Do anything nowAs an extremely overtaxed and rarely, if...

the Forum

June 14, 1991

Do anything now

As an extremely overtaxed and rarely, if ever, represented citizen of the state of Maryland, I feel compelled to write and inquire as to where the governor stands on the pressing issue of the crimes which are being perpetrated upon his subjects.

I personally feel it is high time someone in authority, say the chief executive of this state, get his act together and do something positive for a change. The positive thing is the abolishment of the totally incompetent parole board. Do this and you'll be headed in the right direction as far as the recycling of criminals is concerned. Take my advice, governor, and I'm sure most of my fellow Marylanders will applaud you, maybe for the first time.

Do it now, Governor Schaefer. You're certainly familiar with that phrase when it comes to wasting taxpayers' hard-earned money, so do something positive for the citizenry for a change. Do something do anything. To date no one seems to care in the least for the victims of the horrible crimes being committed all over the state.

Kenneth W. DeVaughn

Middle River

JFX scheme

The master plan for downtown unveiled in the first week of June included the destruction of the elevated portion of the JFX. Did anyone think of this at the time it was constructed?

It is disturbing that the President Street extension (where this elevated portion of I-83 concludes downtown) was similarly torn up shortly after it was finished. Someone forgot to tell the unfortunate laborers planting shrubbery and laying decorative brick frescoes in 1987 that subway construction would begin there in 1988. Since 1988 it has existed in a maze of hairpin turns as antsy commuters, bottlenecking tractor-trailers, construction workers, roulette-minded pedestrians and squee-gee entrepreneurs play chicken 24 hours a day beneath badly synchronized traffic lights.

Expect more of the same if the elevated I-83 will have to go. No one has mentioned a price tag for this Sisyphean stunt or the gargantuan and protracted bottleneck that will inevitably accompany construction.

Purveyors of superhighways promote these concrete monsters as an antidote to traffic congestion. Commuters of experience know the converse to be true. Everyone knows who pays for the whole mess. Small wonder that the scheme of tearing down the elevated portion of I-83 was launched on the same day that new taxes were proposed for "transportation."

Paul R. Schlitz Jr.


Let's weed out the bad drivers with new laws

Your June 10 article, "Five killed in traffic accidents over the weekend," mentioned an accident in Calvert County in which a )) motorcyclist was injured and his passenger killed by a car that ran a stop sign.

Being a responsible operator of both an Automobile and a motorcycle, I find it incredible that the local constabulary could not issue a ticket for running a stop sign, negligent driving, failure to yield right-of-way or any other statutes that this person seems to have violated.

There are numerous topics that could lead to debate regarding this incident: should drivers be tested every five years for competence? Should health insurance be required of motorcyclists? Should all Maryland vehicles be inspected every year, as in Virginia?

These and other questions need to be addressed by our elected officials and put to referendum.

With the weeding out of dangerous cars and drivers, the requirement of helmets for motorcyclists, and other improvements, the insurance rate would decrease dramatically.

Insurance companies don't like to raise premiums, but they have to weigh risk against reward with the information available.

It is incumbent upon our police officers to issue citations (or to arrest people, if that's what's called for) and our judges to enforce the laws to the fullest to protect our state from unnecessary endangerment.

Henry G. Lingenfelder



Regarding EMCEE by Gordon Beard (June 6), a sneer and a snort at the 55-mile per hour speed limit and at the governor, let the readership be enlightened by the following.

Recently I drove on I-95 northbound from Baltimore -- it was a lovely day -- at or near 55 mph plus 10 percent. And you know what? In one hour I was passed by 75 (I counted) vehicles, all doing what seemed to be at least 65 mph and some much more. (I passed few, very few vehicles, including Mr. Beard's box-on-wheels.)

Let's face it, as the governor apparently has: We already have a de facto speed limit of around 65 mph. Will a short-handed highway patrol be better able to manage 65 mph than it manages the 55 mph limit -- going after the very same drivers who will then be goin 75 and 80?

Come on! It's not EMCEE at all, it's 'EM-NO-SEE!



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