Let BGE competitors offer cheaper rates or end judicial...


July 27, 2000

Let BGE competitors offer cheaper rates or end judicial delays

The latest ruling by the Baltimore City Circuit Court delaying Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.'s rate reduction for consumers again is utterly ridiculous ("Electricity deregulation is put on hold again," July 22).

The constant interference by the Mid-Atlantic Power Supply Association (MAPSA) in the rate-reduction proceedings is doing nothing but denying the residential customers of Central Maryland a well-deserved six-year respite from rate increases, not to mention driving the billing people at BGE crazy.

As one who was involved in the BGE billing operation for 10 years, I can attest to the fact that BGE does not turn its automated systems off and on like an electric light, even though it is the power company.

I felt a deep chill go through my spine when I read of the eleventh-hour stay of the rate reduction on June 30. I could never understand why the judicial authorities won't do anything until the very last moment.

After all, the case was thoroughly reviewed by the People's Counsel, the Public Service Commission, the local utilities and interested intervenors.

If the client companies that make up the trade association of MAPSA have something to offer to residential power users, let them come forward and make us some tangible offers that we can compare to BGE's. I haven't seen anything of any substance come from MAPSA, except endless appeals and delays.

To say that we are getting a bad deal because BGE can give us lower rates than they can, sounds like "doublespeak" from George Orwell's novel "1984."

Let's get on with it, MAPSA. If you can't make it happen or help it happen, step out of the way and watch BGE make it happen.

Mike Griffin, Bel Air

East-side residents have reasons to be angry

One cannot help but read of the problems besetting Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger in the Essex-Middle River area. I am sure the county executive's intentions are honorable, but, at the same time, I do not blame the residents for being wary.

What the politicians during and after World War II allowed to happen in that area was disgraceful.

Any speculator with a newly acquired bank loan (this was when the only collateral needed was a promise to pay it back) was allowed to construct whatever returned the greatest profit.

Consequently thousands of apartments and low-cost housing units were allowed to be built. An existing golf course along Back River Neck Road was even allowed to be leveled for the sake of apartments.

In the ensuing years, this condition altered the quality of life in the area. Because of the glut of apartments, the competition for tenants became quite keen. Naturally the owners became less concerned about who leased these units or who paid the rent. This was the major problem that beset most of the apartment owners.

I lived and worked for a public utility in this area in the 1940s, and I saw the gradual decline of a perfectly wonderful suburban community, which turned into a congested, crime-infested blight in the eastern Baltimore County.

If I lived in that area today, I would be apprehensive.

Harry E. Kirchner, Bel Air

Truth is matter of sides in Baltimore County fight

The rhetoric and writing over Senate Bill 509 (approving land condemnation in Baltimore County) goes on and on and, at times, is almost amusing. Especially when one of the most recent attacks on the law came to a close with the statement "truth is on our side." To that, I must take exception.

False inflammatory statements, pamphlets and posters were circulated miles beyond the affected area before the bill was ever debated in Annapolis this past session.

Busloads of unaffected residents, many from Tall Trees housing complex were brought to Annapolis to confuse the issue, when the passage or failure of the bill didn't include them at all.

Carry-out package goods owners at both ends of the Tall Trees complex were attempting to sabotage the revitalization to preserve their walk-in clientele.

Construction has taken place several times on the auto body shop in the critical areas zone shoreline zone, with no record of any permits being issued in Towson.

The body shop premises went from the environmentally friendly manufacture of ice to that of automobile upholstery, automobile body repair and painting, to automobile engine repair and car wash, evidently without the benefit of any hearing. All in an environmentally critical area. Who goofed?

The issuance of a permit to build a single-family residential dwelling on the steep-sloped, narrow sliver of land next to the bridge is very questionable. Since no necessary permits for any required modifications were ever issued, why are four mailboxes needed at that location?

If this amounts to "truth is on our side," what will their next claim be? It makes you wonder what their motives really are.

Michael H. Weir, Annapolis

The writer is a state delegate representing Harford and Baltimore counties.

Pride of Baltimore in city neighborhood

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