City charging more for water it wastes
Every weekday on my walk to work near Harborplace from my parking space (in which my vehicle was recently broken into by some of Baltimore's finest hoodlums) I walk past Rash Field.
Almost every morning and afternoon the grass at Rash Field is being watered via sprinklers to a point beyond saturation. Excess water can be heard flowing down nearby drains.
This over-watering is a waste not only of water during a period of drought, but also a waste of water and taxpayer dollars.
My most recent water bill informs me of a rate increase that became effective July 10. Was this rate increase necessary because the city of Baltimore wants to be able to allow more water to flow down the city's drains?
I would prefer seeing my money spent for more police being added to the streets of Baltimore than to see it being spent on wasted water.
Let kids write reviews of movies
I agree with Meredith Brod (letter, Aug. 18) about the problem of reviewing children's movies as if they are made for adults.
An adult's perception of a movie is completely different from a child's. When adults see a movie, they need to see it as a child would see it. I am only 13, but I know that the way I see a movie is different than my parents see the movie.
The Sun should get kids to review the movies: a review by kids and for kids. This would help kids better decide what movies they want to see.
If you decide to do this, you have to get kids from all ages. Most adults find children's movies boring, stupid and idiotic. But kids find most movies full of entertainment, fun and easy to understand. Adults find the comedy too "childish" for them, but if they made the comedy for an adult, the whole movie would be over our heads.
So what you need is a review that is best for everyone, by allowing child reviewers to see the movie before it comes out.
Rebecca Lynn Coleman
Peabody Book Shop can be renovated
Baltimore is losing many noteworthy buildings for many reasons. But the most reprehensible of these is "demolition by neglect" -- especially by parties who should know better. That is the fate facing the famed Peabody Book Shop and Beer Stube, as its owners have willfully allowed it to deteriorate.
Rather than permit Baltimoreans to lose this literary landmark and merely fine the miscreant partnership the maximum $4,500, the architectural firm that is one of its principals, Cochran, Stephenson & Donkervoet Inc., should be required to use its considerable skills in the area of historic restoration to save the structure rather than destroy it.
This deed will not only enhance their reputation but might also make some amends for their demolition of the distinctive Charles Street Pantry (the former Bachrach photography studio), an adjacent 1860s townhouse plus their own headquarters -- all in the 900 block of North Charles Street -- for a building that never materialized.
A renovated Peabody Book Shop and Beer Stube (yes, it still can be done -- even at this late date) would benefit Baltimore, Charles Street and the Mount Vernon-Belvedere historic district much more than yet another vacant lot.
Let us preserve -- not pave over -- what is unique and special to our city.
All shook up over Elvis seminar
I am surprised I did not see a story about the Elvis seminar Aug. 14 at the University of Memphis. I know the idea of an Elvis seminar sounds funny at first, yet consider that I had an opportunity to hear and meet Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records and the one who first recorded Elvis.
Also, a panel of "eggheads," as Mr. Phillips referred to the distinguished panel and audience, commented on Elvis' impact. This was hardly the stuff of ordinary fanatic-fan commentary. Rather than the extremes of Elvis worship or Elvis demolition, there was a more balanced approach.
Besides the seminar, Graceland looks better in photos (on the inside, that is). The Meditation Garden is lovely, the international crowd was fantastic, yet the trinkets were a bit expensive. And Lord knows, as a vegetarian, I avoided the "hound dogs" and charcoal-grilled burgers.
Health care access is problem for all
We read with empathy the Opinion Commentary articles by Dr. Dan K. Morhaim and Steven Shearer (Aug. 5) concerning access to health care.
The 8,000 different homeless individuals assisted by Health Care for the Homeless in 1995 would have had no access to health care without our help. These columns demonstrate that it is not merely a problem for our poor and homeless neighbors.
Although total health care expenditures are increasing, fewer people have access to quality care. This relates in part to the growing numbers of the uninsured. The Maryland Health Care Access and Cost Commission reported in June of this year that a record 17.2 percent of Marylanders -- 164,085 citizens -- had no health insurance in 1995.
Even the insured experience access problems, especially when the bottom line for health care is the bottom line.
There is, of course, a reasonable solution. If everyone had the same kind of health insurance, then we could dramatically reduce administrative costs. These savings would permit us to spend less money while providing better care.
This simple solution is called a single-payer system. The conservative Congressional Budget Office says that such a system would save billions of dollars, while allowing every American to choose his or her own doctor. It would solve the long-term Medicare crisis, giving taxpayers a real break on their health insurance costs.
It might also help put Health Care for the Homeless out of business. When that happens, we will all be happy to look for other work.
The writer is director of community relations for Health Care for the Homeless.
Hypertension article praised by reader
I wish to applaud The Sun and Diana K. Sugg for the excellent Aug. 10 article, "Racial gap in sickness and health," comparing strands of DNA and their impact on the treatment of hypertension and heart disease.
Race, culture and genetics have now been proven to be critical factors affecting hypertension treatment. Dr. Elijah Saunders, head of the department of hypertension at the University of Maryland Medical School, must be commended for his scholarly research in this area.
Perhaps the National Institutes of Health, pharmaceutical companies and research foundations should provide an infusion of funds to the department of hypertension to continue this research and ultimately determine how physicians should begin to treat individuals based upon one's culture, heredity and ethnicity.
Charles W. Breese
Pub Date: 8/22/97