Congress must help MARC in CSX disputeI am a regular...


September 08, 1996

Congress must help MARC in CSX dispute

I am a regular commuter on the Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) train from Baltimore-Washington International Airport to Union Station in Washington. I recently learned that CSX Transportation is attempting to raise the Mass Transit Administration's cost of operation to such a high level that MARC fares would be doubled, making commuting by train completely unfeasible for me and, I believe, for most customers, or drive MARC off the tracks entirely.

At present, the MTA is negotiating an operating agreement with CSX Transportation, which owns and maintains the track on which the Camden and Brunswick MARC trains run. It is clear the MTA needs the same right that Congress has given AMTRAK to operate over any track it requires to provide efficient service.

The MARC Citizens Advisory Committee is planning to meet with Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia representatives and senators on this issue in early September. As a Maryland resident and MARC train commuter, I am requesting that you support MARC in its efforts to acquire the same rights to operate that Congress has given AMTRAK. Without your support, the Citizens Advisory Committee's efforts may fail.

That would place the Camden and Brunswick MARC service in jeopardy, forcing thousands of commuters to drive to work each day, adding at least 20,000 cars to already clogged roads during rush hour, or to trade jobs in Washington for lower-salaried jobs elsewhere. In addition to the hardships this would impose on regular commuters, I believe it is best ecology-wise to keep as many automobiles off the highways as possible.

Mary Jane Haley

Glen Burnie

Perhaps Rodricks got MVA on bad day

Dan Rodricks (aka "This Just In") says he has a million stories from the floor of the Motor Vehicle Administration. Perhaps he would consider No. 1,000,001.

I, too, had to get a replacement driver's license. My experience was somewhat different than that of Lori Britton. I went to the MVA office in Annapolis and, like her, had my proper identification items. I was No. 10 in the line to get my application and No. 21 to have it processed. My total time from entering the building to walking out with my duplicate was 58 minutes.

I might add that this was at the noon hour, but when one person went to lunch, her position was filled by another with no break in service. All this on August 30.

Perhaps the folks in Glen Burnie were having a bad day.

G. H. Lahman


What's wrong with judicial elections?

Since The Sun is being so persistent "for more decades than we care to remember" in its opposition to judicial elections in Maryland, let me be equally persistent and ask The Sun the basis for its negative views, other than silly analogies to football referees (Editorial, August 26).

In a state infamous for its undistinguished judiciary, most of whom were appointed and never subject to challenge in an election, why is The Sun so opposed to some small measure of accountability? Has any unqualified judge ever ended up serving through a contested election?

Elections at least provide the average citizen some meager hope of having judges responsive to the public interest.

The rare judicial elections in Maryland have provided a healthy catharsis for citizens such as myself who have seen repeated instances of judicial misconduct by judges who have become imperial in their conduct and demeanor.

I do agree with The Sun in one respect: Sitting judges should not have to run against their colleagues. Let's change that, but not the accountability inherent in an election challenge. What's wrong with a judge who promises to be "tough on crime"? Why should citizens not be able to vote for judges who promise to "enforce the death penalty," if that's what they believe is necessary to deter murderers?

Paul Streckfus


Media attention encourages stunts

The logic of our media escapes me. National attention has been given to an act of vandalism where a swastika was cut into a cornfield at a New Jersey farm. This fascist symbol was visible only to pilots flying into a nearby airport.

The perpetrators were obviously seeking attention. By giving the vandals attention, the media just encourages further expression of worthless graffiti. Silence is golden.

James Bauernschmidt

Severna Park

Pub Date: 9/08/96

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