Airlines' merger would not block competition at BWI The...


January 04, 2001

Airlines' merger would not block competition at BWI

The Sun's editorial on the US Airways-United merger reached a faulty conclusion based on an incomplete analysis ("Doing damage to BWI Airport," Dec. 19).

Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) has become a thriving regional airport, as BWI officials point out at every opportunity when they note with pride the Virginia, D.C. and Pennsylvania license plates on cars in its lots. Many of these cars are there because of the lure of Southwest Airlines.

Southwest's presence undercuts the claim that competitive fares at BWI will evaporate if the merger proceeds. Southwest has given every indication it will continue to grow at BWI and maintain a commitment to its low-fare strategy.

This ensures that regional travelers will continue to benefit from growing competition and the lower fares it brings.

But Southwest and other low-cost airlines have placed US Airways, with its high cost structure, in a very precarious position. At BWI, US Airways' market share has declined steadily since the arrival of Southwest, and we have also seen this phenomenon at numerous other airports.

This fundamental market shift is a major driving force behind US Airways' decision to move ahead with the merger. The status quo is not an option for US Airways.

The merger of US Airways and United will ensure increased competition for Washington-Baltimore area travelers by linking the US Airways system to that of a much stronger partner and creating a vibrant new carrier in DC Air.

The Washington-Baltimore area will remain, as it is now, one of the most competitive areas in the country for air travel.

Lawrence M. Nagin, Arlington, Va.

The writer is executive vice president of corporate affairs for US Airways.

With George W. Bush elected, where is Alec Baldwin?

Now that George W. Bush has won the election, I was wondering if The Sun knew the new address of Alec Baldwin.

I would like to send him a "How do you like your new country" card.

Good luck and don't hurry back.

Tom Korpela, Forest Hill

Hiding images of racism just perpetuates prejudice

I read with great concern The Sun's article regarding the omission from the exhibit at the Maryland Historical Society of the photograph by Richard Childress of children at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Patterson Park in the 1960s ("Turning away from the ugly face of racism," Dec. 24) .

The exhibit does contain a recent photo of the Klan, but I was disturbed that it chose to remove the one with children.

Working with a nonprofit organization in Baltimore that deals with racial issues, I am continually struck by the power of silence. Avoiding the painful past, or keeping silent about the subject, keeps the process of healing stalled -- which only perpetuates racism and the white power structure it serves.

Baltimore has a way to go to heal its long history of institutionalized racism. Art and music can help us heal by opening our minds and getting us to feel and think.

Laurie Bezold, Baltimore

School is better neighbor than another high-rise

For 33 years I owned a home on Ridgemede Road just around the corner from the Calvert School ("Calvert School has much to offer its neighborhood," Opinion

Commentary, Dec. 27).

When I moved into that house more than 35 years ago, the Calvert School was here but the 4300 N. Charles St. apartment buildings were not.

The 4300 N. Charles St. property was indeed bucolic then, and I was sorry to see the buildings go up. Furthermore, I was not overjoyed when Calvert School expanded to include a sixth-grade several years ago, just as I am not overjoyed at their proposed further expansion.

But I knew then, as now, that I greatly prefer the Calvert School to another high-rise apartment in the neighborhood.

Lucille Coleman, Baltimore

Gore didn't deserve cheap-shot cartoon

KAL's Dec. 28 editorial cartoon was another example of a cheap shot at Vice President Al Gore.

He did not carry Tennessee (or any state bordering it) because the upper south has been trending Republican for 30 years.

If Mother Teresa had been Mr. Clinton's vice president she, like Mr. Gore, would have been trailing in opinion polls this summer by at least 15 points. That Mr. Gore ultimately defeated Bush by several hundred thousand popular votes testifies to his political skill.

Unfortunately, he was not able to beat George W. Bush, plus Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Secretary of State Katherine Harris and Justices Antonin Scalia and William Rehnquist.

Jerry Levin, Baltimore

Prohibition, not addiction, causes most of our crime

The writer of the recent letter "State's do-nothing senators leave drug plague unchecked" (Dec. 28), says that, "as a lawyer for 27 years," he knows that the underlying cause of the crime problem in Baltimore "is the use and distribution of mind-altering illegal drugs."

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