Transit loop in city would ride circles...


Transit loop in city would ride circles around people mover

Of the four people-mover systems mentioned in "Kicking the tires of a people mover" (May 31), one has already shut down for lack of ridership. Another, in Detroit, has an $8 million per year operating cost for a system equal in length to the one proposed for Baltimore.

The one success, Miami, does not show the value of people movers so much as the value of planning an integrated public transportation system that takes people where they want to go.

Baltimore has three major modes of public transportation: bus, Metro and light rail. We would do better to improve and expand these existing systems. Light rail could fill the role envisioned by proponents of the people mover.

A light rail spur from the Baltimore Convention Center to the Inner Harbor and east to Canton would be far more popular with the residents of Little Italy and Fells Point than would a people mover, which would completely disrupt the fabric of those communities.

If the line were connected to Pennsylvania Station, through Guilford Avenue and President Street, downtown would have a public transportation loop, which would greatly enhance the value of the whole system.

Andrew W. Gray


Is there any difference between lobbying, bribery?

As a federal government employee, I can barely accept a Coke from a client without causing integrity problems. Why do our elected state officials have no problem accepting $600,000 from the gambling lobby to influence their vote ("Gambling interests spend $600,000," June 3)? Isn't the real term a "bribe"?

Lenny Magsamen


Article on Israel's creation captured the human costs

Thank you for printing Sam Husseini's Perspective article "Sowing seeds of anger" (May 31). It was a wonderful article that perfectly portrayed the human side of al-nakba (the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948).

All too often the human costs of Israel's creation have been overlooked. By allowing Mr. Husseini to tell others what he and his father saw -- first-hand -- you have done a great service to your readers.

Certainly some will wince at his article. It brings a harsh truth to Israel's creation that some would rather forget on this 50th anniversary. But it is important that through personal experience, through dialogue, through acknowledgment of wrongdoing, there can truly be peace in Israel and between Israel and its neighbors. That will truly be a day to celebrate.

John Vandenberg



Without wishing to reopen the painful issue of past relations between Israelis and Palestinians, I take strong objection to Sam Husseini's dreadful calumny and the misstatements of fact directed against Israel in his article.

After all, in accusing Israel of so many injustices, he ignores the many massacres and expulsion of Jews by Palestinians and Arabs alike before and after Israel's statehood. Scapegoating Israel, as is the practice here, misses the mark.

Since the first Oslo peace accord in 1994 and even more since the second accord in 1995, the Palestinian Authority's human rights record has been atrocious. This alarming state of affairs has not gone unnoticed by the international human rights community, even if it has generally been played down by the media.

At the same time, the Palestinian Authority deals harshly with its own people. Chairman Yasser Arafat invokes the 1974 charter calling for Israel's destruction and compares the Oslo accords to a temporary truce that only forestalls her end. Injustices are aplenty.

Merrill Levy


Academy needs old device to back up satellite sailing

During earlier years of the threat of nuclear war, it was thought that a nuclear explosion in space would wreak havoc with satellite electronics and communications, in the same manner as "sunspot" radioactivity continues to do, but with much greater and long-lasting impact.

Our current dependence on global positioning satellites and Loran navigation systems assumes an environment free of hostile atmospherics, and jam-proof satellite systems. Training was required of junior officers at sea to ensure that we could function without electronics, if the need arose.

It seems, therefore, to be a mistake to consider celestial navigation as "passe in Navy training as swordsmanship is to soldiering" in the face of the current threat of the lesser players in the nuclear club using nuclear weapons ("Shooting the stars," June 4, editorial).

We still need such training, superior technology notwithstanding.

W. W. Salman Jr.


The writer is a retired captain in the U.S. Navy.

Give journalism's top prize to series on cooking menus

Do food editors ever get nominated for a Pulitzer? Your menus for the week deserves a Pulitzer Prize. My life is easier, and my cooking has improved considerably.


Linda Mielke


'Chita' review was unfair to a terrific, energetic show

After seeing "Chita & All That Jazz," I was struck by how poorly J. Wynn Rousuck reviewed the show ("It's just another song and dance," May 28). This was one terrific show, full of energy, performed wonderfully. It was a special time to watch Chita Rivera, a cultural icon who still is at her best.

I was disappointed to see a poor turnout for the show at the Lyric Opera House. After reading Ms. Rousuck's review, I almost didn't attend. What a mistake that would have been. I wonder how many others were influenced by her review and missed a good time.

Bob Stockfield


There's help for caregivers who work with the elderly

As a previous sandwich generation caregiver, I can relate to Ellen Goodman's column ("Boomers struggle with easing aging parents out of that all important driver's seat," June 3).

Help is out there for caregivers. I have just chaired the Maryland State Sandwich Generation Task Force, which is finding ways to get resource information to the residents of Maryland.

The Maryland Department of Aging (1-800-AGE-DIAL) has printed bookmarks listing agencies on aging throughout Maryland. These bookmarks are available in public libraries in Maryland.

Doris Bernhardt


It's easy for honest citizens to buy firearms these days

While reading the letter "Firearms are not easier for children to reach now" (June 5), I found this absurd statement: "Laws and regulations greatly impede honest citizens' ability to obtain firearms." I can only assume the writer owns no guns because if he actually went to the gun store and bought one, he would realize how far off base he really is.

I recently purchased a handgun with no problems, and unless someone has a criminal record, he won't have any trouble either. The only impediment any honest citizen may suffer is a brief wait while a check is conducted to make sure he is being honest and has no criminal record.

William Smith


Prevent school shootings by banning all handguns

The Oregon school tragedy and the others that have occurred could have been prevented. If the guns were not available in the first place, the tragedies would not have occurred.

In England, 16 schoolchildren and their teacher were killed in the 1996 Dunblane massacre. As a result, a ban on handguns in Britain went into effect last January. Violators face up to 10 years in jail.

How great of a massacre must we experience before steps are taken to stop the carnage in our own country?

Morris Grossman


Kinsolving usually is right, although wife's a Democrat

I find Les Kinsolving to be on the mark in most cases. When I disagree with him, I make allowances. Living with the Berkeley Democrat must be difficult.

William D. Townsend


Pub Date: 6/12/98

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