Letters To The Editor


April 28, 2006

Ways to resolve the border crisis

The Sun's editorial "Actions, not words" (April 25) correctly places a significant amount of blame for our illegal immigration problem squarely at the feet of Mexico and, specifically, of Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Mexico's total lack of control of its border with the United States is clearly part of a political policy by Mr. Fox that should prompt at least an economic boycott of Mexico, if not an armed response from the United States.

Contrary to President Bush's opinion, Mexico is no friend of the United States.

What would keep most of the illegal immigrants from coming is: locking down the U.S. side of the border with more border guards and fencing; making illegal immigration a felony; making it a felony for employers to hire illegal aliens; swiftly deporting all illegals who are caught by law enforcement; and eliminating any chance of U.S. citizenship for illegal immigrants.

I suspect that if these proposals were implemented, the vast majority of the illegal aliens living among us would voluntarily return home.

Ron Wirsing

Havre de Grace

Rising rates reflect the power market

In 1999, I remember listening to Maryland politicians patting themselves on the backs for the great work they did to help deregulate the utility industries in Maryland.

Now some of these same politicians are stunned about how badly that decision has worked out and that Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. would now like to move to market pricing ("Democrats calling for rate action," April 22).

However, in all the Eastern states except Maryland, the price for electricity is 13 cents to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour.

In Maryland, that rate is 8.5 cents, which is where it has been for the last six years.

I think it's only fair for a company to be allowed to charge the market rate for the service it provides.

Many people spend more money on cigarettes or lattes each day than they will for the electricity price increase - and electricity gives them more bang for their bucks.

Edwin C. Schneider


Time to nationalize the energy industry

We've seen how utterly impotent the state legislature, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Congress, President Bush, Mayor Martin O'Malley and our City Council have been in their collective surrender to Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., Constellation Energy, Florida's FPL Group and the energy industry.

Our Public Service Commission should more honestly be called "the International Corporate Service Commission."

There really is only one solution to the multiheaded energy crisis - and that is to nationalize the energy industry.

Public utilities should be publicly owned.

If Mexico can successfully nationalize its oil industry to the greater advantage of its citizens, why can't we?

Had our energy industry been made publicly owned a couple of decades back, we would have invested enough in research and development for safer, cheaper renewable energy and become much less dependent on fossil fuels; our environment would be healthier and we would have a leg up in fighting global warming; and we would not have invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.

A. Robert Kaufman


City schools deprive decades of students

How is it possible that a lawsuit filed 22 years ago has yet to bring any true resolution to the sorry state of special education in Baltimore's public schools ("Schools to drop appeal," April 26)?

Clearly, this speaks to the low regard our society has for children with developmental disabilities.

Over 22 years, the number of underserved children who have been processed through the city schools must surely number in the thousands.

Each child affected by the negligent inaction of the city schools' stewards has lost out in so many ways.

Shame on all the blame-passing bureaucrats who have let this situation erode the hopes and dreams of so many innocent children.

And shame on all of us for not standing up and saying, "No more."

Sue Keller


Flavor industry is serious on safety

The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) strongly objects to how our industry and association's exemplary record on respiratory safety was treated in Andrew Schneider's article "Disease is swift, response is slow" (April 23).

Contrary to the allegations in the article, FEMA responded quickly and thoroughly to a workplace safety issue concerning diacetyl.

FEMA promptly invited government scientists from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to brief our industry on the situation at the Jasper, Mo., popcorn plant in 2001.

Since then, FEMA has been extremely open and accessible on the issue of respiratory safety and has consistently shared information with interested parties as soon as it became available.

Our association has a strong history of working closely with regulatory agencies as well as member companies to advance developments that enhance respiratory safety in flavor manufacturing and to help the flavor industry and food manufacturers upgrade respiratory safety measures.

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