City and state have priorities misplacedIt is beyond my...

the Forum

January 28, 1994

City and state have priorities misplaced

It is beyond my comprehension how Gov. William Donald Schaefer and the government of Maryland can devote so much time, energy and attention to building a new football stadium, the franchise of new athletic teams and building a new performing arts center.

Endless reports of crime, poverty, disease, inadequate education and the homeless freezing to death in the streets fill the media 24 hours a day. Close on the heels of those reports are constant laments by government officials bemoaning the lack of funds to deal with these problems.

It seems unconscionable to undertake these projects when the city and state already have several stadiums, various athletic teams and numerous concert halls and theaters.

Some who invest in the above proposals will profit, but I doubt it will be those in most desperate need. Where are our priorities?

William Judges


Seeing clearly

When I asked my friend why we were looking for his quarter underneath the lamp post, when he dropped it 20 feet away in a darkened doorway, he answered disdainfully:

"This is where the light is, stupid. You can't look for it in the dark."

I must assume that if the 500 State Police raiders were asked why they swooped down on The Block, when the murders, rapes and robberies occur elsewhere, their answer would probably be:

"This is where the light is, stupid." Politically speaking.

Maurice M. Bassan


Easy answers

Do all government programs have to be complicated, cost trillions of dollars, require tons of paperwork plus an army of bureaucrats and staff?

At the risk of sounding like Ross Perot, let me say that a 12-year-old child could come up with a better plan on national health care than the one proposed by Hillary Clinton.

It's very simple. Let the working persons who have health insurance deduct their entire insurance premium from their income tax. No money, paperwork or bureaucrats would be necessary. This would also take the unfair burden off the employers, thereby strengthening the economy. The senior citizens could stay on Medicare.

What about the other question of 38 million uninsured people? Allow them to go through Veterans Administration hospitals which are already set up and ready to go. A tax on cigarettes and alcohol would easily pay for expansion of the VA hospital care, with money to spare. Please, Mrs. Clinton, don't try to help us anymore. We can't afford it.

Melvin E. Johnson Sr.


Lessons of the snow and ice

At the height of the power shortages last week, several oil-burning power plants on the East Coast went off-line because they ran out of oil.

Utilities also had problems delivering natural gas, as residential demand had to compete with gas-burning power stations. When gas was available, demand was often greater than the capacity of supply pipes.

In the Midwest, however, where temperatures fell to 20 degrees below zero, there was no power shortage. Commonwealth Edison, which operates 12 nuclear plants, had plenty of electricity to meet demand.

The amount of the shortage on the East Coast grid was almost identical to the design capacity of the Shoreham nuclear power plant. That is the plant on Long Island that was closed by the voters before it began commercial operations. Had it been operating, there may not have been a need for rolling blackouts.

Nuclear power continues to prove its safety and dependability, while other forms of generating electricity show their limitations and let us down when we need power most.

I suggest two solutions for future power shortages. First, don't "roll" the blackouts; blackout only Long Island, where they voted to shut off the power. Second, build additional nuclear generating capacity. And yes, built it "in my backyard."

Michael J. Lazarus


The winter storm of 1994 underscored the deterioration of basic services rendered by the Hayden administration.

During the past three years Roger Hayden's propaganda

machine has tried to sell him as a good manager. However, during the storm this "manager" was the only chief executive to run out of salt and to totally mismanage snow and ice removal efforts.

It is quite obvious that the 1993 layoffs are beginning to effect county services in a significant manner. The citizens of Baltimore County have endured the closing of libraries, reduced services to senior citizens, reduced police patrols and now cannot even ++ count on snow and ice removal.

While we have seen these service reductions, Mr. Hayden has amassed a $17 million surplus as campaign fodder for increased capital projects and employee raises during an election year.

During the 1990 election Mr. Hayden campaigned with the slogan "He can do the job." However, after three years of Mr. Hayden's inept management it is quite obvious that he cannot do the job.

Keith Williams


The unusually cold and icy weather caused people many concerns and anxiety.

The four- and six-hour delays on the Light Rail system (with no access to telephones by the passengers) were not mentioned on local television stations. Even the description of the train stoppages as "delays" did not give a true picture of the situation.

Certainly the anxiety experienced by friends and relatives of those trapped aboard the trains was not considered.

This "bug" in the new Light Rail system needs immediate attention.

!Mary Catherine Kennedy


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