Ednor Gardens isn't in the grip of...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Ednor Gardens isn't in the grip of desperation

As a 20-year resident of Ednor Gardens and Kimble Road, I was concerned by The Sun's editorial regarding the number of "For Sale" signs on our street ("Signs of desperation in Ednor Gardens," May 4).

Contrary to The Sun's implication, the neighbors I've spoken with about sale of their houses are not selling because of worry over city or neighborhood decay or taxes. Rather, their reasons seem to be more common: the kitchen is too small, the growing children need a bigger yard and, of course, it is a seller's market.

We moved here from the Washington suburbs, choosing this sturdy well-built house with beautiful floors and the right amount of space for empty-nesters. We also hoped to walk to ballgames, but that's another story.

Instead of impugning the motivation for home sales, The Sun might better have celebrated this quiet, leafy neighborhood, which has kept us content and well-satisfied for nearly two decades.

Ruth Dearden, Baltimore

I am angered by The Sun's editorial "Signs of desperation in Ednor Gardens."

Did a representative of The Sun knock on the doors of the 10 houses for sale to find out why they're for sale? Why assume that it has to do with raising taxes? And why assume that those people will be moving out of the city?

Why not assume the signs have everything to do with the demolition of Memorial Stadium? Or that this is the time of year people in Ednor Gardens put houses on the market because the "blazing azaleas" make the neighborhood so appealing?

Fern Dickman, Baltimore

Crime is the reason that residents flee Ednor Gardens

The Sun's editorial "Signs of desperation in Ednor Gardens" (May 4) ignores the real reason residents have been leaving Ednor Gardens for years.

I lived in Ednor Gardens for several years and campaigned in this beautiful neighborhood since the 1970s. My sister owned a home on Elkader Road for more than a decade. And a colleague of mine owned a home on Kimble Road for 10 years. While we remain in the city, we left Ednor Gardens for a single reason unmentioned in the editorial: crime.

One of my sister's neighbors on Elkader Road was shot in the face. One evening thieves broke through the front door of my sister's home with a huge pole. Before she could get down the stairs, they removed as much as they could.

Throughout the 1990s, my friends and neighbors had their cars stolen, their homes burglarized and were robbed on the street. My co-worker often found herself trapped inside her Kimble Road home, watching dealers sell drugs on her lawn.

Her response to the editorial was that she would have paid an additional $350 in taxes if it would have rid her street of drug dealers. Turning around Ednor Gardens depends on reducing crime. The proposed tax increase will fund that reduction.

Ednor Gardens is not unique. Similar problems with crime plague many neighborhoods in our city. Perhaps it's time for The Sun's editorial writers to descend from their ivory tower to ask residents in high-crime areas what they want -- and to ask the homeowners of Kimble Road why they're moving.

Katie O'Malley, Baltimore

The writer is an assistant state's attorney in Baltimore County and the wife of Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley.

Alaskans have a stake in drilling for oil

It's easy for the Alaskans to say "bring on the drills" -- from cradle to grave, each and every one of them get a fat yearly check from oil revenues ("A fierce fight for Alaska's riches," May 6).

Then, when there's a spill, all Americans have to pay for the cleanup.

Rita Lombard, Columbia

Withholding of evidence shouldn't stay hand of justice

Whether or not the FBI withheld evidence from McVeigh's lawyers during his trial, the fact is that McVeigh himself admitted to the bombing and has relished the role of a murderer.

Concrete evidence presented at his trial convicted him as the murderer.

This delay by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is wrong. It just gives McVeigh more time to smirk at the survivors of his victims.

People who commit heinous crimes such as the one McVeigh committed aren't worthy of any kind of aid and comfort, which is what this 30-day delay gives him.

Christopher Krieg, Baltimore

Former city police official didn't try to trap lieutenant

Peter Hermann's article "Norris sting probe grows" (May 5) suggests I might have helped a colonel set up a trap designed to catch a colleague in a lie about a take-home car. I did not design a trap or have any active involvement in an investigation involving Lt. Regis L. Phelan.

The article mentions that high-ranking police sources said I accompanied Col. James L. Hawkins Jr. once, apparently on a secret scouting trip to Mr. Phelan's home. This is false. I have never been on Mr. Phelan's property, nor do I know the exact whereabouts of his property.

Mr. Herman's sources are liars. I personally told him so.

What I have done in the past 12 months, along with other members of the Operations Bureau of the Baltimore Police Department, is work tirelessly to reduce homicides in Baltimore and make this city a safer place.

Upon completion of any investigation of this matter, I am confident I will be exonerated.

Barry W. Powell,Baltimore

The writer is a former deputy commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department.

Does anyone really care about the city's libraries?

Barry Rascovar's column "O'Malley, businesses must help Pratt library" (Opinion* Commentary, May 3) outlines the crisis at the Enoch Pratt Free Library and suggests an "Adopt a Library" program -- but who will lead such an effort?

I wonder if anyone truly cares. Any one of many firms in Baltimore could bail out two or three libraries, but will they?

The decision to close libraries is a sad commentary on our city.

Susan W. Talbott, Baltimore

New route could boost use of Hampden's shuttle

According to The Sun's "Hampden shuttle rides to success," (May 3) about 500 passengers use the service daily. With 58 trips a day on the weekday schedule, this is fewer than nine passengers per trip. With the federal funding for the project ending, the state may want to consider making it more cost-effective.

Senior citizens living on or near Roland Avenue, for example, would relish being able to ride to and from the Tower Square Shopping Center on West 40th Street, particularly if the shuttle rode in and out of that strip. But as it is, both shuttles go in the same direction, every 15 to 17 minutes.

Hampden Village merchants on Falls Road, and West 36th Street have direct service. But those of us near West 40th Street have to ride the entire route if we want to shop at Tower Square.

Alma Homrighausen, Baltimore

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