Regionalism is more than incinerators
The Baltimore Sun's recent editorials on regionalism present a worthy concept and current realities. Regionalism must begin in many areas, not only with an incinerator where the Pulaski incinerator stands, burning primarily metropolitan waste.
Until every participating jurisdiction has guaranteed Baltimore long-term access to landfill needs, regional waste-sharing is as lopsided as cultural sharing (Baltimore, $18 per person; five metro counties, $2 a head), or the sharing of responsibility when it comes to housing, educating and supplying basic services to our city's citizens in need.
Even Montgomery County, with a new mass-burn incinerator and laws forbidding entry of trash from out-of-county or the export of its waste, sends its medical waste to Medical Waste Associates in Baltimore. The city deserves better than to be the metropolitan dump.
The city's incineration needs can be met by the BRESCO facility. For years, Baltimore has carried an oversized solid-waste burden to the detriment of our air quality, health, landfill life and economy.
Hidden costs related to infrastructure and liability, competition for waste, commitment to an expensive, long-term facility at a time when flexibility serves us best, loss of jobs related to recycling industries who won't come here once an incinerator commitment is made -- City Council and all citizens need facts, as The Sun pointed out.
Facts would convince them to oppose this unjustifiable proposition. (Proposal is another word, but with the $10 million "sweetener," proposition is more correct).
Patricia S. Lane
On April 24, four brief articles concerning trade with Japan were published in The Sun.
The article by Rodney Trump is easiest to understand. He stated that the first thing is for the American to buy American.
This makes sense if the price and quality of our domestic products were equal or near equal to that of the foreign products.
Approximately 60 years ago, it was fashionable for the Japanese to buy imported products. Alarmed by the trend, the emperor issued a decree asking his subjects to buy domestic products.
Quickly, buying foreign products became unpatriotic and the trend reversed.
The article by Barry Brownstein is rather hard to understand. He stated that the national trade deficit with Japan matters no more than if Maryland had a deficit with, say, Kansas.
Money remains in America regardless of whether Maryland has a trade deficit or surplus with other states.
We can move to any other state in America where the opportunity is better. However, immigrating to Japan is another matter.
Some people state that the budget deficit and the trade deficit do not matter. The sad truth is that the deficit is threatening the well-being and future of our great nation.
Gay partners law
Though I agree that institutional bigotry exists toward gay couples and that it is unfair, I am opposed to the domestic partnership law.
My stance is not a right-wing, holier-than-thou form of gay-bashing; I feel a great deal of compassion toward their plight. I take my position on economic grounds.
The vast majority of gay unions, I venture to say, are two-income, childless households. They are not faced with the financial rigors of raising children, or the two-income marriage tax penalty.
The domestic partnership law would give the these gay couples an even greater economic advantage. This is indeed a case of special rights when viewed from an economic standpoint.
In an increasingly unforgiving economy in which many households are forced to have two incomes in order to make ends meet, the combined effect of the two-income marriage tax penalty and the domestic partnership law would greatly undermine the institution of marriage.
It behooves the gay community to realize that unfair laws will do nothing to change unfair attitudes and only serve to breed greater resentment.
This law, I believe, would prove to be detrimental to more people than it would help.
ale Marie Cate
Scott Shane's article "Assault weapons bill also restricts clips" (May 7) was no surprise to me, since I took the time to read the pending legislation.
What also did not surprise me was the fact that The Baltimore Sun waited until [then] to bring this information to light. I am sure most of our representatives did not read the bill either.
What I am most upset about is the fact that The Baltimore Sun continues to print only that news which promotes a specific political agenda. As a reader of two or three newspapers a day, this style of reporting is getting more prevalent.
Shading of news in such a manner is irresponsible and does not present the complete picture. The Baltimore Sun mocks "freedom of the press" with such devious reporting.
As the euphoria of the election of Nelson Mandela to the presidency of South Africa continues, I am both joyful and apprehensive about the future course of that nation.
Just how long the "honeymoon" will last before the reality of the democratic process, with all its twists and turns, sets in will be closely watched by me and the rest of the world. Although I try not to think of the impending uncertainty, it is a constant intruder.
However, whatever happens from this point on in South Africa, there is much to be learned from the birth of that new democracy by its older sibling, the United States -- that is, that the impossible can happen when the people participate in the process.
Look at the pictures of the people standing in those long lines, walking long distances, enduring hardships just to exercise their right to vote, and one cannot help but feel embarrassed by our paltry 30 percent turnout at our elections.
Whenever I read about the events there, I think of the people here I have heard say they don't vote because it won't make a difference. The next time I hear that excuse, I will ask them what was it that happened in South Africa.