Public funding restores faith in government
The Sun's editorial "Politics and money" (March 4) makes a persuasive case for the pending bills in the Maryland legislature that call for voluntary public funding of election campaigns. But there are additional reasons why the legislators themselves would benefit from these bills.
To campaign successfully for election or re-election to the General Assembly, candidates have to raise substantial funds, mostly from donors who make large contributions.
Whether or not this gives deep-pocket donors undue access to legislators, the suspicion that it does is widespread. This perception is eroding public confidence in our legislators and our government.
Moreover, for those incumbent legislators who choose to use public funding, such an approach would relieve them of the onerous burden of raising ever-increasing amounts of money for their re-election campaigns.
The cost of this reform would be minimal - less than $2 per year for each Marylander. The bill would save taxpayers far more by reducing the excessive influence of large corporate interests in the legislative process.
Public funding has proved highly successful in Arizona and Maine. It is time for Marylanders to reap its benefits.
Robert S. Rochlin
Finally, the real news about our economy
Congratulations to The Sun for actually printing - on the front page, no less - the good news about the economy ("Market, jobs show economy is on rebound," March 5).
Could it be that The Sun has finally come to the realization that if it simply prints the news as it occurs - and then places that news in its proper location in the paper - it may actually begin to regain the respect and readership that has been inexorably slipping away for quite some time now?
ICC is bad transit, bad for environment
Yes, "Nature poses roadblocks to ICC" (March 3). But this controversy shouldn't be portrayed as pitting the environment vs. transportation planning. The Intercounty Connector is a disaster as transportation planning as well.
The ICC would cost more than $2 billion, not counting financing costs. It would undercut funding for other projects, it would promote sprawl and it could actually increase traffic on the Capital Beltway.
An independent study found four alternatives to the ICC that were cheaper and less-polluting and resulted in less delay. But none of these alternatives is being considered.
We import most of the oil we use. We have about 2 percent of the world's oil reserves but consume about 25 percent of world oil production.
Globally, we have been burning more oil than we discover since 1981.
Building more highways makes no sense in light of these facts. America needs to get serious about reducing our dependence on oil.
Rail express line will not be built
I second Jacques Kelly's suggestions for improved rail transportation at more reasonable cost ("Affordable express to D.C. is just push railroad needs in city," March 5).
Such change would be good for the city, the environment and commuters' mental health. But unfortunately, it is not going to happen in today's political climate.
The Bush administration is set on favoring big business, such as the auto and oil industries, over more sane alternatives.
Kathryn J. Henderson
Integrity rang out from classic voice
I wanted to pass on my appreciation of Michael Olesker's tribute to a Maryland legend, Chuck Thompson ("The voice at the heart of the Orioles, Colts," March 7).
Mr. Thompson was a voice and personality I will always remember. He was a veteran of the military and a classy, professional soul with integrity.
For years, his voice echoed throughout my house from the radio or TV as I either watched or just kept his voice in one ear while doing other things around the house or yard. I will never forget the sense of security and pleasure of his voice as a kid and later as an adult.
As I look back and reflect on the great memories of my youth, I will always hear the one-of-a-kind, classic voice of Chuck Thompson.
Carl A. Wilson
A piece of our past passes to the grave
As a boy in Baltimore in the 1960s, I had three sports heroes: John Unitas, Brooks Robinson and Chuck Thompson ("A class all to himself," March 7). I doubt I would have fully appreciated the greatness of the first two without Mr. Thompson's broadcasting skills. I learned the nuances of baseball and football from his mellifluous, melodious voice.
Mr. Thompson bled orange and black in the summer, blue and white in the winter.
Generous with praise but not afraid to criticize when warranted, he was the definition of "old school." His place in the Hall of Fame is well-deserved.
On Sunday morning, I grabbed my Chuck Thompson bobblehead doll with three recorded radio calls by Mr. Thompson, played them and shed a tear.
My life is richer for having heard him, and a little emptier with his passing.
So long, Chuck; I hope the beers are cold in heaven.