Food court of dreamsHERE'S AN IDEA to...


Food court of dreams

HERE'S AN IDEA to resurrect the Blaustein Exhibition Center of the City Life Museums and save Baltimore's vanishing, beloved restaurants at the same time: Reopen the museum with shrunken versions of the restaurants -- sort of an old-age home for landmark eateries.

Haussner's could open a scaled-down version of the fabled German dining house about to close in Highlandtown, complete with a few paintings held back from the auction block.

If folks miss the original Louie's Bookstore Cafe on North Charles Street, now in the midst of changing hands, a branch could open at City Life.

Other memorable eating establishments long since shuttered could be reborn there, too, with original menu and the trappings, if they can be retrieved.

During its fleeting existence, the museum on Fallsway included a preserved White Tower lunch counter that seemed to be one of the more popular exhibits. If those little hunks of hamburger were a hit, imagine an even finer gustatory tour of Baltimore gone-by.

Whaling ban

DESPITE a 1986 international moratorium on commercial hunting of whales, not all marine mammals are protected. Dolphins, porpoise and small whales are not shielded by rigid restrictions.

After a lapse of 35 years, Russia authorized a limited hunt this month of the beluga (or white) whale as a meat export for Japan. But under international condemnation, Russia swiftly canceled permission for the export hunting and revoked its domestic quota for the marine mammals.

The Russian hunt could have opened up a global trade in whale meat from these smaller cetaceans. Japan and Norway continue to kill whales for meat and are pressing to expand their whale hunting operations.

Little is known about the size of the global beluga whale population, but their numbers have sharply declined in several areas, such as Alaska's Cook Inlet.

That depleted condition has led U.S. authorities to bar Native American traditional "subsistence" hunts for belugas and other threatened whale species.

Given the disastrous over-hunting of great whales in the past, expanding the international trade in whale meat could have serious consequences.

The world community must resist these efforts to skirt the moratorium. It should move toward a total international ban on whalemeat trade.

The campaign ahead

MANY people think they know the winner, but let's have the election anyway.

A debate or two between the Republican mayoral nominee, David Tufaro, and the Democrat, Martin O'Malley, could be more than a pro forma thing. In some critical areas -- including economic development and housing -- Mr. Tufaro has ideas about some of Baltimore's most vexing problems.

OK, OK, we know the statistics. Mr. Tufaro is a long shot.

But even if he loses, he might win -- if he takes the long view. Republican Helen Delich Bentley ran three times before she took Clarence Long's Second District seat in Congress.

Mr. Tufaro made a contribution to city life by getting in the mayor's race in the first place. But he can do more for himself and Baltimore by giving Mr. O'Malley spirited opposition this fall.

He and the Democrat are alone in the field now, the cast of Democratic thousands having returned to obscurity.

Baltimore Republicans seldom get a higher platform.

Pub Date: 9/22/99

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