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Benefits district offers key services

The Sun's article about a lawsuit filed against the Charles Village Community Benefits District (CVCBD) mischaracterizes the essence of the CVCBD ("Charles Village residents file suit disputing tax program," June 6).

The article refers to the CVCBD as "a city program to collect additional taxes."

In fact, the benefits district was spearheaded not by the city but by grassroots activists in Charles Village who convinced the state legislature, the City Council, and more than two-thirds of their fellow residents to create the CVCBD.

The benefits district has been from its inception, and remains today, a community-driven and community-based program providing valuable safety, sanitation, economic development and marketing services in greater Charles Village.

It doesn't just "collect taxes," it works alongside community associations, business associations, and other stakeholders to magnify their efforts to strengthen our community.

As for the lawsuit, there have always been opponents of the CVCBD, and the same folks who filed this legal gambit have filed many other suits in the past - and all of them have been dismissed or settled in favor of the CVCBD.

Frank Jannuzi


The writer is a former board president of the CVCBD.

Suit seeks to cancel will of the majority

I was furious to read that a lawsuit was filed against the reauthorization of the Charles Village Community Benefits District ("Charles Village residents file suit disputing tax program," June 6).

I can't believe that a handful of anti-neighborhood activists would try to hijack an entire community by going against the wishes of the majority.

The residents who filed the lawsuit do not speak for me or most of the residents of the district, which encompasses a 100-block area containing 14,000 people and 700 businesses.

Since these disgruntled folks can't get their way by legitimate avenues, they must resort to frivolous lawsuits.

I hope the judge who hears the case recognizes the suit for what it is - a desperate attempt at minority rule.

Carol Baker


Stop the posturing and fix the problem

It seems all our politicians are forgetting that they were elected to look out for us.

Instead of worrying about the public interest and the upcoming huge increase in our electrical bills, they are using this opportunity to further their own ambitions ("Special session planned," June 6).

But if memory serves me right, the deregulation plan was crafted by a Democratic governor with the support of a Democratic legislature.

So let's have all the legislators stop posturing, do their jobs and take care of the "working families," as they so often claim to be doing.

Instead of "he said, she said," let's get to work solving the problem while legislators also step up and take the blame for their past mistakes.

Richard L. Coleman Jr.


First job of session: Fire the PSC rascals

I have a suggestion for the agenda when the General Assembly opens its special session ("Lawmakers might meet on Tuesday," June 7).

In Shakespeare's Henry VI, a character says, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

The General Assembly should say, "The first thing we do, let's fire the Public Service Commission."

Currently, the PSC is simply a rubber-stamp for Constellation Energy and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Let's throw the rascals out.

G. Edward Horak


Al-Zarqawi's death won't alter equation

You would think, from the way his death is being reported, that al-Qaida is the insurgency in Iraq and that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was the prime motivating force behind it ("Insurgent chief dead, but impact uncertain," June 9).

But since there have been few reports of specific acts of violence attributed to al-Qaida in Iraq, and the insurgency seems to be a spontaneous uprising by Iraqis and other foreign nationals against the U.S. occupation of Iraq, it would seem that this effort to try and make al-Qaida synonymous with the insurgency is yet another effort by the administration to use the supposedly "free" media to distort beyond comprehension the real significance of these events for its own purposes.

Richard Margolin

Hoboken, N.J.

Expensive toll road won't be a benefit

With claims that the "ICC will be good for the environment," the governor planted saplings at a ceremonial groundbreaking for the Intercounty Connector ("ICC approved by U.S.," May 31).

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. must believe the public is gullible enough to think that removing hundreds of acres of forest and putting down 18 miles of concrete would improve the environment.

The governor must not have read the state's own study.

If he had, he would have learned that with a $7-a-day toll, the ICC would provide no relief of congestion on major roadways such as the Beltway, Interstate 270 or Interstate 95.

For this, commuters will pay $7 a day in tolls. And the state would spend more than $2 billion.

Paying for the ICC would also means that we would make us miss an opportunity to fund solutions to our traffic woes that a majority of voters support - such as expansion of mass transit and road improvements.

Roger Plaut


Court curtails rights of public employees

I've never seen a more ludicrous and illogical ruling by the Supreme Court than the recent one which denies First Amendment rights to public-sector workers ("Publicly speaking," editorial, June 5).

The court's decision decimates the rights previously granted to a government employee who blows the whistle on his or her superiors for corruption, bribery, waste of taxpayer funds, etc.

Under this 5-4 decision, in which both Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. sided with the majority, a whistleblower who reports an alleged wrongdoing up the chain of command can be demoted, transferred or fired.

How quickly we miss the moderating voice of retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

David Bavaria


Stop addiction before it starts

While broad public support for better drug treatment in Baltimore is certainly good news, I think we're missing the point ("Survey backs drug treatment," June 4). Yes, thousands of addicts go untreated each year. But shouldn't our focus be on preventing drug addiction in the first place?

Shouldn't we be trying to get these addicts off the streets before they become addicts?

If the tens of thousands of addicts in the city who are currently in need of treatment had had the tools to build stable careers and futures for themselves, perhaps they wouldn't have turned to drugs in the first place.

Gila Heller


The writer is a 10th-grade student at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community High School.

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