Governor is off track proposing tax money for racing...

Letters to the Editor

September 08, 1998

Governor is off track proposing tax money for racing industry

Once again, our kind-spending governor wants to take taxpayers' money out of the hands of working people and build yet another stadium in Maryland.

Recently, Gov. Parris N. Glendening proposed spending $120 million to build a horse-racing track to promote the industry in Maryland.

Never mind that most Marylanders disagree with Mr. Glendening's giving away of $200 million to a multimillionaire to build a stadium for the Baltimore Ravens. Never mind that most Prince George's County residents were against giving Jack Kent Cooke $70 million for infrastructure improvements to support his football stadium.

The governor does not respect or listen to the needs of the people.

While our neighbors in Virginia took $200 million and invested in high-tech firms such as Motorola and WorldCom, bringing thousands of high-paying, steady jobs that will help the Virginia economy boom for years, Maryland took $270 million and invested it in stadiums and multimillionaires, creating a few thousand jobs for people to work 10 to 13 days a year.

But these are not the kind of jobs that will make the Maryland economy boom.

He should give tax money back to the people who earned it -- the taxpayers of Maryland. His main competitor for governor, Ellen R. Sauerbrey, says she would do just that.

Glenn Balick


Right to arms defends us from government, if needed

I write in response to "Debating the right to bear arms," (Aug. 23).

It is strange that the article states that the Second Amendment protects only the states' right to form militias when it clearly says: ". . . the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

It is clear, after studying the Federalist Papers, Thomas Jefferson's notes, James Madison's notes and other documents, that this clause was placed in the Constitution to assure citizens the right to protect themselves against an oppressive and tyrannical government.

As is stated in the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truth to be self evident that . . . whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and institute a new government."

If the only people with guns were government officials, there would be no way for the people to protect their own rights, and we would be dependent on the benevolence of the government.

Olatunji Mwamba


Which arms do we have the right to bear?

One question on the "keep and bear arms" portion of the Second Amendment is seldom asked: Aren't nuclear and biological weapons "arms," too?

Some may espouse private ownership of nuclear weapons, but for the rest of us, the issue is not whether the Second Amendment allows conditions on the right to bear arms, but rather whether conditions are placed on the type of arms and the definition of militia or both.

There are many possible permutations and valid arguments on all sides. Before we discuss them, though, we must first get past the discussion of whether having no limits at all is a viable solution.

Kenneth G. Olthoff


Light rail needs two tracks, but it has been boon to area

No one, including the Mass Transit Administration, would dispute the need for the Central Light Rail Line to be double-tracked in its entirety. But, as you may recall, when it was proposed and planned, funding was limited.

Then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer had a choice: "Do it now" on a limited scale, or waste more years waiting for available funding and more hearings and studies.

Other than Ravens games, the light rail has proven adequate and a boom to its service area. And the transportation bill Congress passed this year authorizes funding to complete light rail double-tracking as soon as the funds are appropriated.

As for the limited service hours, the MTA is handcuffed by the Maryland General Assembly's unreasonable and unrealistic requirement that the MTA recover 50 percent of its operating revenue from the fare box. With the restriction, the MTA cannot provide the desired level of service at hours and on routes that are not self-supporting.

Anyone interested in improving transit service should help get legislators to rescind, or at least lower, the mandate, and then MTA service will improve greatly.

As for the Olympic Games coming to this area, it cannot be expected that the local transit systems could provide all the needed transportation. At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, nearly 2,000 buses were borrowed from many other transit systems, including 35 lent by the MTA.

Harry E. Bennett Jr.


President gambled legacy for moments of pleasure

You can agree or disagree with the politics of President Clinton, but most will agree that to attain the position of the president of the United States, one must be extremely intelligent and have the ability to think fast on one's feet.

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