Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 11, 2007

Energy CEO's pay adds insult to injury

It is no wonder the price of electricity has risen so much, given the $20.06 million paid to Constellation Energy Group CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III last year ("Top Dollar," July 8).

I certainly hope that he donates a huge portion of that salary to charity. Better yet, he could reduce his salary and use the money to help lower the cost of electricity for the hard-working people of Maryland and the surrounding areas served by his company.

Elaine Bernstein

Columbia

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the total compensation last year for Constellation Energy Group CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III amounts to roughly $385,000 a week - at a time when utility rates are becoming virtually unaffordable for many people.

How many people's energy bills could be paid by just a few weeks of Mr. Shattuck's pay?

What a disgrace.

Whatever happened to the idea that a public utility might be there for the benefit of the public?

Jack Noppinger

Kingsville

Sun missed chance to focus on warming

I was disappointed that The Sun used up so much of the front page of Sunday's paper on a feature on the salaries of CEOs in Maryland ("Top Dollar," July 8) - information that could have been put in a much smaller feature - when the weekend Live Earth concerts gave The Sun a unique opportunity to feature the event and really draw attention to the urgent problem of global warming.

Instead, The Sun had a Page 3 item about the concerts with a black-and-white picture of Al Gore ("A shout-out for the planet," July 8).

I appreciate The Sun's efforts to compete with other local media outlets.

But the paper still has the obligation to take us into the national and world scenes.

Maxine Saunders

Timonium

Franchot is right to query land deal

I was thrilled to read that our new state comptroller, Peter Franchot, had the gumption to ask questions when another questionable state land deal comes down the pike ("Franchot, O'Malley clash," July 8).

This is a breath of fresh air after watching the powerful and well-connected use Maryland state government as a personal plaything year after year.

As a result of their continued abuse, we beleaguered Maryland taxpayers are now faced with a $1.5 billion fiscal crisis.

Will these leaders' solution to this ocean of red ink the state is facing be an overhaul of the state's tax code?

Doubtful.

I bet they will give us slot machines in casinos instead, so that we, too, can enjoy the great prosperity that Delaware, West Virginia and Pennsylvania have achieved as a result of legalized gambling.

But thank God we elected Mr. Franchot as our comptroller last year. I hope he keeps at it.

We need more people like him in Annapolis.

Noel Levy

Pikesville

State salary rates way out of whack

When the president of Towson University makes more than double the salary of the governor of Maryland, there's something awfully wrong with our system of governance ("2,100 state workers earn $125,00 and up," July 7).

Sorry, but as a citizen, I won't buy the specious argument that a university CEO has more responsibilities than the leader of the entire state government.

Blaine Taylor

Towson

Bush and Cheney undermine liberty

It appears quite clear to me that while President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney keep telling us they are making decisions with the objective of preserving our democratic way of life, the result of so many of their actions is just the opposite - they are destroying our fundamental constitutional rights ("Bush won't let staff testify," July 10).

I can think of no issue of greater importance to our country and its citizens than to point out the blatantly autocratic steps Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney have perpetrated.

We must show that we will not tolerate such threats to our way of life - either from inside our borders or outside.

Stuart Fishelman

Baltimore

Hopkins student was very close to tragedy

We can all be thankful that the attempted abduction of a Johns Hopkins graduate student did not end tragically, as so many similar abductions of young women across this country have ("Abduction attempt raises concern," July 7).

This incident could have easily mirrored the case of Kelsey Smith, the young woman who was abducted from a shopping mall parking lot in Kansas and later murdered. But the Hopkins grad student managed to get away, as The Sun pointed out, primarily because of the actions of two bystanders who rushed to her aid.

While Hopkins officials announced that the incident near their campus was "rare," we can't allow their characterization to let us breathe any easier.

The quick thinking and involvement of two witnesses probably saved this student from a nightmarish fate.

One of the keys to preventing such violence against women in our society is for all of us to stay alert, be aware of what's going on around us and get involved.

Ray Feldmann

Annapolis

Complacency wrong response to crime

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