The Baltimore Sun

Manure conversion can create energy

The article about efforts to develop a renewable energy source from horse manure probably got a few laughs from readers ("Arundel to study alternative energy," Sept. 7). However, for those concerned about the environment and dependency on fossil fuels, this plan is not only encouraging but also an exciting development.

Not only has Anne Arundel County seen an influx of horse owners because of the popularity of recreational riding, it may also become the location for a world-class facility for equestrian sports: the Maryland Horse Park and Agricultural Education Center, which is proposed for the site of the Naval Academy's old dairy farm in Gambrills ("State's horse farm owners have reasons for optimism with proposals for park, facility," Aug. 6).

The county is also home to the Laurel Park track and a training facility near Bowie.

Horse owners are responsible agricultural stewards. They are always looking for ways to properly dispose of manure.

While its properties as fertilizer have long been known, its potential as an energy source has yet to be realized.

Anne Arundel County could be an international model because of the supply and technology available here.

The Maryland Horse Park and Agricultural Education Center not only could contribute to the supply of recyclable material, it also could be a place to demonstrate how such a conversion process works.

Like many other horse owners and trainers, I will be following the progress of this study very closely. And I will be very happy to contribute to the energy supply.

Christy Clagett


The writer is a member of the board of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and of the Anne Arundel Agricultural Preservation Board.

Don't blame Ehrlich for the voting mess

I am amazed at the audacity displayed by Mayor Martin O'Malley and former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in blaming Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for problems at the polls during the primary election ("Electronic system beset by problems," Sept. 13).

Perhaps these Democrats have forgotten that the Ehrlich-appointed Maryland Board of Elections attempted to fire Administrator Linda H. Lamone for incompetence in 2004.

Democrats in the state legislature rallied to support Ms. Lamone, having rewritten the law to protect her job in 2002.

If these Democratic leaders were genuinely concerned with fixing Maryland elections, they would call for the immediate resignation of Ms. Lamone, rather than taking cheap partisan political shots at the governor.

J. D. Urbach

Middle River

The writer was a losing candidate in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District seat.

Walking in space, butchering balloting

It is absolutely unconscionable that every election, without fail, produces some degree of voting machine malfunctions, delays and general disruption.

The voting process is a privilege and duty, but unfortunately it is constantly fraught with management ineptitude.

We have been at this process for many, many decades and we still cannot get it right.

The year-after-year machine malfunctions lead one to wonder about the accuracy of the results.

A technological paradox was exhibited in Wednesday's Sun, with a front-page article describing yet another voting machine calamity ("Electronic system beset by problems," Sept. 13) and then, on the next page, a picture and an article about a man walking in space ("Astronauts make progress on space station upgrades," Sept. 13).

Go figure.

Joseph Larson


Let independents be part of primaries

Here's an idea: Allow unaffiliated voters to work the polls on Election Day, and allow the unaffiliated or independent voters to vote in primaries ("Election woes elicit calls for firings," Sept. 14).

This would remove the cloud of patronage from the process.

Since I do not want to align myself with either of our major political parties, it would allow me to be part of the electoral process more than once every four years.

I know. It's way too logical to ever happen.

Lynda McIntyre

Severna Park

Ignoring alternative to Cardin and Steele

A front-page article in Wednesday's Sun starts this way: "Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin held a substantial lead over friend and former colleague Kweisi Mfume in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate early this morning, leaving Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele waiting to learn who his opponent would be in one of the most closely watched general election races in the nation" ("Cardin in strong lead; Schaefer in jeopardy," Sept. 13).

Was Kevin Zeese, Senate nominee of the Green, Libertarian and Populist parties, not also waiting to learn who his opponent would be?

And if this is "one of the most closely watched general elections races," where is the mention of the other candidate?

The article is about the primary, but repeatedly refers to a hypothetical race between Mr. Steele and Mr. Cardin.

This error occurs all too often, but I am particularly annoyed with this example, in which two probable candidates are mentioned in the first paragraph of the front page and the third is left out completely.

Also, The Sun's use of the word "opponent," in the singular, suggests that there will be only two candidates on the ballot, when this is simply not the case.

James Bridge


The writer is a volunteer for Kevin Zeese's Senate campaign.

War has become a bloody fiasco

The Bush administration has told us repeatedly that Iraq is the central front in the war on terror ("Parties fight over war," Sept. 13).

Shortly after the invasion, we were told that the U.S. Army controlled Iraq. But now al-Qaida-backed insurgents appear to control one-third of Iraqi territory.

Even by their own corrupt standards, the Republicans' splendid little war is now a blood-soaked failure.

Richard Levy


'Balamer' dialect defiles the language

Although I was saddened to learn of the passing of John Goodspeed, the article reporting his death left me scratching my head ("'Balamer' diarist 'Mr. Peep,' John Goodspeed, dies at 86," Sept. 12),

I was born and raised right here in my beloved Baltimore and have lived here my entire 53 years on this planet.

But I do not and have never uttered "Balamer," "Murlin" or any other of the assaults on the English language mentioned in this article.

I don't want to sound like a snob, because I am not. But I have heard many people over the years speak this way in the Baltimore area.

Forgive me, but they strike me as nothing more than semi-literate and linguistically lazy.

I love Charm City. But there is nothing charming about hearing adults butcher the English language.

Ken Leary


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