No vendetta against Judge HammermanI want to clarify some...

LETTERS

November 16, 1997

No vendetta against Judge Hammerman

I want to clarify some points concerning Judge Robert I. H. Hammerman, chief judge of Baltimore City Circuit Court, in the Oct. 8 article, "City judge acquitted of leaving crash site," and the Nov. 3 letter, "Hammerman gives his side of accident."

The trial judge -- John H. Garmer, chief administrative judge for Baltimore County Circuit Court -- was not the original judge on the docket. A district judge (Alexandra Williams) held the case to the very last and then had it transferred to be heard by Judge Garmer. Why was that?

The insurance company did deny my claims, as stated by Judge Hammerman, due to the fact that when the company investigated and took photos two weeks after the accident (not two or three days as the judge said in his letter) it found no damage. . . . Does the judge really remember when the insurance company came out? Are there other facts he does not remember?

Why did Judge Hammerman say in his testimony that my complaint was a "vendetta by a vindictive person"? That's a pretty strong accusation to make against a person who is claiming only $77 in damages.

I have never been in front of the judge or been found guilty by him. Nor did Judge Hammerman know me. His accusation was a pretty bizarre and utterly absurd statement coming from a man who is a chief judge.

Why was the testimony of the police officer who investigated this case dismissed by Judge Garmer? There are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding this most unusual case.

Ron Albom

Baltimore

BGE-PEPCO merger benefits all customers

The BGE/Pepco merger has been in the news since it was announced in April 1996.

The issues surrounding the merger are complex, but the bottom line is easier to understand. If the utilities in Maryland are not large enough and strong enough to compete, they will be taken over by larger and stronger ones from outside the state. Local control will be lost. Commitment to the local community may also be lost.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge James T. Smith Jr. was right to rule that the merger is in the best interest of Maryland's citizens. The Fuel Fund has worked with BGE for a number of years and we know their commitment to their customers, including those whose income sometimes makes it difficult for them to pay their bills in a timely manner. This commitment was re-affirmed in their merger filing with the Public Service Commission.

Deregulation is coming whether or not the merger is completed. It is a force independent of the merger. Since Maryland has some of the lowest utility rates in the Northeast, it is unclear how much its citizens will benefit from deregulation. To insure that we have some say in the process, we need to keep our local utilities competitive. The merger may not be the perfect solution, but it beats the alternatives.

Ellen F. Lockard

Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Fuel Fund of Central Maryland.

Confederacy not about sovereignty

In his Nov. 2 review of Civil War books, Theo Lippman applauded Confederate soldiers, embracing the findings of many historians who point to the courage, determination and perseverance of Johnny Reb.

These soldiers fought for considerations other than slavery, Mr. Lippman emphasizes. They fought for "their own nation," "their own idea of liberty and justice."

Such notions perpetuate the myths of the so-called Lost Cause, a romanticized version of the grim reality of the war itself. Words such as "their own nation," "liberty and justice' served them and continue today as euphemisms for what U.B. Phillips labeled 60 years ago "the central theme of southern history," that is, the absolute determination of white Southerners to maintain racial supremacy.

Defending slavery may not have been the primary motive for all southern resistance; perpetuating white supremacy was. Most, if not all, Confederate soldiers understood that simple fact.

Philip J. Avillo Jr.

York, Pa.

Good to see truth about Johnny Reb

The Sun is to be congratulated for its excellent Nov. 2 Books section article, "For Johnny Reb, The War was not about slavery."

It seems that too many Sun writers are often guilty of trying to rewrite history to fit their own notion of whatever fad is "politically correct" at the moment.

This article shows that, when it wants to, The Sun is still capable of quality analysis, reasoned thought and factual accuracy.

I encourage anyone who missed it to retrieve the Nov. 2 paper from the recycling bin and read Theo Lippman Jr.'s article.

Edward L. Maddox

Millersville

Religious nationalism on both sides

I read with interest Ann LoLordo's news story, Nov. 6, concerning efforts to open the central mosque in Beersheba, an Israeli city with an overwhelming Jewish population.

Your writer describes with favor the "nationalist trend among Israel's Arab minority to reclaim its religious institutions."

May we expect to see corresponding articles in the future promoting the continuation of Jewish worship at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus, the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron and other ancient holy Jewish sites in areas now largely populated by Arabs?

Or is the nationalist trend among Israel's Jewish majority to reclaim and maintain its religious institutions to continue to be described by your paper as being harmful and an obstacle to peace?

Jeffrey D. Silverberg

Baltimore

Pub Date: 11/16/97

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