Port editorials point to need policy directions The...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 26, 1999

Port editorials point to need policy directions

The Sun's recent editorials on the port of Baltimore gave an objective overview of the port's potential and highlighted the need to keep Baltimore's channels open at depths that will accommodate modern shipping ("The world is knocking at Baltimore's door," Nov. 15 and "Dredge or die for Baltimore's port," Nov. 16).

The Sun's discussion of dredge dumping should give political leaders food for thought on the adoption of the 1996 dumping plan, which includes carefully monitored open water disposal sites -- and the recognition that, in the long term, new sites and disposal methods will be needed.

The state should be implementing the 1996 plan, which took 10 years to develop -- including the use of Site 104 for dredge disposal, providing it is found to be environmentally safe.

Then, planning for future sites and new disposal methods can begin.

We appreciate The Sun's highlighting the importance of the jobs the port creates for more than 18,000 Marylanders and the history of cooperative use of one of our greatest resources, the Chesapeake Bay.

Patricia Winter, Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Eastern Baltimore Area Chamber of Commerce.

My compliments on The Sun's fine editorials about the port of Baltimore

For too many of this region's citizens, the Baltimore waterfront ends somewhere just past the National Aquarium.

The commercial and industrial port of Baltimore is a vital and long-lived engine of this region. Like many of the world's great cities, Baltimore was built at the convenient intersection of water-borne and land-based transit.

For more than one hundred years, our company and its employees have taken their sustenance from Baltimore's role as a vital and viable center of distribution.

John T. Menzies III, Timonium

The writer is chairman of the Terminal Corp.

Depth of channel draft isn't the port's top problem

The Sun's editorial's references to "the deep channels of Baltimore's port" are correct ("The world is knocking at Baltimore's door," Nov. 15).

Unfortunately, a port must have places where vessels can dock -- and Baltimore has only two or three berths capable of handling deep vessel drafts. Most other berths in Baltimore have a 34-foot draft or less.

Maryland is foolishly spending millions of taxpayers dollars to dredge a channel for two or three berths. The money could be best spent is to deepen the draft of all piers in Baltimore. Widening the tunnels that the rail lines go through would also be a far better investment with a much greater return.

The draft of the channel is deep enough.

Vernon Gray, Baltimore

Interest rate increase penalizes workers

Alan Greenspan and his cohorts at the Federal Reserve have jacked up interest rates prior to the holiday shopping season ("Fed lifts key rate to brake economy," Nov. 17). Why am I not surprised?

When executives' seven-digit salaries were topped with eight-digit bonuses, and yearly double digit percentage raises, the Fed sat idly by. Now that people who work 12-hour days, and pay more for benefits while receiving less, are getting whopping 4 to 5 percent pay increases, interest rates rise to negate the gain.

The unemployment rate is down, and employees have some leverage over employers -- and that is seen as abhorrent by these out-of-touch money managers.

America's money policy is tilted against the people who can afford it the least. The rise in the Fed's discount rate will be reflected in higher credit card rates, car loans and home mortgages.

This rate increase is another tax on the middle class from an unelected body of bureaucrats.

Alan McAllister, Severna Park

Headline demeaned women tennis players

Was it thoughtlessness or just a mean-spirited decision to use "Beauty and the Beast" as the headline for Monday's article on the tennis match between Anna Kournikova and Lindsay Davenport?

The subtle implication of a contrast in physical attractiveness between Anna Kournikova and Lindsay Davenport was very small-minded.

The Sun should be ashamed and make a public apology.

Jeanne Z. Kushner, Baltimore

Don't blame Colombia for our drug problems

I read with anger and frustration The Sun's article "War on drugs in Colombia stymied by Washington's partisan stalemate" (Nov. 12).

It is not the farmer in Colombia who is the problem; rather, it is the drug habit of Americans that encourages the increased growth of cocoa and heroin. Why can't this country, the most technologically advanced in the world, stop the import of drugs, which would curb the growth and save our urban centers?

Is it because we really don't want to?

The illegality of these substances permits obscene markups that enrich drug traffickers and dealers, corrupt policemen, lawyers, judges, politicians and businessmen; as well as, those who have vested interests in the drug war -- such as prison builders, correction and parole officers' associations and drug testing companies.

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