City trash collection leaves residents with cleaning job
We would like to respond to letter writer Ron Dexter's hope for clean streets like those in Canadian cities ("Study Canadian city for trash-free town," Dec. 31).
In our neighborhood of Charles Village, citizens pick up trash and leaves. In the spring and fall, neighborhood residents clean alleys and streets.
Our block gets together once a month to pick up trash and leaves as well as to plant bulbs and flowers.
One might think we live in the cleanest part of the city. And we might -- if it weren't for the Baltimore City trash collectors. Twice a week, the citizens of Baltimore get to pick up their trash again, after trash collectors have littered the alleys with paper, bottles and cans.
On Dec. 29, we saw just how our sanitation employees work. A trash bag was tossed at the trash truck. It missed the truck, and the contents spilled into the alley. The workers kicked the trash out of their way and kept on going.
We would love a clean city, and we work hard toward that end -- if only city workers would do their job. Just how many times do the citizens of Baltimore have to pick up the same trash before it actually goes to the dump?
The writers are Charles Village block captains.
More aggressive approach for city's drug problem
Baltimore City Councilman Martin O'Malley is on target regarding Baltimore's homicide and street violence.
It is common to observe open drug dealing in many neighborhoods. I recently followed a police car through West Baltimore. We passed people who were lined up buying drugs. The officer did not intervene. Was this public servant blind to the problem? Indifferent? Is the problem viewed as hopeless?
Public officials should beat a path to New York, Boston, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles to learn all they can. An aggressive social agenda aimed at zero tolerance for drug dealing and providing rehabilitation to those who want treatment are needed.
The drug problem must move to the top of the political agenda if our city is to survive socially, culturally and economically.
Jo M. Walrath, Baltimore
When human needs matter, nature has no rights
As to whether the bog turtle should interfere with plans for a highway bypass in Hampstead ("Tiny turtle poses a big roadblock," Jan. 14), I say this: If the bypass will save drivers even one minute of commuting time or avoid a single traffic accident, that is enough to justify the death of every bog turtle.
To sustain our lives, we must shape the earth to serve our needs. Nature has no rights.
Thomas A. Bowden, Millersville
Not all Republicans oppose 'smart growth'
While I concur with Calvert Institute president Douglas P. Munro's view that Maryland Republicans should present a pro-active agenda ("Back to basics for Maryland GOP," Jan. 13), his blanket statement that state Republicans are against the state administration's "smart growth" initiative to limit suburban sprawl is unfounded.
While some GOP elected officials may oppose "smart growth," others are ardent supporters.
Mr. Munro is correct to urge Republicans to develop policies that would help arrest middle-class flight from urban areas. Also, the lack of available and affordable housing for urban residents is an important issue that members of both political parties should address.
John R. Leopold, Annapolis
People don't like rappers but want their business
Once again, The Sun has given its readers a prime example of one of the things that's wrong with this country ("New rap 'capital' wary of its crown," Jan. 10).
While citizens and businesses of Baton Rouge turn their backs on young black entrepreneurs publicly, they have their hands out to reap the benefits of the rappers' success. It's sad that in America in 1999 a merchant would say she "appreciates the business she has received" from the rappers but concludes: "It's the worst thing that could happen to Baton Rouge."
This reminds me of what's happening in Washington. Publicly, many people hate the president but they are willing to partake of the riches he has created.
Eric Brock, Catonsville
Would public have bought governor's tax agenda?
One can only wonder what the outcome of Maryland's gubernatorial election would have been had the electorate known beforehand that, despite a large budget surplus, the governor had a hidden tax-and-spend agenda.
Edward J. Naumann Jr., Towson
Two reasons the public is loyal to Clinton
William Safire's Opinion Commentary article ("The loyalty mystery," Jan. 13) tried to figure out the reasons for "loyalty to President Clinton."
Many people are so disgusted with the behavior of Linda Tripp and Kenneth Starr that the lesser of the evils seems to be Mr. Clinton.
Syliva B. Mandy, Baltimore
Wrong time for governor to push tax increase
The Sun's front-page article "Taxes at top of Assembly agenda" (Jan. 10) was very disturbing. As soon as the election was over, Gov. Parris N. Glendening announced that the acceleration of the tax cut he proposed in the campaign was not going to happen and that he needed additional taxes on gasoline and cigarettes.
What's the benefit of an income tax decrease if the governor turns right around and proposes tax increases? I think that he and legislators should remember that although they were elected, they were essentially hired by the people of Maryland to run the state and to prudently manage our money. As stated in the article, a budget surplus of $700 million exists, revenues for 1999 are exceeding projections by $200 million, and $730 million in tobacco settlement money will be received over the next five years.
Herman W. Koletschke, Cockeysville
Hoops star's convictions more important than sport
I found the contents of a letter from Marc Starnes ("Observation of Sabbath could test Maryland team," Jan. 14) rather surprising. He wrote that unless Tamir Goodman, an Orthodox Jew who was offered a basketball scholarship by the University of Maryland, agrees to play on the Sabbath, "Terps team unity will face a test like never before."
This may sound old-fashioned, but it seems to me that part of team spirit and sportsmanship includes showing some consideration and respect for the personal needs and religious beliefs of a team member. When a young basketball player is told that he should set aside his personal convictions for the sake of the game, he is really being told that personal integrity is unimportant.
Frank B. Cahn, Baltimore
Services to the homeless benefit us all
The Sun's article "Study faults city's treatment of homeless" (Jan. 6) mentions the misgivings of homeless advocates over the creation of community courts.
According to the article, these courts are being set up to handle nuisance crimes, and advocates fear that "will include a crackdown on activities associated with homelessness, such as panhandling, loitering and public drunkenness."
With many dedicated groups working to feed, shelter and rehabilitate the homeless, isn't it a positive move for all concerned to try to eliminate panhandling, loitering and public drunkenness?
Nancy C. Cantville, Eldersburg
Pub Date: 1/19/99