Letters To The Editor


May 14, 2007

Let evicted tenants dispose of property

The Property Owners Association of Greater Baltimore Inc. supports many parts of the City Council's proposed eviction chattels bill ("A better balance," editorial, May 8).

We see the need to keep city streets free of such chattel, which consists mostly of abandoned trash and furniture tenants no longer want. And our industry is willing to take over the burden and cost of hauling these items to the city landfills.

Further, we agree with the bill's provision which would give tenants advance notice of the time and date of the upcoming eviction. That is just common courtesy.

The provision we do object to in the bill is the one which would require landlords to store tenants' belongings for any length of time after the eviction.

Many people assume tenants are "blindsided" by evictions.

In fact, if the bill passes with its notice provisions, tenants will have ample notice and time to pay the rent or move.

Under current law, it typically takes 40 to 45 days from the date the rent is due until the date of an eviction.

Well before an eviction, tenants know that they failed to pay rent for two months and know from notices issued from the city's rent court that the landlord has filed suit for possession of the property for non-payment of rent, that the court has granted the landlord judgment for possession, and that the sheriff has a writ of restitution for the eviction.

Under the council proposal, tenants would also receive notice from the landlord of the exact date and time of the upcoming eviction and their right to redeem the property by paying the rent judgment up to the time of the eviction.

Given these facts, I think tenants should be personally responsible for taking action to either pay the rent or move.

However, if the bill passes with a mandatory storage provision, I strongly suggest that storage be limited to two days and that tenants be required to notify the city's Eviction Prevention Office - in writing, at least one day prior to eviction - that they will need storage.

Such a compromise would strike the "better balance" the editorial seeks.

Alfred L. Singer


The writer is a member of the board of the Property Owners Association of Greater Baltimore Inc.

Doctors also indulge conflicting interests

Clearly, it's wrong for college financial aid officials to accept perks and payments from lending agencies in exchange for featuring those same agencies as "preferred lenders" on lists the college provides students seeking college loans ("House acts to curb college loan abuses," May 10).

But how does this differ from doctors receiving perks and payments from drug companies whose pills and other medications they are encouraged to recommend and prescribe?

What am I missing here?

There seems to be national outrage about improprieties in college aid.

But how do doctors and the big, extremely profitable pharmaceutical companies avoid comparable outrage over their roles in what seems to be a similar tit-for-tat relationship?

John Kloetzel


Ignoring war's role in Iraq's death rate

On May 8, The Sun's "World Digest" section carried an article which focused on statistics from a Save the Children report about child mortality in Iraq ("Child death rate soars in Iraq," May 8). However, the article made no mention of the impact the war has had on Iraq's death rate.

In contrast, on the same day, the British newspaper The Independent reported on the same study but titled its article "Infant Mortality in Iraq Soars as Young Pay the Price for War" (May 8).

The first paragraph of that article blamed a decade of sanctions and the two U.S.-led wars against Iraq since 1990 for the immense rise in infant mortality in that country.

I have to ask how The Sun could publish an article about the soaring death rate in Iraq without mentioning the major cause for this catastrophe?

The Sun's article did note that the United States ranks 26th in infant morality.

Imagine what could be done to improve the rate of infant mortality in the United States if the money we have wasted on the occupation of Iraq were used instead for child health care programs in the United States.

Max Obuszewski


North Sea oil fueled Britain's expansion

Like most of Cal Thomas' assumptions, his assertion that the British economy was revived by Margaret Thatcher's conservative capitalist economic principles is not quite the truth ("France's shift to right cause for celebration," Opinion * Commentary, May 9).

It so happened that Ms. Thatcher's decade as prime minister coincided with the years in which the North Sea oil fields produced abundantly - so much so that the United Kingdom became an oil-exporting nation.

Clearly, any nation which gets that sort of windfall will be able to raise all boats with petrol-fuel for a season.

Unfortunately, that season is about to end.

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