Catonsville is a short drive from uncountable retail stores and mega- shopping centers, found throughout Columbia, Ellicott City and on Route 40.
Catonsville could benefit from the jobs and services that these retailers offer.
Although similar jobs and services would be offered by the Promenade, why should we risk losing a unique Catonsville quality?
Besides some businesses lining Route 40, we have no stores like Target, Barnes & Noble, L.L. Bean and Muvico.
Take a moment to think of 10 things that make Catonsville unique.
Can't think of any?
Walk down Frederick Road. Stop in Bill's Music or Catonsville Gourmet.
Visit Opie's, the Lurman Theater or attend the Fourth of July parade.
Meet Mother Nature on the streetcar path, the Short Line trail, the trolley trail, or at the first railroad in the nation, which passes straight through Patapsco Valley State Park.
The Promenade does not appear to add to the historical and cultural diversity that is Catonsville.
Instead, this project looks destined to be like the prefabricated, preplanned communities surrounding Music City -- a manicured, man-made, multi-story mall that wouldn't add to Catonsville's soul, but would rather camouflage our town to blend in with our neighbors in an increasingly monocultural world.
It seems all the Promenade project has to offer to our community is money.
Let's be creative and find other ways to benefit our economy, using the generations of resources we already possess without destroying a clean, green space.
Learn lessons from Prohibition on whether to legalize marijuana
When I read that Carlos Adolfo Santay-Carrillo was murdered by someone trying to steal money for marijuana, it made me wonder.
What will it take to make us realize prohibition doesn't work?
It didn't work with alcohol, and it isn't working with marijuana either. This is the number one issue Americans have raised with President Obama in his "Open Questions" campaign.
Marijuana has been proven, in study after study, to be safer than tobacco.
However, its use is criminal.
Its illegality sends the message to youth at any age (drug dealers don't card) that other dangerous drugs could be okay, too. Our children throw themselves headfirst into a criminal society and criminal behavior.
We need only look at the end of alcohol prohibition.
Gangsters went out of business. Violence stopped. Scare tactics and absurd dramatizations ended. Honest drug education began. Youth were not exposed to criminal markets.
As a kicker, we could have saved over $12.3 billion just in the first three months of 2009.
To hear it explained by men who enforce marijuana prohibition, go to http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.
A warning if developer gains access to site at Spring Grove
The story about the Catonsville District Court moving to land owned by Steve Whalen and the letter of support for Whalen's Promenade project, to be built on land the court wants to use, brought the issue into true focus.
The article on the courthouse move mentioned the quest since 2005 to move the court to land at Spring Grove State Hospital (SGSH). It also mentioned the issue of moving the police station to the SGSH property, sometime in the future.
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has consistently answered that there is absolutely no plan to "surplus" any property at SGSH.
So the court was forced to move elsewhere -- to land owned by the same developer who wants the land the court could not get!
The Promenade, proposed to be built on land that, if available, could be used to house the new court and police station in one spot.
Away from a residential neighborhood. Great access. Secure. And maintaining the viability of the existing attorney practices, as the article mentioned. Win-win.
If Whalen should, in the near future, take ownership of 30 acres of SGSH property for the Promenade, am I the only one who sees something else going on?
As the article stated, "Under the law, (Spring Grove officials) would have to give other executive agencies the opportunity to say, 'Yeah, we want that land,' too," Clyburn said. "Even in the best case scenario, we would not be able to get that land for three, four, five years."
If the court cannot get the SGSH property for three, four, five years, then how can a private developer get it in any less time?
Will other developers have the opportunity to bid on surplus property?
Will I have the same access to any land that Whalen Properties has?
Can I bid on it?
This process must be watched very carefully. A private, for-profit developer should not have access to state property that the state itself can not use.
What the Promenade brings or doesn't bring to the area is not the issue.
The issue is state-owned property needed now by the state or sold later to a connected developer.
That is the issue.
I would appreciate the reflections of our elected officials on this issue.
Hospital patients deserve respect in discussions of the Promenade
This letter is a response to the one from Chrissy Hoffmaster ("Promenade would provide precisely what area doesn't need," Catonsville Times, April 1) .
I have read every article both for and against the proposed Promenade since its inception by Steve Whalen.
Yes, it is true that there would be an increase in traffic, but I am sure the developers have considered this.
Catonsville residents do need to have other sources from which to purchase goods, entertainment, and enjoy overall camaraderie.
While it is very pleasant to stroll along Catonsville's main street, it would also be good to have another area where we can safely walk with children.
I'm assuming the Promenade would be developed on the scale of Hunt Valley and White Marsh's main streets.
No traffic would endanger the pedestrians, and one could thoroughly enjoy the overall effect of the shopping community.
But my main reason for writing this letter is the disrespect Ms. Hoffmaster elicits regarding mental patients and homeless people.
We do not know their circumstances or how they came to be where they are. We should respect every human being, no matter his/her origin.
They are trying to better themselves the only way they know how.
I believe Ms. Hoffmaster needs a lesson in kindness and compassion. Do not criticize until you have walked in their shoes.
This quote comes from the grandmothers of our generation, "There but for the grace of God go I."