Keith Smith, 52, and his daughter talk about the death of Smith's wife, Jacquelyn Smith. Keith Smith initially said she was stabbed after rolling down the window to give money to a panhandler. But Baltimore Police have now charged Keith Smith and his daughter Valeria Smith in Jacquelyn's death.  (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)

Recently, The Sun published a letter to the editor about panhandling (“Cordish: Baltimore should enforce panhandling law,” Dec. 12) and a commentary about lack of City Council leadership ("Baltimore City Council’s ‘bold leadership’ includes bans on cat and dog sales and sugary drinks,” Dec. 11). Both express important and related points.

I think letter writer David Cordish's point needs to be amplified. It's not just the potential for crime but the very presence of panhandlers and others at intersections is very disconcerting and does not project a good image of Baltimore and will continue to have a negative effect on visits, residency rates and tourism. And, as stated in the commentary, why are city leaders not expressing outrage and a sense of urgency to these issues and to the overall level of crime in the city?

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I am starting to lose hope.

John Walther, Joppa

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