Those who depend on the port support...


Those who depend on the port support dumping at Site 104

I would like to take issue with Del. Mary Rosso's letter, "Dumping opponents are not misinformed about the hazards" (Aug. 16). With 18,000 jobs at stake through the port of Baltimore, it is important that we take the time to understand the environmental issues of Site 104.

Federal agencies have criticized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for writing an incomplete report on that site. Scientific evidence was left out of that report that may answer the questions now being asked about the dumping plan.

But, in their 1996 "Statement of Cooperation," these same agencies supported including open water disposal in the port's dredging management plan.

They recognized that the port needed the capacity provided by open water placement -- and that this was a cost-effective option that would balance the higher cost of beneficial use projects such as Poplar Island.

They also knew that open water disposal could be done safely, since the port has been doing this at Pooles Island for nine years.

The men and women whose jobs are at risk if the channels are not dredged ask that the public keep an open mind about Site 104 until the Corps of Engineers writes a new report.

We are grateful for all the support the legislature has given to the port, but we wonder why Ms. Rosso and some of her colleagues are paying more attention to the environmentalists, who risk nothing to oppose the port's dredging plan.

The port needs Site 104 as part of a balanced plan to keep our channels dredged.

Horace T. Alston, Baltimore

The writer is president of the International Longshoremen's Association, Baltimore District Council.

Baptists' prayers show only their intolerance

At this most holy time of the Jewish calendar, to pray for Jewish conversion to Christianity defies reason.

It is unconscionable that Southern Baptists seem to think they have a private prayer line to God.

This is the United States, where each of us is free to worship in the manner we choose. This is a hallmark of our Constitution. Our country was founded on a belief in diversity and tolerance.

I suggest the Southern Baptists instead put their resources and energies toward building bridges of understanding.

As we enter the new millennium, we should all be working for a more harmonious coexistence.

Louanne Calvin, Havre de Grace

This holy season, Jews worldwide should be praying for tolerance, not only for others but among ourselves.

We must be tolerant and forgiving of those who would obliterate us -- not only by violence but also by prayer.

For more than 5,000 years, the Jewish people have survived through our beliefs, unity and strength of faith.

The Southern Baptists who pray for our conversion must serve as a wake-up call to Jews everywhere.

Richard Bryan Crystal, Baltimore

Church isn't out of step in trying to limit abortion

Perhaps it is James Pettit Jr., rather than "the pope and Catholic officialdom," who needs to "come around" regarding abortion ("On Cuba and abortion, old policies are outdated," letters, Aug. 31).

A recent survey of 1,000 women by the Center for Gender Equality, a think tank headed by Faye Wattleton, former head of Planned Parenthood, found that 70 percent favor more restrictions on abortion.

Fifty-three percent of respondents thought access to abortion should extend no further than cases of rape and incest or saving the life of the mother.

Additionally, according to RN Magazine, 61 percent of obstetrics-gynecology hospital nurses say they would not work in a unit that performs abortions.

Those figures certainly do not substantiate Mr. Pettit's assumption that majority public opinion, much less the Catholic Church's "constituency," agrees that a woman has an unrestricted right to choose to end her pregnancy for any reason.

Just who is out of step?

J. Paul Melanson, Baltimore

The writer is chairman of the Respect Life Committee of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

The Rev. Ernest Smart will be sorely missed

I enjoyed Jacques Kelly's column ("It's preaching to the congregation, but so be it," Sept. 4) because he demonstrated something that I, a 20-year member of Second Presbyterian Church, have long known: The Rev. Ernest Smart is "a modest man of unfailing kindness."

Mr. Smart was a loyal and devoted friend to the entire congregation and the entire community.

People of all faiths were among his flock, and he will be sorely missed.

Lynne Agress, Towson

Releasing bombers shows Clinton can still do harm

During the impeachment trial of President Clinton, former Arkansas Sen. Dale Bumpers was called to defend the president. He said, "Why do you want to throw this man out of office, he only has 18 months left and what harm can he do?"

But, in offering clemency to terrorists to further his wife's political hopes, President Clinton has set a new low.

This man who so eloquently speaks of the horrors American children face is going to release from prison a group of people who set off scores of bombs -- and did not care who they hurt.

"What harm can this man do?" Just wait and see.

Chuck Lippens, Baltimore

Police can be dedicated without living in the city

The Sun's editorial "Blue knights of labor" (Sept. 6) suggested that a Baltimore City police officer is more likely to live in the counties than in Charm City, and that this makes a difference.

I live in the county and have been a member of the city Police Department for more than 30 years.

I have seen the best and the worst of Baltimore City. I have been there when a mother delivered her baby, and I have carried my partner to his grave after he was killed by a mentally disturbed man.

I have been injured while making arrests and trying to make the city safe. My good friend, Lt. Owen Sweeney, made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of Baltimore's citizens. He lived in Baltimore County.

So did Barry Woods, Harold Carey, Dick Miller, Ira Weiner and many of the other officers who have been killed in the line of duty.

Where you live has no bearing on your caring and dedication to the job.

Lt. Paul M. Blair Jr., Baltimore

An overpass could redress Towson's traffic troubles

The Sun recently carried a report about the Cordish Co. targeting the site of the old Hutzler's building in Towson for a multistory hotel complex and other parties offering other proposals for the area. ("Hotel chain targets site in Towson," Sept. 9)

Whatever development is built on the site will increase traffic in this congested area.

The convergence of York, Dulaney Valley and Joppa roads creates a traffic bottleneck. The roundabout that opened there not long ago has alleviated the traffic flow problem, but it won't be able to handle the increased traffic this proposed development may generate.

I suggest the developers, Baltimore County and business and community leaders consider building an underpass-overpass at this junction -- with traffic going in different directions at different levels.

This could connect to any proposed parking in the area.

The construction would be costly, but we need to face the reality of increasing traffic in the area -- and address the problem sooner rather than later.

Julio Esteban Jr., Lutherville

Pub Date: 9/15/99

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