonny or Sue get out to do the shopping -- parked, of course, in an accessible space. If the person who has the permit is not getting out of the car, that space is being misused.

$ Marilynn J. Phillips


Pub Date: 4/04/97

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