Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 26, 2007

Alternatives to autos offer better future

Michael Dresser seems to think that traffic is our main transportation problem ("Pile-up," March 18). That's not so.

Our current highway-sprawl-long-distance-commuting traffic problem is a product of cheap oil, and the days of cheap oil are numbered.

Many oil experts believe we are at or near the peak of global oil production. We've been burning more than we discover since around 1980.

As oil production declines, we will find we have bigger problems than traffic.

We will have to figure out how to provide mobility with less and less energy, and how to feed ourselves without the massive oil and gas inputs our farmers often depend on.

Declining oil production, therefore, implies new transportation priorities.

We don't need more roads. We should cancel the Intercounty Connector, the Beltway widening projects and all the interchange projects in the state. They take us in the wrong direction.

The notion of using tolls to pay for new capacity while controlling demand needs a simple revision: We need to apply the tolls to existing highways and use the proceeds to build more and better public transit.

If we replace oil-intensive auto-centered transportation with public transit, walkable communities, biking and fuel-efficient vehicles run on sustainable energy, we won't have a bad place to live.

If we try to replace oil with fuel from tar sands, oil shale and liquefied coal, we will still have an unsustainable economy. And we will also have runaway global warming.

The choice lies in our hands today as we decide whether to build roads and add to sprawl or build walkable communities well-served by transit.

Carl Henn

Rockville

It's time to close Rosewood Center

Here's a challenge for all those Maryland legislators who refuse to support the idea of closing the Rosewood Center: Live in Rosewood for one month, under the same conditions as the current residents - same buildings, same food, same sleeping arrangements, same lack of privacy, same exposure to potential violence ("State designates part of Rosewood site as surplus," March 22).

The people I have talked to who have lived at Rosewood and who now live in the community are unanimous in their desire to see the center closed - for good.

I will take the advice of those who have firsthand experience of life at Rosewood over the opinions of those who think they know what is best for our developmentally disabled citizens - but have never had to walk in their shoes - any day.

Harold Franklin

Towson

The writer is a former regional director for the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Administration.

Funding site useful check on lawmakers

Thank you for publishing the column on the legislation before the General Assembly that would create a Web site that would allow taxpayers to check on any state funding in excess of $25,000 to any entity ("Bring transparency and accountability to Maryland government," Opinion

Commentary, March 20).

It is time for our state legislators to be held accountable to taxpayers for the ways they choose to dole out our money.

This is especially imperative in these times when everyone's budget is feeling the effects of increased prices for gasoline, electricity, water and sewer, and rising property taxes and housing costs.

And let's not forget the impending revenue shortfall that the state is facing for the next several budget years.

William Smouse

Millersville

Death penalty bill deserved full debate

I applaud former state Sen. John A. Pica Jr. for suggesting the Senate Judiciary Committee lacked the courage to repeal Maryland's death penalty ("Lacking the courage to stop executions?" letters, March 19).

I further suggest that those on the committee who voted to kill death penalty repeal lack respect for the full General Assembly and our citizenry at large. This key bill deserved to be released to all the Assembly for a robust debate involving all of Maryland's citizens.

There is a whiff of arrogance around those committee members who bottled up this life-saving bill.

Fred Ruof

Baltimore

Killing a killer is moral choice

I disagree with the reasoning of the writer of the letter "Lacking the courage to stop executions?" (March 19) and his reasoning for abolishing the death penalty.

We do not execute murderers as a deterrent, as another premeditated murder, as revenge or as vengeance. We execute them because it is the moral thing to do.

Why should they be allowed a lifetime sentence of living and enjoying such things as workout rooms, television, books, visits from family members and other amenities that the murder victims are deprived of while the families of the victims have to live with a terrible memory for the remainder of their lives?

And why should murderers be given the chance to murder someone else, perhaps a prison guard or another convict?

Albert J. Hess Jr.

Darlington

Arrest records pose threat to civil rights

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