ComptrollerI agreed with most of the comments you made in...

the Forum

September 08, 1995


I agreed with most of the comments you made in your editorial, ''Elect the right comptroller,'' in The Evening Sun on July 29.

The editorial stated that the comptroller must be independent and immune to the political pressures that can be brought by someone (the mayor, for example) who might want the comptroller to look the other way.

The comptroller must not have personal entanglements that might make him or her more susceptible to temptation in office.

You reported that the Schmoke campaign contributed $6,000 to Joan Pratt's campaign and a token contribution to the campaign Julian Lapides. The mayor has appointed Ms. Pratt as a trustee on three Baltimore City retirement boards. If the mayor is re-elected and Ms. Pratt wins, the mayor can then appoint another trustee, which would give him control over most of the city's pension funds.

Ms. Pratt is not independent and owes her allegiance (if not her soul) to the whims of Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.

Mr. Lapides acquired a reputation during his many years in the legislature as an independent, honest and dedicated elected official. Ethics have always been uppermost on his mind.

Based on the facts above, most of which came from your editorial, I find it extremely difficult to believe that you are supporting Ms. Pratt for comptroller.

Evelyn Metzger


Nuclear answer

How can Bill McKibben write a column about the perils of global warming ("Hot? Welcome to the 21st century,'' Other Voices, Aug. 18) and never once mention nuclear power?

He says that carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, ''is an inevitable byproduct of burning fossil fuels, so the only way to control it is to stop that burning.''

He suggests that renewable sources and energy efficiency will be sufficient to meet our nation's energy requirements.

Increasing electrification of our economy means that we will need more power, not less. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that roughly 200,000 megawatts of new electricity generating capacity will be needed by 2010.

The only way to generate large amounts of electricity without pouring more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is to use nuclear power plants, but we have stopped building them -- and that is shortsighted.

The prolonged and sometimes bitter wrangling over nuclear waste is at the heart of the problem, however.

But instead of doing something about it, many environmental leaders prefer to bury their heads in the sand or rail against efforts to build a central disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel. They pretend not to see the huge cost to the nation of turning nuclear waste into a political ''wedge'' issue.

Safely disposing of the waste would be an important symbolic step in showing that we are prepared to deal with global warming. In this arena, the United States must set an example if we are to achieve the international cooperation needed to resolve what may be the ultimate ''environmental crisis."

Frank Bruce

Oak Ridge, Tenn.

The writer is associate director (retired) of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


This past week I have read with interest ''Amnesty: Parking violators avoid paying late penalties.'' One man wanted to save his company more than $5,000 in fines, another to save himself $2,700.

They were among thousands who came to the Baltimore Municipal Building to pay their original fine with no late penalty. Late penalties accumulate at the rate of $8 per month.

This amnesty is equal to a bankruptcy sale where the City of Baltimore was willing to accept 10 cents on a dollar.

The Parking Control Department has employees on the street every day, writing summons for all types of parking violations in all areas of the city. This department also has personnel who ''boot'' vehicles for outstanding tickets.

All personnel are equipped with walkie-talkies and could very easily call in for a license check to ascertain if a vehicle is a scofflaw. They should be provided with lists of wanted vehicles and make closer checks of observed vehicles. Once identified ++ and booted, the City of Baltimore would receive full value for the amount owed on outstanding summons.

Another option available to locate these scofflaws would be to publish license numbers of a group that is outstanding and give $5 reward for information leading to a successful boot. You would be surprised the information a few dollars will buy.

Many of these scofflaws have received summons in the same location time after time. They should not be that hard to locate.

The man who wanted to save his company $5,000 certainly needed that vehicle in the business. The company must have had a permanent address.

To accumulate that much in penalties, he certainly should have had some action taken against him before an amnesty was available.

Isn't the Department of Motor Vehicles notified by the City of Baltimore of outstanding summons which causes your renewal tags to be flagged?

Larry J. Hennessey


One-party control

Democratic candidates are running around Baltimore promising "change."

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