Governor has himself to blame for budget cuts

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s comments regarding the $208 million in state budget cuts were totally astounding to anyone with a basic understanding of the state budget ("$208 million slashed from Md. budget," July 31).

Mr. Ehrlich seems determined to pin these cuts on anyone he can find, yet it is his own reactionary tax policy that is truly to blame. His unwillingness to close blatant corporate tax loopholes is part of the cause of these cuts, and his pie-in-the-sky slots bill would have done nothing to salvage the situation.

As for the governor's complaint that his lackluster slots bill was killed "for no good reason," I would remind him that slots are predatory and regressive, lead to crime and addiction and destroy lives and families.

If Mr. Ehrlich wants to find someone to blame for these totally unnecessary budget cuts, I suggest that he start by taking a good look in the mirror.

Aaron Meisner


City of Baltimore owns the arena

The Sun's editorial about Baltimore City Council members' use of free tickets to events at 1st Mariner Arena contained significant errors that must be corrected for the record ("All in the family," Aug. 1).

First, I am not the owner of 1st Mariner Arena, as the editorial incorrectly states. The owner is the city of Baltimore, which has contracted with SMG Inc. to run the arena. My connection to the arena is through my indoor soccer team, the Baltimore Blast, which is a tenant of the building. Additionally, I have negotiated through an open and public process to secure control of the arena's naming and advertising rights.

Second, I have nothing to do with distribution of free tickets to City Council members for events scheduled at the arena. Tickets for arena events are controlled by the arena's management, not by me.

By misstating the facts, The Sun's editorial attempts to suggest some unethical link between City Council members' use of arena tickets and the recent vote of the council to approve my plan to enhance the arena's exterior by adding attractive advertising murals.

The advantages of my proposal to enhance the arena are many, and the council and the mayor concurred. Despite what the editorial implied, I neither used, nor needed, distribution of free tickets to council members to prove the merits of my proposal.

I hope any future editorials will reflect these facts.

Edwin F. Hale Sr.


The writer is owner of the Baltimore Blast and chairman and CEO of 1st Mariner Bancorp.

Insults to the right routinely ignored

I will leave the merits of the judicial nomination of William H. Pryor Jr. and the tactics employed by both sides for another day. Today's topic: hypocrisy.

The Sun boldly proclaims: "Name-calling is the last refuge of those with no stronger argument" ("Injudicious tactics," editorial, July 30). Then, the writer, who evidently suffers from an odd short-term memory loss, calls the nominee a "zealot." Oops. Hypocrisy -- and sloppy writing.

Pick just about any issue (local or national) and in the last year we've seen Democrats and liberals denounce Republicans and conservatives on it as sexist or racist or homophobic or warmongers or uncompassionate to women, children and minorities.

But only now do we see the term "Injudicious tactics" in The Sun's lead editorial. Wow.

Michael A. Lagana


Support love of all kinds

With all due respect to the Holy Father, as a Christian I am saddened by his views on gay marriage ("Vatican urges officials to fight legalization of gay marriages," Aug. 1).

We don't have enough love in this world that we can pick and choose which kinds are acceptable.

If we truly believe that God is love, then any two people who want to commit to one another and invite God into their relationship should be supported by their community, their families and their church.

Jenny Keith Ciattei


County executive proves pro-developer

With all the hubbub pertaining to the Holly Neck proposal, it has become painfully clear that Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. is pro-developer, after all ("Holly Neck issue draws a crowd," July 30). Throughout his campaign he denied this, but here it is for all to see.

I think the voters were misled -- surprise, surprise.

John L. Grumbach


Keep Holly Neck quiet and pristine

Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith is barking up the wrong tree ("Residents, builder in battle for Holly Neck," July 29).

Mr. Smith is favoring a bill before the County Council that would allow millionaire developer Leonard P. Berger to build 110 homes on Holly Neck peninsula, a fragile piece of land on the Chesapeake Bay.

This legislation would circumvent strict Baltimore County zoning laws and open a can of worms that Mr. Smith and the council will regret for years to come.

The present law keeps this area pristine, and it should remain that way.

The Wiseburg Community Association offers its full support to the Holly Neck Conservation Association in its battle to protect this delicate land.

David Boyd

White Hall

The writer is president of the Wiseburg Community Association.

Foul bacteria mar Bush River

The front-page article describing the expensive housing being built along U.S. 40 on the shores of the Bush River failed to mention an important problem. The Bush River's water is thick with microcystis, a cyanobacteria formerly called a blue-green algae ("Md. suburbs revitalizing business routes," July 25).

The water is a very cloudy blue-green, and the wind blows thick, oily-looking masses of the organisms into shallow water. Beaches are coated with a foul-smelling blue-green scum. Dead fish wash ashore daily.

Microcystis becomes this rank only when water is over-enriched with nutrients washed from the land or from sources such as sewage. Microcystis blown by wind can cause allergic reactions and can make swimmers who swallow enough of it ill. Dogs that lap up enough water can suffer liver damage and die.

The problem can only intensify as more development occurs in the Chesapeake Bay critical areas and along the tributaries of the Bush River.

Glenn R. Dudderar


Tax avoidance adds to burden on others

How sad and unpatriotic to see American companies seeking to skirt paying their fair share of taxes to this country despite the fact that, in many cases, the majority of their profits come from the pockets of hard-working Americans ("Fixing a bad break," Opinion

Commentary, July 30).

Such actions ultimately increase the tax burden on ordinary citizens.

Michael Pravica


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