Toll roads fairer than gas tax hikeHas anyone really...

the Forum

April 06, 1992

Toll roads fairer than gas tax hike

Has anyone really considered what effect an increase in the--gasoline tax will have on Maryland's economy? Or on the consumer?

Since everything moves on the use of gasoline, an increase of 5 cents per gallon will mean that the cost of everything will have to be increased accordingly, for food, clothing, entertainment and so on.

I say have a user fee for the roads and bridges. Have a toll road to pay for the improvements or new construction.

Larry E. Shugarman


Chasing foibles

I am amazed by the press campaign challenging presidential candidate Bill Clinton's integrity, implying that he has been less than honest on certain issues such as whether or not he has ever smoked marijuana.

The implications are that unless Mr. Clinton is totally open and honest he is not worthy of being president.

Can we say that President Bush has always been totally open or honest with the public? Was President Reagan always open and honest with the public? Why do we expect or demand more from a presidential candidate than we do of the president of the United States?

It is an absolute disgrace that the presidential campaigns of this country concentrate on the alleged foibles of the candidates rather than on the extremely serious national issues of lack of a national economic policy that could lead to greater employment and prosperity; the unbalanced budget and $4 trillion national debt; crime; decline in education, etc. Will Americans ever grow up?

George B. Laurent


Tires as fuel

On June, 1991, Ohio Edison received approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to install a full-scale system to burn whole scrap tires at its plant in Toronto, Ohio.

This process has the potential of disposing up to 6 million scrap tires annually, recovering the energy equivalent of some 330,000 barrels of oil.

The customer will benefit through lower fuel costs and the stockholder will receive a higher dividend. If other utilities install tire-burn projects, it would reduce our dependence on imported oil.

Joseph Lerner


Hall's rosy picture

As I have been so often in the past, I am again offended and outraged after reading Wiley A. Hall 3rd's latest example of what I consider reverse discrimination and ignoring the facts to paint his own rosy picture of the criminal element in our city.

To his column, "City students should be treated like students, not criminals," my simple response is, if they act like criminals, that's how they should be treated. There are good children in every school and they deserve a safe environment in which to learn.

How dare Mr. Hall compare the city schools with outlying counties? It's apples and oranges. Yes, the counties are able to be more subtle about handling problems. But statistically, there is no doubt about the crime rate in the school population -- the city's incidence of crime is higher.

I'd like to tell Mr. Hall to take off his rose-colored glasses and to wake up and smell the coffee. It couldn't be the parents; they're just victims of society, right? The city schools are crime-ridden and things need to be done to protect the innocent students and personnel.

Patricia J. Tucci


New school tests flawed

The long-awaited 1991 Maryland School Performance Assessment Program results are out and 70 percent of Maryland students scored at the lowest levels. Last May, third, fifth and eighth grade students throughout Maryland spent eight consecutive days laboring over complex thinking and problem solving questions.

Millions of tax dollars have been spent by the state to develop this test. Millions will be spent to train and pay teachers to grade the tests. Millions have been spent by the counties to do staff development to prepare teachers to prepare students for the tests. This spending is in addition to the millions spent on the Maryland Functional Testing Program.

There is a major flaw in the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program: Students are not motivated, intrinsically or extrinsically, to do their best on the test . . . because they will never see the results! No parent will ever see their child's test results. No teacher will ever see their students' results. No congratulations can be given to students who do well and no remediation can be provided for students who do poorly.

Until this major flaw is eliminated, we can expect low scores from this testing program. Most teachers realize that this testing program is flawed. Why don't the educational bureaucrats realize it?

The state superintendent's new testing program reminds me of the fable, "The Emperor's New Clothes." How much longer will tax money be wasted on this flawed testing program?

Ray Hofmann


Man of vision

The world's most magnificent outdoor sports park opens in Baltimore's jewel of an Inner Harbor and no recognition is accorded Gov. William Donald Schaefer, whose leadership made all possible.

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