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County can't deprive citizens of voice on...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

County can't deprive citizens of voice on historic structures

Baltimore County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger and some Baltimore County Council members just don't get it.

Do they think for one minute that the citizens are fooled by the county executive's efforts to speed up legislation that would squelch input on county-owned historic structures?

History is important to Baltimore County residents, but Mr. Ruppersberger, Sam Moxley and Vince Gardina don't seem to think so ("Historic landmark bill angers activists," Dec. 18). They want to eliminate the right of citizens to protest any changes to the 24 county-owned historic properties to the county Board of ++ Appeals.

This may not seem like such a big deal, but many remember Mr. Ruppersberger's gaffe in 1996, when he failed to prevent the razing of the Samuel Owings House in Owings Mills and later the demolition of the Maryvale Tenant House in Green Spring Valley.

The Northern Baltimore County Coalition, which consists of 18 community groups, has discussed the county's motives on this, and we all feel it's a power grab that will eliminate citizen input.

These historic buildings belong to the people. This legislation should be withdrawn.

David Boyd

White Hall

Leakin park not designed by Frederick Olmsted Sr.

As a community activist and preservation advocate, I took notice of the obituary of Mary Louise Wolf, a Dickeysville activist who successfully fought the extension of Interstate 70 through Leakin Park ("Mary Louise Wolf, 75, engineer who founded local Herb Festival," Dec. 10).

In that article, Leakin Park's design is attributed erroneously to Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr., "the famed landscape architect who designed Central Park in New York."

Whatever Leakin Park's other claims to fame may be, it was not designed by Olmsted. The only surviving Olmsted design in Maryland is the residential community of Sudbrook Park, designed in 1889.

Olmsted ended his active practice in 1895 and died in 1903. His sons, John Charles Olmsted and Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., continued the work of their father and expanded the firm he founded. There is correspondence in the Olmsted records dating from 1939 or 1940 regarding Leakin Park, but no plans have been located.

While the Olmsted firm may have worked on Leakin Park under Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., it was not designed by the elder Olmsted.

Melanie Anson

Baltimore

A most despicable act by members of Congress

When Congress voted to impeach the president, the vote was based on a document that laid out in clear and unambiguous language that called for the impeachment and removal from office of William Jefferson Clinton.

No hairs were split.

The language and the debate preceding the vote made it clear to even the dimmest light in Congress the vote was to recommend to the Senate the removal of the president.

It is beyond comprehension that four members of Congress who voted for impeachment are telling the United States Senate that they really did not mean to suggest removal from office when they voted for those very words in the articles of impeachment. I find this behavior even more despicable than the usual low level of congressional behavior of late.

The House did not remove Newt Gingrich despite a finding that he lied under oath. It suggested that the president be removed from office for lying under oath.

It is going to take a lot for anyone to believe that the Congress is a responsible body.

Walter S. Orlinsky

Baltimore

$20 bill would look better with Tubman or Douglass

President Andrew Jackson would be honored if he knew his face was on the new twenty dollar bills.

But Jackson used military force to remove all American Indians east of the Mississippi river to Oklahoma as designated by the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

More than 4,000 Indians died during the forced march known as the Trail of Tears.

Why not put a real American champion on the new $20 bill? Perhaps that should be someone like Harriet Tubman, who never lost an escaped slave while helping oppressed African Americans gain their freedom through the Underground Railroad. Frederick Douglass, who fought for equality in those strange times.

Wouldn't this be a more appropriate history lesson for our children than Andrew Jackson?

Vincent A. Stark

Woodlawn

Archie Moore's obituary triggered memory of boxer

The obituary of my favorite fighter, Archie Moore, brought back fond memories ("King of knockouts, Moore dead at 84," Dec. 10).

When I was a youngster of about 11 or 12, my father frequently took me to the Monday night fights at the Coliseum on Monroe Street. This was usually preceded by a dinner of spaghetti and chicken at the Roma in Little Italy. I even had time to do homework while waiting for the card to begin because my father always liked to get to events early to secure a good seat.

I remember seeing several of the fights referred to in the obituary, the most memorable of which was the fight with Curtis "Hatchetman" Sheppard, a great crowd favorite here in Baltimore. I can still see him coming down the aisle to the ring wearing a gold robe with a hood and brandishing a golden ax. This moved the crowd to hysteria. Apparently, no one was bothered by the distinction between a hatchet, from which Sheppard took his nickname, and an ax, least of all Moore, who knocked him out, as I recall.

Moore was never at a loss for words. He claimed to have a secret formula for weight control, taught to him by an aborigine. Just which aborigine has remained a mystery. Later, he revealed that the secret was to chew the meat, swallow the juice and spit out the rest. Apparently, it worked for him because he made the light-heavyweight limit many times.

I always thought it was a shame that Moore did not get a title shot until he had reached an age at which most fighters were well beyond their prime; he won the light-heavyweight championship when he was 39 years old.

Archie Moore was a boxer with skills that most current fighters can only dream of.

Richard A. Reid

Baltimore Your Business section article "2 Canadian bank deals rejected" (Dec. 15) demonstrated one thing: Canadian regulators are smarter and more dedicated to their jobs than those in this country.

Canadian regulators rejected mergers of two major banking institutions on the ground of reduction in competition and control of an overwhelming percentage of that nation's financial operations. This article comes on the heels of your Sunday Perspective story two days earlier "One more time: mergers are bad."

The Sun has for a very long time been suckered into supporting mergers whenever and wherever proposed, supposedly because they are good. For whom?

Richard L. Lelonek

Baltimore

A bigger legislative body in a smaller jurisdiction

There are many reasons for the high taxes in Baltimore City, but some expenses could easily be corrected.

According to a recent Sun article, Baltimore City, with a population of only 657,266, has a 19-member City Council.

Baltimore County, with a population of 720,662, has only seven members.

In both jurisdictions, the elected positions are considered part time, and the compensation with the fringe benefits is almost the same, about $42,000 per year.

According to information from the Baltimore County Public Library, there is an even greater discrepancy in the geographical areas of the two jurisdictions.

Baltimore City has approximately 81 square miles compared with about 610 square miles for the county.

It seems that many of the city's expenses could be trimmed without cutting essential services such as the fire and police departments.

Henry Seim

Pikesville

Pub Date: 12/27/98

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