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Plaque for stadium too small only for...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Plaque for stadium too small only for ego of Treasurer Dixon

Maryland Treasurer Richard N. Dixon's ego is exceeded only by the capacity of Ravens Stadium. To have the audacity to insist that a new plaque, which will cost as much as $6,000, is warranted because the present one is "very small" is the epitome of egocentricity.

Why is Bruce Hoffman caving in to this ridiculous demand, and where is this money coming from?

Isn't Mr. Dixon supposed to get his reward, along with his salary, from serving his state to the best of his ability? The taxpayers' names don't appear anywhere on a plaque, and they helped foot the bill. Wasn't $220 million enough for a stadium that is only going to used for 10 games a year? Why are we wasting another $6,000 that could certainly go to better use in the city of Baltimore?

Hundreds of thousands of people on the state payroll, just like Mr. Dixon, go to work every day to make this a better place in which to live. Where is their plaque?

Barbara Blumberg

Baltimore

I am writing to relieve a bit of the anger generated by your article about a new plaque for Ravens Stadium. I won't begin to debate the merits of a taxpayer-financed stadium. We will never see our money returned from that investment.

What gets me is the unmitigated gall of a state employee who wants to erect a larger monument to himself.

I can appreciate that somebody had to do important things to build a stadium as fine as Ravens Stadium. But one plaque of any size is enough to thank state employees for doing their jobs -- jobs for which they were paid.

Roy L. Eisenstadt

Owings Mills

Let's get a plaque big enough to honor everyone who paid for the stadium -- all the taxpayers of Maryland. That should be eye-catching.

Evelyn Schabb

Brooklandville

State Treasurer Richard N. Dixon is not thinking really big. He should demand a plaque covering the whole side of the facility. Then he could commemorate all of those who really made the place possible. He could include all Marylanders.

Gerald M. Rosenthal

Pikesville

Several issues determined India's democratic election

Several events could have contributed to the defeat of President Carter when he sought a second term in 1980: the recession, the Iran hostage crisis, rising gasoline prices, high interest rates and high inflation.

Similarly, it probably took more than rising onion prices to defeat the ruling coalition led by the Bharatiya Janata Party ("Hindu nationalists lose in India state voting," Nov. 30).

India's economy has lost some of the steam of the early 1990's, which was generated by its open-door economic policy, financial reforms and trade liberalization. With a decline of economic growth came rising joblessness.

In addition, crop failures in key states led to shortages of staple products such as potatoes, onions and other vegetables. The government was unable to immediately address the problem. The result was voter anxiety. The surge of popularity of the ruling coalition after the nuclear tests was short-lived.

However, you missed two other key factors. First, the results of the elections are a clear indication that democracy is alive and well in India.

We often forget what a great feat it is for democracy to survive in a country of one billion people, in spite of poverty, a poor communication infrastructure, illiteracy and wasteful nuclear tests.

Second, one must credit Sonia Gandhi for her efforts to focus attention toward real problems facing the people.

This is another indication that Indian voters are savvy, although many of them lack a formal education.

Pradeep Ganguly

Rockville

Impeachment was meant for offenses of importance

"Clinton scandal is tough to end" (Nov. 22); reminds me of the story about Breer Rabbit and the Tar Baby.

The more the Republicans insist there must be some impeachable offense in all the revelations and explorations of the president's conduct, the more they tar themselves into a position of voting for impeachment whether the facts support that decision or not.

Overlooked in this impeachment frenzy is the fact that impeachment is not the same as the usual judicial proceedings. If it were not so, the Founding Fathers could have ignored impeachment as an option for removing a president and prescribed that the president be charged and tried in a federal court.

Perhaps our Founding Fathers thought an impeachable offense would be an action that would jeopardize the security of the nation. Or maybe a president pursuing policies that would endanger the health, welfare and safety of the people. Or maybe offenses that would rob people of their constitutional rights.

Perhaps high crimes and misdemeanors to the founders meant such actions as turning government agencies against citizens, individuals or groups; or forming groups within government to subvert the aims of those in opposition to some government policy; or even making an "enemies list."

Perhaps matters of real importance to the nation's survival and success were what the founders had in mind.

Perhaps we have engaged Congress in elevating "low crimes and misdemeanors" to the pinnacle of retribution and in the famous words of the Queen of Hearts declared summarily: "Off with his head." Or facts be dammed.

Russ Seese

Aberdeen

Forget the 'Oriole Way' and go championship way

As someone who was born and raised in Baltimore, I have cheered for the Birds as long as I can remember. I will continue supporting my hometown team.

I'm sick of hearing fans complain about the Orioles' signing Albert Belle; I'm sick of hearing about the "Oriole Way"; and I'm extremely sick of hearing from fans ready to jump ship and swear allegiance to another team.

The Orioles shouldn't be about role models for our kids; they should be about winning baseball games and ending 15 years of World Series-less baseball. Mr. Belle is a step in the right direction.

Mr. Belle may not be a nice guy or a fan-friendly athlete, but the guy knows how to play baseball. He may be temperamental and he may talk trash, but he backs it up with numbers -- some of the best numbers ever put up by a Major League Baseball player. We should be glad we're getting such an exciting player in our lineup.

The Orioles were in desperate need of a major shake-up. I'm tired of the nice-guy Orioles. We need a team with attitude.

Brad Dwin

Baltimore

Children get tough review before special education

I object to the suggestion by reporters Debbie M. Price and Stephen Henderson that placing a special needs child into a non-public program is easy ("Special ed cost exceeds Harvard," Dec. 6).

The article fails to mention the painstaking ARD process (admission review and dismissal) all parents must go through in order to receive any special education services for their children.

Parents and advocates are forced to come to the ARD table with a compilation of documented diagnoses and verbal and written assessments of site visits to the public programs available.

Also, both sides carefully scrutinize the child's individualized education program, and the child's home school is given the first consideration. The process is ongoing. ARD meetings are held between the nonpublic provider and the school jurisdiction at least annually.

If Ms. Price and Mr. Henderson are so concerned about the taxpayer's burden for special needs children, perhaps they should consider the long-term implications these individuals pose to society, including lifetime institutionalization or often times, unfortunately, incarceration. The success rate of these nonpublic services -- hardly mentioned in the article -- strengthen the argument that we can pay now or pay dearly later.

Vanessa Taneyhill

Oella

Pub Date: 12/10/98

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