LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Shuttle service hasn't departed from downtown

DASH service is not ending ("Tourist shuttle fails," editorial, Sept. 12).

As The Sun reported in August, DASH resources are being redeployed to reflect the fact that monthly commuters, rather than intermittent users, make up the majority of riders ("Downtown shuttle is retooled," Aug. 27).

While the system and schedule have been changed as a result, two routes will continue to circulate throughout downtown, and non-monthly riders will continue to be able to use the service for 50 cents.

DASH is not a "tourist shuttle," as the editorial states. DASH was created specifically to give businesses and their employees a convenient and affordable alternative to downtown parking.

The system has not been a failure. When DASH began in March, 300 employees representing 10 businesses signed up to use the service. Today, 54 companies are DASH subscribers and 800 monthly pass holders ride it every day.

In fact, DASH has exceeded our expectations. And we look forward to the service growing even more in the weeks and months to come.

Michele L. Whelley

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.

Despite the inevitable glitches of any new system, I want to commend Baltimore for establishing the DASH service. Its recent changes reflect a proactive look at the volume of ridership and are good management from any point of view.

And I, for one, am grateful to have this service. As a result of DASH, more cars are off the road downtown, and those of us who find parking spaces in the city way too expensive have an alternative that makes sense.

Eliana Vera

Bethesda

Grateful to Gore for his strong stance

I applaud former Vice President Al Gore for speaking out so clearly against the Bush administration's imperial policies ("Gore gives jolt to Iraq debate with denunciation of Bush plan," Sept. 24).

If American citizens and their representatives do not reject the doctrine of pre-emption, it is clear that other nations will assert the same right and "the rule of law will quickly be replaced by the reign of fear," as Mr. Gore said.

I had despaired that we would ever hear a Democratic voice raised up against the misrule of this administration. Members of both parties should recall that Mr. Gore won the popular vote for president in 2000.

Susan Norris Rose

Columbia

Which presidency is Gore running for?

It is so nice to see that former Vice President Al Gore has gotten on with his life and is apparently launching his campaign to seek the nomination of Iraq's Baathist Party ("Gore gives jolt to Iraq debate with denunciation of Bush plan," Sept. 24). I wish him all the best in the primary against Saddam Hussein.

Jeff Hartman

Severna Park

We cannot wait for Iraq to attack

Ellen Goodman's "unconvinced" status regarding Iraq's lust for nuclear weapons totally ignores the possibility that United Nations action, or unilateral U.S. action, to keep Iraq from joining the nuclear club will also send an unambiguous message to other fanatics and madmen that there is a line that they may not cross ("America's misguided solo flight," Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 16).

That message is not intended to initiate a series of regime changes, as Ms. Goodman suggests, but to establish reason and stability in an area that for too long has been a powder keg with no shortage of archaic, fundamentalist dolts yearning to light the fuse.

W.C. Harsanyi

Pasadena

When will Ellen Goodman and all the other liberal, blind-folded Democrats get it? The other nations holding nuclear weapons are not run by a fanatical zealot who hates the United States. We can't afford to "wait and see" if Saddam Hussein is going to attack us.

That's exactly why Sept. 11 happened -- because we were complacent and trusting and, yes, arrogant in believing no one would dare do us harm.

Gail Householder

Marriottsville

Hunt for evil could start at home

In a country that practices execution, refuses to provide health insurance to its impoverished, allows huge corporations to bilk citizens of their hard-earned dollars and spends billions on the military while social programs go in the tank, should we really be pointing a long and hypocritical finger at the "axis of evil"?

Jeremy Silanskis

Baltimore

In wartime, defend president's views

Scott Ritter's going to Iraq and speaking against our president when we are at war is criminal.

He is no better than Jane Fonda and should be tried as a traitor ("Iraq denies reported buildup of nuclear weapons program," Sept. 9).

I realize we are not at war with Iraq right now, but we are at war against terrorism, and Iraq is sheltering and financing terrorists and working for the demise of the United States and our way of life.

Mr. Ritter dishonored our country; the victims of Sept. 11; every soldier who ever fought and died for the United States, including my brother who died in Vietnam; my two sons now serving in the Army; and all the other soldiers that are fighting in this war by what he did in Iraq.

Regina Talley

Glen Burnie

Two-party system turns off voters

Fraser Smith's article "Voting: Civic duty ignored" (Sept. 10) was a good read. But one question hangs heavy -- Why don't people vote? Why are eligible citizens willing to squander the most important freedom of all?

The answer is that most people who don't vote feel that they don't have real choices. No matter who wins, nothing much changes. The status quo remains the status quo.

America has enshrined a two-party system, which more and more resembles a duopoly. Ballot access for third parties is very difficult, and the major parties run scare tactic campaigns against any party or person who dares to challenge the system.

Consequently, we have major domestic and international challenges today and there are many answers out there that will never see the light of day.

J. Russell Tyldesley

Catonsville

Former parks chief has a sweet deal

I should find a job working for the city of Baltimore. After all, where else can you be fired from a job, yet still be paid and live rent-free while your ex-boss searches for another position for you -- all at the taxpayers' expense ("Ex-parks chief, fired in July, still on city payroll," Sept. 11)?

Is this a great city or what?

Philip Zaczek

Samuel Zaczek

Bel Air

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