Letters

LETTERS

December 23, 2008

Opera house isn't part of bankruptcy

The Lyric Opera House operations and general performance schedule are unaffected by the Chapter 11 filing of the Baltimore Opera Company ("A gift of music," editorial, Dec. 14).

The Lyric serves as the opera's performance venue and has no other business relationship with the opera company.

The Lyric also has no information about the Baltimore Opera Company's present activities and future plans. Opera patrons and other interested individuals must contact the opera company's offices for assistance.

The Lyric's trustees are very saddened by the Baltimore Opera Company's situation and express their strong support of its work to restructure its organization.

Edward J. Brody, Baltimore

The writer is chairman of the Lyric Foundation.

Real ID addresses a very real threat

The Baltimore Sun's editorial objecting to enforcing the Real ID Act complains that Maryland "will soon have to spend millions of dollars to comply" with the law ("Reality ID check," Dec. 18).

I find it interesting the paper ignores the costs to Maryland citizens of having the illegal immigrants live in our state.

I believe that the cost just to pay for the thousands of illegal immigrant children attending our schools and for their medical care in our hospital emergency rooms far exceeds any costs associated with the Real ID Act.

The editorial further states that the Real ID Act is "likely a trivial deterrent to terrorism."

Apparently the editors have not read or understood the report of the 9/11 Commission, which points to how easy it was for the terrorists to secure the driver's licenses that helped them murder approximately 3,000 people.

If getting a passport requires a birth certificate, there is no reason not to require a birth certificate for a driver's license.

The Real ID Act will reinforce the words of Ronald Reagan: "Trust but verify."

Ron Wirsing, Havre de Grace

Cutting aid to schools is the wrong choice

It seems to me that the proposed cut of nearly $38 million in state funding of education to Baltimore and other counties is akin to throwing an anchor to a drowning man ("State may cut $38 million to local school districts," Dec. 20).

I realize times are tough and the state budget must be balanced. But given the struggles many students are having just to meet minimum graduation requirements in already underfunded and short-staffed schools, I think cuts should be made in less-critical areas.

Over time, the economy will recover. What will happen to those students whose education is shortchanged?

Marc Raim, Baltimore

Protect consumers by regulating power

I think there is an injured party other than shareholders that often goes unmentioned in discussions of the Constellation Energy Group deal - the customers of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. ("Righting the course," Dec. 19).

It's the bill-paying customers who generate all the cash being plundered by Warren E. Buffett, the shareholders and the incompetents running Constellation and BGE.

Since BGE is our lone public electrical utility, shouldn't the customers also be considered a player here and therefore have a say?

I think it's time for Maryland lawmakers to mandate complete energy regulation or at least devise some sort of electrical co-op as competition to Constellation/BGE that would offer electricity customers some choice.

Harry DeBusk, Reisterstown

It's a wonderful life for Buffett, Shattuck

The Constellation Energy debacle is truly a story for the season ("About-face," Dec. 18).

Warren E. Buffett is like Mr. Potter, swooping in to take advantage of a business with a cash shortfall all in the name of pure greed.

But Constellation Energy CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III is no George Bailey; he's more like the foolish Uncle Billy, running the company into the ground while blathering on about "right-sizing," as if there's anything right about laying off 800 people.

Life is wonderful for the man with the billion-dollar profit and the CEO who gets to keep his multimillion-dollar job.

But there are surely no angels in this story.

Robin Smith, Linthicum

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