Commercial districts are crucial to reviving neighborhoods,...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Commercial districts are crucial to reviving neighborhoods, city

The Sun's editorial supporting Baltimore's new Main Street program stated that the success of a city is measured by the health of its neighborhoods ("Baltimore's main streets" May 5). I couldn't agree more.

But let me add that the success of the city's neighborhoods is inexorably tied to that of their commercial districts.

It is no accident that neighborhoods like Hampden and Canton, which recently saw their commercial districts revitalized, are now considered "hot spots" for home ownership. Federal Hill is also enhanced by our strong commercial district.

Baltimore's Main Street program will select five commercial districts this year for revitalization. And the continued success of neighborhoods such as Federal Hill will continue to draw people back to the city, while creating economic growth, new jobs and urban revitalization.

I congratulate Mayor Martin O'Malley and all those who have worked so hard to bring the Main Street program to Baltimore.

Sonny Morstein

Baltimore

The writer is president of the South Baltimore/Federal Hill Business Association.

More fund-raising limits would prompt more cheating

The Sun's editorial "Stripping the bark from the money tree" (May 8) decried politicians shaking down donors and laundering their money, then suggested even more restrictions on fund raising -- which they would need to find (and surely would find) ways to get around.

How can The Sun look at what it perceives to be a problem and then prescribe more of the same as its solution?

It would be more honest and open to simply remove all restrictions and limitations on donations (except on foreign contributions), but require full disclosure of the source of the money.

Dave Reich

Perry Hall

In a sea of inhumanity, attack on dog stands out

In the downward spiral of American society, man's inhumanity to man has been exceeded by man's inhumanity to animals.

But the despicable act on May 6 in which a dog was set on fire with lighter fluid is beyond the pale. It is beyond animal cruelty; it is barbarism of the lowest sort ("Dog given 50-50 chance of surviving his burns," May 9).

The poor dog recuperates at the SPCA hospital on Falls Road. He is receiving excellent and compassionate care, but is given a 50-50 chance of survival.

No animal deserves the fate that has befallen him and if the guilty parties are ever caught, the punishment should certainly fit the crime. To charge the perpetrators with a misdemeanor that carries a minor penalty would be to minimize the value of any animal's life.

As a supposedly humane society, we all suffer and are diminished when deeds such as this one are committed against defenseless animals.

Ruth M. Fleishman

Baltimore

To those who set fire to the dog "K.B": We're sending a check to aid the dog's recovery today ... and hoping to be on your jury tomorrow.

Charles Turbett

Ann Turbett

Bel Air

International criminal court could cut abuse of humans

Since the end of World War II, tens of millions of people died from acts of genocide. We have no effective system in place to prevent such atrocities.

But in Rome two years ago more than 100 countries voted for an International Criminal Court. Only seven countries voted against it and the United States was one of them.

The treaty establishing the court should be ratified by 2002; however, the pact would be much stronger with the United States as a member.

It is time for the United States to reassert leadership on human rights, rejoin its allies and sign the treaty creating the International Criminal Court.

Irene Pomory

Baltimore

Moral decay isn't reason for the city's violence

I read Catherine E. Pugh's recent column and was disgusted with the false notion that violence is occurring because of moral decay, lack of self-esteem and a low value placed on life ("Ending violence up to the community," OpinionCommentary, May 8).

As an Afrocentric feminist, I voted for Ms. Pugh for the Baltimore City Council. I will never vote for her again, because she does not represent the black people living in my community.

As I see it, the political system of white supremacy is the reason violence is decaying the fabric of democracy.

Larnell Custis Butler

Baltimore

Put the controversy aside; give Edward Norris a chance

It's over. We've experienced much trauma with the selection of a new police commissioner, again. Charges, counter-charges, fears, suspicions, name-calling -- you name it, we've done it, and the daily dying continues.

It's time to stop arguing, move on and search for solutions to the savageness and sadness.

Edward T. Norris is the man and, come hell or high water, we ought to give him the chance to see if he is, truly, the man for our season.

Step back and give him some time and space to succeed.

McNair Taylor

Baltimore

Some lawyers don't enjoy being stereotyped as mean

As a young lawyer, I was offended when the author of "Moms and minivans versus lawyers, guns and money" (May 11) needlessly lengthened a list of "bad things" by adding "lawyers."

The only reason the headline mentioned lawyers was to play on the stereotype of the mean, greedy, unethical lawyer.

I don't fit that stereotype, nor do the lawyers that I work with. I became a lawyer to help people and that's what I try to do. I'm not a saint, nor am I the only honorable lawyer in the world today.

Lawyers helped build this country, helped fight for equal rights and have helped people receive justice.

There are bad lawyers, just as there are bad doctors, auto mechanics and shopkeepers.

But if you get to know me, you will realize that I am a good and honest lawyer. I shouldn't be stereotyped just because it makes a good headline.

Gary S. Tosadori

Baltimore

Medical schools need to teach penmanship

Mike Bowler's article on the need for teaching good penmanship was right on target ("Some new twists in the art of minding one's P', Q's," April 30). In fact, medical schools should teach penmanship, because many doctors do not write legibly.

Several years ago, an eye doctor gave me a prescription that was so badly scribbled, the pharmacist could not read it. The note looked like a crooked line drawn by a very nervous person, with no letters of the alphabet visible.

I was tempted to pay the scribbler with a check in similar handwriting, but I doubt his secretary would have accepted it.

Regina Scott

Baltimore

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