Downtown hotel wrong place for city revenues

The need to protect the public investment in the convention center is said to justify putting taxpayers at risk for a new and very expensive city-financed hotel ("City hotel proposal gains late support," July 31).

Let's see: Wasn't the convention center said to be a good use of public funds because of all the private investment in hotels that it would attract?

I guess that hasn't worked out too well, since we're told now that the city must finance another hotel itself to protect the investment in the convention center.

And now, just in case the merits of the new hotel aren't clear to everyone, The Sun is chronicling how reluctant City Council members are being jostled along with promises of more tax dollars from the city's purse for their favorite projects.

I have another idea. Let's sell the convention center. If current and prospective hotel operators want the room rents that come from a thriving convention center, let them pay for the center and run it.

Then maybe the city can get back to using its revenues and other resources for things such as schools and law enforcement.

When our streets are safe and our schools are envied and our tax rates are competitive, plenty of private investment dollars will find Baltimore all by themselves.

Bill Dale


Let private sector handle any hotel

Let the laws of economics do their job. If there is money to be made from a convention center hotel, an entrepreneur will come along and make it happen ("City hotel proposal gains late support," July 31).

Our elected officials were put there as a trust to take care of our city.

I do not want to see the City Council wasting time and resources on that which belongs in the private sector.

And why should council members sell their votes in exchange for neighborhood development funds?

Our children's education and the safety and health of all Baltimoreans are better reasons for our city to take risks and go into debt.

Barbara Lerner Blumberg


Towers would ruin the charm of Canton

I am amazed that the city is considering taking the charm out of Canton with massive building ("Waterfront plan worries residents in Canton," July 29).

Canton is a unique part of the city and should not be changed into a commercial haven. The appeal of the area lies in that it is a smaller, closely knit community, and this would be ruined by this proposed construction.

Instead of changing a niche of charm, why doesn't the city consider reconstructing a run-down or dangerous area and improve the overall city environment?

This would be a better use of resources and in the long run prove a better investment.

I think what is truly fitting in this situation is this: If it ain't broke, don't fix it, hon.

Elizabeth Sherman


U.N. needs candor Bolton will bring

I applaud President Bush for the recess appointment that will make John R. Bolton our next ambassador to the United Nations.

I strongly support this appointment because the United Nations' record is one of disgraceful failure - particularly in the oil-for-food scandal.

It will be interesting to observe Mr. Bolton "telling it like it is," and then being willing to take the necessary action.

I knew Mr. Bolton as a principal when he was a scholarship student at the McDonough School. He was an exceptionally able young man.

As he matured and developed self-confidence, he became an outstanding student who was highly opinionated but always willing to substantiate his position - just as he is still doing today.

Serving at the United Nations, Mr. Bolton will be in an excellent position to exercise our country's leadership and pursue safety and individual freedom for all world citizens.

Quinton D. Thompson


Cartoon capitalized on stale stereotypes

Pat Oliphant, a fine political cartoonist, and The Sun went over the line with his Aug. 1 editorial cartoon.

The reaction of Muslim clergy to the London bombings is certainly fair game for a cartoonist.

Religious and ethnic caricatures are not.

Paul Lang


Protecting pre-born is an act of nobility

Columnist Cynthia Tucker has quite some nerve calling James W. Sedlak of the American Life League's STOPP International a "Christian jihadist" ("Right to privacy is the true target of U.S. jihadists," Opinion * Commentary, July 25).

A jihadist is one who enacts war on others.

Mr. Sedlak does quite the opposite. He has devoted his entire life to stopping the most gruesome war our country has ever seen - the war against the innocent pre-born babies in the womb.

Ms. Tucker's praise of the 1965 Griswold vs. Connecticut decision is frightful. This Supreme Court ruling opened Pandora's box by discovering a so-called right to privacy in the penumbra - the shadow - of the rights enumerated in the Constitution.

Under the shield of Griswold, a moral breakdown in our culture began, setting the stage for later court decisions that decriminalized the killing of children through abortion and opened the door for children to engage in sexual activity without their parents' knowledge.

Life begins at fertilization - period. When a human egg and a human sperm join, a new individual with his or her own unique DNA is created.

This is a fact that Ms. Tucker overlooks when she lauds the so-called morning-after pill.

Protecting innocent, pre-born children from death by abortion - surgical or chemical - is a noble act and should be hailed as such.

That is why heroic individuals such as Mr. Sedlak will continue to do what they do until no more babies die under the banner of "choice."

Amber Dolle

Stafford, Va.

The writer is media director for the American Life League Inc.

Hecht's knew needs of area's middle class

I would argue that Hecht's was one of the few retail stores that knew well the needs of its middle-class Baltimore client base and provided service and value to this market throughout its lengthy local career ("Losing its place in retail world," July 30).

Hecht's was one of the few places that you could count on when buying your first party dress as well as that special outfit for your retirement party.

Many of us are truly sad to see this familiar store disappear.

Neither "big box" stores nor high-end ones can replace it.

Laura Pawlak


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