Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 09, 2005

A continuing bias against governor

I was upset, but not surprised, after reading the article "O'Malley's Exit Could Shake Up Hierarchy" (Oct. 2), which demonstrates once again that The Sun's pro-Mayor Martin O'Malley, anti-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. bias is more transparent than H. G. Wells' Invisible Man.

Just three days after Baltimore's mayor announced his candidacy for Maryland's highest office, reporter John Fritze writes a piece for the front of the Maryland section on the political shakeup and shuffling that will occur if Mr. O'Malley wins the governorship.

Have I missed something?

Mr. O'Malley hasn't even won the Democratic primary, and The Sun has the temerity to speculate on the shakeup that will occur if he proves victorious in the fight for the governor's mansion.

The Sun's staff needs to poke its collective head out of the parallel universe in which it resides and accept two fundamental facts: First, there are a substantial number of Marylanders who are delighted with Mr. Ehrlich's first term in office; second, good journalists don't set forth their employer's political agenda as hard news.

Donald Leifert Jr.

Parkville

Choosing cronies courts disaster

President Bush has a record of appointing unqualified friends to important executive positions. He did it at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and now he's doing it with the Supreme Court ("Business expects a friend in Miers," Oct. 6).

The Gulf Coast disaster showed how well that policy works.

Josiah Johnston

Baltimore

Senate should think twice about Miers

How can someone with no judicial experience be, according to President Bush, the most qualified person in the country to sit on the Supreme Court ("Bush defends court nominee," Oct. 5)?

Everyone, including legislators and the public, needs to learn much more about Harriet Miers.

The Senate must think twice before confirming her.

Judith Harris

Bel Air

Take strong stand to pre-empt slots

I applaud The Sun's editorial "Standing against slots" (Oct. 5).

The Frederick County Commission's stand is a model, as should be "similarly laudable votes" that create zoning bans on slots in Prince George's and Cecil counties.

I hope other counties will follow suit and help build a groundswell against slots.

At the same time, we need to do what we can to block developers such as William M. Rickman Jr., who controls slots at a Delaware racetrack and happens to own a potential site in Frederick and is angling for a Maryland license.

It is unfortunate that the Frederick County Commission's action doesn't apply to municipalities.

But municipalities can and should do whatever they must to pre-empt the expansion of slots.

Robert G. Smith

Chestertown

Need to do more to save the bay

In a letter published in July, I said that we should use part of the Maryland budget surplus to help save the bay from any further pollution ("Use state's surplus to clean up the bay," July 31).

And now, given what is revealed in the article "Chesapeake's `dead zones' set a record" (Oct. 4), it is evident that the state and the country are not doing enough to protect the environment.

How can Marylanders just sit by and allow our most precious resource to be ignored by our government officials?

Have we learned nothing from New Orleans?

There, companies and oil drillers were allowed to destroy Louisiana marshlands, which once protected the coast. This increased the possibility of the massive flooding we saw from Hurricane Katrina, which has caused billions in damage.

We must fund those programs that support Maryland's farmers and watermen, but also prevent excess run-off of fertilizers that poison the bay and eliminate overharvesting.

What is the good of having such a beautiful and wonderful resource as the bay if we cannot sail and swim on its waters or catch its fish?

It's time that elected officials are held accountable for saying they care about the bay but doing nothing sensible and intelligent to ensure its survival.

Dominic J. Cirincione

Towson

We all pay price for life sentences

Twenty-five or 30 years ago, people became so fed up with crime that they demanded "life without parole" laws. Politicians responded, so now we are seeing the consequences ("More U.S. inmates destined never to leave prison," Oct. 2).

Some prison inmates live a long time, with the result that 75-, 80- or even 85-year-old men and women remain locked up.

Very old people are unlikely to commit crimes. Keeping them in prison is immensely expensive. Also, health care for older inmates is extremely costly.

Prisons are often called "houses of correction."

But what can anybody correct when there is no system for release with supportive services and supervision for a large part of the prison population?

Nothing.

Carleton W. Brown

Elkton

Treat offenders near their homes

The letter about sending juvenile offenders out of state was shocking ("It's wrong to export state's troubled youths," Oct. 4).

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