Credit cards for groceries are a bad ideaAs a concerned...

LETTERS

March 31, 1996

Credit cards for groceries are a bad idea

As a concerned citizen and a Giant stockholder, I consider the recent decision to issue a Giant-brand credit card that provides a special rebate for grocery purchases made at Giant stores a serious mistake.

While this may be an effort to produce some profit from what appears to be an increasing trend, I believe that encouraging people to further enlarge their indebtedness by charging major basic expenses such as groceries will lead to serious financial difficulties for many families. Recent statistics have shown a higher level of credit card debt. Many have problems keeping up with even the minimum monthly payments, which themselves will barely make a dent in ... the accumulated charges and interest fees.

Ronald B. Leve

Ellicott City

Stadium means work for tradesmen

Football, schmootball. Despite having been to a few games myself, I never could grasp why thousands of people would waste a perfectly good Sunday afternoon freezing their rear ends when they could be elsewhere watching it on TV. Nevertheless, a stadium will be built and even if the team stinks, the novelty will pack the joint for years.

The idea of PSLs (Perhaps Suggests Larceny) offends me, but I won't be buying one so it doesn't matter in my case and the idea that only the moneyed and the spendthrifts will be able to get tickets doesn't trouble me because only the biggest bucks will buy real comfort and they probably worked pretty hard to get it in the first place. Not to mention the fact that the companies who buy boxes often treat their employees' families to games as perks for jobs well done.

I do like the idea that while the stadium is going up, it is likely that an apprentice carpenter will be buying new tires for the truck, a journeyman tin knocker will be taking the kids to the ocean, a construction supply salesperson might be spending commissions on patio furniture and a painter can buy that new used car to get to work on the wages earned at this project. Of course, we can't see any of that right now while we are tightly focused on the residual political gamesmanship and tangled up in the team-naming process, but I'd bet dollars to doughnuts that every tradesman for miles is thinking how nice it would be to have enough work to carry them through a couple Christmases.

John J. Snyder

Columbia

Questions on Feaga still need answers

A lot has been written over the last few weeks concerning the ethical troubles surrounding Howard County Councilman Charles Feaga. Recently, letters to the editor have appeared from Feaga supporters, vouching for the councilman's character and standing in the community.

However, the question at hand here is not "Is Charlie Feaga a nice guy?" or "Does Charlie Feaga love God and country?" The question is, "Should Charlie Feaga have excused himself from casting a vote on an issue where an apparent conflict of interest existed?" Following up on that, "Did Charlie Feaga's situation constitute a conflict of interest?" These questions must be answered.

The supporters of Mr. Feaga, by their words in these pages, appear defensive. This is unfortunate, as I'm sure that Mr. Feaga himself would ask the same questions of any colleague in a similar situation. No elected official is beyond reproach.

William C. Woodcock Jr.

Ellicott City

Howard's honeymoon on the wane

When the U.S. Census Bureau released figures that show another 31,800 people have flooded into Howard County since 1990, Howard's planning board chairman, Ted Mariani, did his best to paint a rosy picture of the suburban sprawl the county is now struggling to serve.

Lacking the tax revenues to service the middle-class families they have already lured from Baltimore City and the other counties to their once-pristine countryside, planners have begun arguing for the "rights of farmers" in the western part of the county to sell out to more developers, not that the western portion isn't already dotted with more developments than one could list.

Promising all the services for a fraction of city taxes, now Howard County is struggling to plow the streets of snow. Its once-a-week trash pick-up will soon be limited to four bags per week or even less and residents may be required to pay a fee for this.

Boasting a superior public school system, now Howard County is wont to fund the required state increase in education, with the population of school-age children growing even faster than the general population.

Howard County Executive Charles Ecker states that "one day the economy will turn around and we'll be in good shape." But is his plan, as County Council Chairman Darrel Drown said, "to grin and bear it," or to keep his ship afloat by browsing again over Baltimore City, as if it were a buffet lunch, to seduce profitable businesses?

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