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Baltimore should be more like Boston

As the first installment in a series of stories inspired by readers’ curiosity, The Baltimore Sun took a look this month at what’s in the harbor water and interviewed experts who’ve ventured the approximately 30 feet to the bottom. (Ulysses Muñoz, Lillian Reed / Baltimore Sun video)

Conversations around the plight of Baltimore deserve multiple columns from Dan Rodricks (“The last thing Baltimore needs is more abandonment,” July 9). It’s a big deal. I empathize and largely agree with the position of the writer from Howard County who as decided to avoid the Inner Harbor.

Here’s a question: Why is Boston a great city and Baltimore a punchline?

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Both have been around since before the start of the country. Both have National Football League and Major League Baseball teams. Both have great museums. Both have world class medical facilities.

Both have ports and rail access. I posed this question to a noted economist. His answer was leadership. Boston has had a run of good mayors. Whereas Baltimore has, well, the answer for recent years is obvious.

Baltimore needs a lot of fixing. There are legitimate alternatives to going into the city beyond the malls Mr. Rodricks referenced in his column. I really feel badly for restaurant owners and other businesses suffering from the results of poor leadership. Using their taxes as a proxy, they and city residents deserve much better than they’ve gotten, and I would argue that Boston is an example of what Baltimore could and should be.

Tim Reid, Ellicott City

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