Take politics out of state scholarshipsMaryland is the...

the FORUM

February 23, 1994

Take politics out of state scholarships

Maryland is the remaining state in the nation where state senators and delegates award scholarships directly to constituents. The program is taxpayer-funded.

Each state senator is entitled to award $138,000 annually and each delegate $12,200 each year.

Common Cause, a national lobbying group for governmental reform, has identified problems with the administration of the program by politicos.

Several elected officials have used the program to give grants to relatives and political allies even when there was no financial need.

Some of the awards are so small that Common Cause feels the real intent is for the politicians to use small awards to buy political good will rather than really help the applicant. . .

I think the original intent of the scholarship program, to help students further their education, still exists. However, the distribution method has been tainted by some politicians.

The legislature needs to make "equitable distribution" of the scholarships a priority and end the political tinkering.

Jake Mohorovic

Dundalk

Don't blast BG&E

As a retired employee of the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company, I resent much of the Feb. 6 article by Ross Hetrick.

The company has sold appliances for over 70 years. Suddenly it is an unfair competitor?

Why is Jack Luskin complaining? He is a millionaire many times over and now wants BG&E's appliance customers. Come on, he can't take all that money with him. Plus, Luskin's doesn't offer the repair services that BG&E provides its customers.

In the areas other than providing gas and electric, it's true that BG&E's real estate ventures have taken a beating.

But look around; real estate is showing an upturn. As far as Constellation Holdings is concerned, their performance is completely separate from the energy portion of the business.

Many of the problems the company faces now are the result of the booming 1980s, followed by the recession. Chairman C. H. Poindexter is trying to overcome these difficulties, of which he has no control. Instead of blasting BG&E, wait and see. The company will bounce back.

I also feel Mr. Hetrick is crying wolf about all the competition for electric sales being cheaper than BG&E. Let's see how they perform over the long haul.

Finally, how many employees on the street did your reporter speak to and ask how good BG&E is as an employer?

I'm proud to have been a BG&E employee. The company will weather all the pessimistic situations Mr. Hetrick's article referred to.

Adrian P. Grape

Baltimore

Legal question

Has anyone addressed the fact that Tonya Harding apparently committed a crime -- accessory after that fact? Or isn't this a crime any more?

Kathleen Rogers

Baltimore

Good service

At times it seemed impossible, but through these weeks of snow, sleet, rain and treacherous ice our copies of The Evening Sun have been delivered to our door every day without fail.

Our thanks to those who made this excellent service possible.

N.E. Franke

Baltimore

Mangled anthem

I wonder if there are others who feel their skin crawl when they hear the horrible things that are done to our national anthem.

Why do the "artists" performing it feel that they must create arrangements that sound more like something from a bad music video than "The Star Spangled Banner" as it was intended to be rendered?

Let's leave the artistic license to songs that don't represent our country and keep our national anthem as it was written -- without embellishments that make it unrecognizable.

Peggy Ryan

Timonium

Handgun tax or ban not realistic solutions

Before Wiley A. Hall jumped on the bandwagon with his commentary of Feb. 10 titled, "We Should Treat Guns Just Like We Treat Cars," he should have better informed himself.

His remarks regarding taxing firearms by caliber and barrel size surely indicate his ignorance of the subject.

His method would tax a small .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun with a 2-inch barrel less than it would, let's say, a target pistol with a 14-inch barrel or a 12-gauge skeet and trap shotgun with a 28-inch barrel.

It does not seem to matter to Mr. Hall that of the three, it is the .25-caliber handgun that is more than likely to be used in a crime.

If Mr. Hall feels there is a problem with firearms, and in some places there clearly is, I suggest he address the problem where it exists.

In 1992, there were 596 murders in Maryland. Approximately 66 percent were committed by handgun.

There were 335 committed in Baltimore City, 126 in Prince George's County, 21 in Montgomery County and 43 in Baltimore County. The remaining 71 were shared by the rest of the state, with five counties murder-free in 1992.

Although I share Mr. Hall's compassion I know he must have for murder victims and their families, he must realize that the vast majority of Maryland does not have a gun problem. The aforementioned locations certainly do, and they are making the rest of the state look bad.

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