Villa Julie 'plum' is another word for...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Villa Julie 'plum' is another word for pork

Your story "Mikulski pushes for plum for Villa Julie in budget" (Nov. 25) describes behavior by Maryland political leaders that is out of step with the Maryland Democrats who voted to give Paul ("I'm not Santa Claus") Tsongas the presidential nomination in Maryland's 1992 presidential primary.

Villa Julie's $10 million "plum' is being pushed in the face of opposition by the management of Social Security by elected officials who are betting that their constituents see no connection between the traditional (and bipartisan) abuse of senior positions in Congress and the debt that Congress has increased every year since 1970. The 104th Congress will inherit a total debt of over $4.7 trillion.

Villa Julie's board of governors is composed of outstanding citizens. Why aren't the business leaders of the Villa Julie board siding with the "bureaucrats" in this instance instead of remaining silent as elected officials seek to increase the diversion of "trust fund" money for self-serving, patronage purposes?

Tom Dawes

Lutherville

Congratulations to John O'Donnell for his Nov. 25 article on Senator Barbara Mikulski and Villa Julie. What a surprise and delight to see The Evening Sun exposing one of its own.

Has The Evening Sun received the message the voters sent in the last election: "Taxpayers are tired of their taxes being used so that elected officials can perpetuate their terms in office"?

Taxpayers are entitled to know how legislators are spending our money.

Ms. Mikulski is proposing a bill to spend $10 million for a computer training center for Social Security that the agency does not need or want.

Why build the center? To create jobs? To prove our legislatures can bring the pork to Maryland? To garner future votes for Ms. Mikulski's next run for office?

It's hard to believe that voters do not understand that if Ms. Mikulski secures enough votes to pass this porker she will have to support porkers for other legislators in other states.

All of these projects are paid out of our pockets, not theirs. There can be no doubt that Ms. Mikulski understands the economics of pork.

Ms. Mikulski does not seem to believe that the voters are starting to understand that they are the ones paying for the excesses of Congress.

The results of the November elections (except in Maryland) indicate that many voters are starting to understand where the ++ money comes from -- our pockets.

Mr. O'Donnell also points out in his article that Sen. Paul Sarbanes and Rep. Ben Cardin also voted for a project.

It's time Maryland legislatures listened to their constituents. It's time voters paid attention to how legislators spend our money.

Charles D. Connelly

Baltimore

A matter of principle

Is Ellen Sauerbrey's determination to thoroughly examine the results of the 1994 gubernatorial election "sauergrapes" -- or is it a matter of principle?

Some Marylanders now feel uncomfortable with the candidate's persistence in challenging the process.

But do we really want this plucky, conservative Republican female, who brilliantly overcame tremendous obstacles to win 50 percent of the vote, to meekly concede an election sullied by accusations of irregularities, if not out and out fraud?

Wouldn't we be outraged if we found out much later on that "the fix was in," and that a conservative Republican who promised to reduce personal income taxes and to get big government out of our lives never had a chance?

Many serious complaints about the integrity of the recent election have been recorded. Perhaps they can be attributed to incompetence or carelessness.

But considering the huge stake the long-entrenched Maryland Democratic Party has in this election, it is entirely possible that some illegal vote-tampering occurred on Nov. 8.

Mrs. Sauerbrey says she wants to discover the truth, even if it costs her her personal reputation and diminishes her chances of obtaining future statewide office.

A politician who puts truth and principle above personal ambition deserves our support, not our scorn. Let the Sauerbrey people conduct a thorough investigation so that in next election the people of Maryland can have complete confidence that the victor won fair and square.

Patricia Rybak

Glen Arm

The gall exhibited by the liberal naysayers who would like Ellen Sauerbrey to just go away after a possibly weaseled election is a hypocritical travesty.

Were the roles reversed, these same sobbing, self righteous do-gooders would be screaming because their candidate lost after spending about $6 for every vote he received -- when Ms. Sauerbrey only spent approximately $1 for each vote she garnered.

Ms. Sauerbrey has every right to pursue her bid for the governorship to the point of legal exhaustion. Her loss by less than 1 percent of the vote is neither a mandate nor a positive plurality for Parris Glendening and his entitled freebie moguls.

PTC Maryland Democrats need to learn that someone other than the esteemed criminal element has some modicum of legal rights. Even the dreaded Republicans are guaranteed a fair shake in our elections.

Ronald L. Dowling

Baltimore

Light for all?

"City lights," a letter in the Nov. 22 Forum criticizing us astronomers and bird-watchers for wanting a public hearing on the World Trade Center's spotlights, has its facts all wrong.

First, the 10 spotlights are not pointing at the building, but are on its roof, pointing out into the countryside in 10 directions.

That's why astronomers are upset by them. They will bathe the sky of the whole city and its environs in a bluish-white xenon glow. Not good for star-gazing.

Second, it is anything but true that only owls fly at night. In a letter dated Nov. 8 to the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company and others backing the lights, Chandler S. Robbins, a wildlife biologist with the Patuxent Environmental Science Center, wrote, Baltimore is situated in an area of heavy bird migration. From counts I have made of birds migrating over my home in Laurel, it has been estimated that as many as 230,000 birds passed over a one-mile front centered on my house in a single night."

Needless to say, many species of birds migrate at night. Mr. Chandler's letter concluded, "I strongly urge that any plans for installing strong lights [on the World Trade Center] be abandoned immediately."

Those of us calling for a public hearing on the lights before they are switched on -- and hoping they will never be switched on -- are basing our opposition as best we can on factual materials and experience. We invite our opposition, which includes the editors of The Evening Sun, to try doing the same. Then you might even become our supporters.

Herman M. Heyn

Baltimore

Not Christianity

In both of his articles Nov. 22, Peter Hermann stated that fortune telling is part of the belief of the Orthodox Church.

Such an unfounded and ridiculous statement not only indicates a complete lack of knowledge of the Orthodox Church, but also demonstrates an incredible unawareness of basic Christian beliefs.

It is distressing to realize that a staff writer for The Sun would be so devoid of general information about Christianity that he would not know that no Christian Church or denomination -- Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist or whatever -- accepts among its beliefs any aspect of fortune telling.

Betty Jean Alevizatos

Towson

Light pollution

We are all aware of the poverty which drives farmers to chop down the rain forest, and we all decry that action as environmentally disastrous.

What we tend to forget is that industrialized countries consume 75 percent of the world's energy and generate two-thirds of the greenhouse gases.

Prosperity is as much a threat to our environment as poverty.

A perfect example of this is found in the plan to attach 10 horizontally-directed xenon spotlights to the top of our World Trade Center.

Not only is this a waste of taxpayers money ($341,000 for a start), it is a waste of energy and threatens the life of thousands of migrating birds that will be attracted to the lights and die.

Our state tax dollars would be better spent reopening the Enoch Pratt Central Library on Fridays (our main library has been closed for 20 percent of the business week since the financial crisis of November 1992).

Let us spread the light of knowledge in Baltimore instead of the light of destruction.

Jane Ball Shipley

Baltimore

"City lights," a letter in the Nov. 22 Forum criticizing us astronomers and bird-watchers for wanting a public hearing on the World Trade Center's spotlights, has its facts all wrong.

First, the 10 spotlights are not pointing at the building, but are on its roof, pointing out into the countryside in 10 directions.

That's why astronomers are upset by them. They will bathe the sky of the whole city and its environs in a bluish-white xenon glow. Not good for star-gazing.

Second, it is anything but true that only owls fly at night. In a letter dated Nov. 8 to the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company and others backing the lights, Chandler S. Robbins, a wildlife biologist with the Patuxent Environmental Science Center, wrote, Baltimore is situated in an area of heavy bird migration. From counts I have made of birds migrating over my home in Laurel, it has been estimated that as many as 230,000 birds passed over a one-mile front centered on my house in a single night."

Needless to say, many species of birds migrate at night. Mr. Chandler's letter concluded, "I strongly urge that any plans for installing strong lights [on the World Trade Center] be abandoned immediately."

Those of us calling for a public hearing on the lights before they are switched on -- and hoping they will never be switched on -- are basing our opposition as best we can on factual materials and experience. We invite our opposition, which includes the editors of The Evening Sun, to try doing the same. Then you might even become our supporters.

Herman M. Heyn

Baltimore

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