Reading by 9The Sun is seeking letters from elementary...

Letters to the Editor

May 24, 1998

Reading by 9

The Sun is seeking letters from elementary schoolchildren about their favorite books and reading experiences. Selected letters will be edited and published in the editorial pages.

Letters should be no longer than 200 words and should include the name and address of the writer, along with day and evening telephone numbers.

Send letters to Letters to the Editor, The Sun, P.O. Box 1377, Baltimore 21278-0001. Our fax number for letters is 410-332-6977. The e-mail address is

Refusal to compete cost BGE its chance for holding company


The unfortunate departure of Jim Brady as state economic development secretary is certainly a disappointment for Maryland's business community, as indicated in your editorial ("Improving Maryland's climate for business," May 6).

But we take exception to the editorial's emphasis on Mr. Brady's claim that Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller's hostility to the BGE holding company legislation was a setback for Maryland's business climate.

BGE lost its own bill because of its refusal to cooperate with Senate leaders on the related and far more important business climate issue of regulatory reform to provide competition and customer choice for electric service. The position of Mr. Miller and the Senate leadership was supported by a much larger segment of the business community than BGE or the utility industry.

The BGE holding company legislation, as amended by the Senate, gave BGE the flexibility to reorganize for this new, competitive environment. It also set the process for Maryland to move forward on this competitive regulatory reform so that all businesses and citizens benefit. Mr. Miller recognized that Maryland cannot fall behind neighboring states because competition and regulatory reform will play an important role in the state's future economic development.

Finally, the calling of a special session of the General Assembly to deal with the interests of BGE and not the broader issue of regulatory reform would not help in promoting Maryland as a progressive business-friendly state.

Thomas C. Shaner


The writer is executive director of the Alliance for Customer Choice of Electrical Suppliers and Services.

Thin line exists between abuse of animals, humans

My comments are in response to the article "Police link pet, domestic abuse" (May 13). Those who do not believe the link between animal abuse and domestic violence need only to take a look at convicted violent criminals like Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer and David Berkowitz to see that violent behavior often begins with animal abuse.

Each admitted to aggressive behavior toward their own or a neighbor's pet. Is it really too far a stretch to believe that people who show violent behavior toward small, helpless creatures like domestic pets would also kick, beat, burn, torment a child, spouse or aging parent?

Violent behavior can, and often does, begin with a helpless animal and progresses to humans until the cycle is broken. The person becomes locked into aggressive behavior, and it

escalates beyond animals to humans.

This link is well-known to anyone who works in the business of caring for abused animals. And as an animal shelter employee, I see firsthand the violence animals receive from the people who are supposed to love and care for them.

The Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals applauds the city Police Department and Col. Margaret Patten for creating a program that assists abused women with pets in getting out of abusive relationships, by providing a safe place for the other member of the family, the pet.

Debbie Thomas


The writer is executive director of the Maryland SPCA.

Different sources criticize Fire Department leadership

In a letter ("Articles show agendas of two city papers," May 10), Baltimore Fire Chief Herman Williams decries the extremist views on Fire Department staffing reported in The Sun and City Paper, labeling them "ultra conservative" and "ultra liberal," respectively.

The views depicted in the apparently conflicting reports might leave an outsider wondering whom to believe, but the insider (presumably including Chief Williams) knows exactly what's going on.

The chief fails to point out the amazingly similar conclusions arrived at in both reports that might explain the differences and the difficulties our department is experiencing. I will yield to the Calvert Institute's verbiage as opposed to the City Paper's "union rhetoric." The Calvert's report, citing a Sun report of Sept. 28, 1996, concludes, ". . . given its protracted fiscal and personnel management problems; it is widely recognized that the [fire] department has experienced policy dilemmas in recent years."

In sparing your readers increased exposure to "union rhetoric" not generally found in the pages of The Sun, let me simply say that I agree.

Stephan G. Fugate


The writer is president of the Baltimore Fire Officers Association.

Laws against political signs likely are unconstitutional

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