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The Baltimore Sun

State leaders failed to protect ratepayers

The arrival of the 50 percent electricity rate increase demonstrates the dismal failure of our elected officials to protect their constituents ("BGE rates arrive quietly," June 1).

Where are the champions of last summer who promised to take action against Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and Constellation Energy?

It's all fine and well to blame former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and his rubber-stamp Public Service Commission. But we were promised solutions, not finger-pointing.

I'm outraged by the indifference, if not cowering, those loud-mouthed leaders are showing now.

This rate hike will exacerbate so many other problems we face, especially on affordable housing and rising gas prices.

Because utility bills will be so high, many people will face foreclosure because they will not be able to pay pay both their utility bills and their mortgages.

In addition to providing more money and expanding the eligibility for programs that help low-income families pay their utility bills, state and local governments should start offering below-market loans to refinance home mortgages and reduce mortgage payments.

We need solutions that attack this problem from all sides.

And we need to see leadership again, not rhetoric.

Aimee Darrow


Attacking O'Malley won't cut energy bill

Did I miss the article noting that Gov. Martin O'Malley and Constellation Energy CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III had traded positions, making the governor the target of all the anger about the inevitable Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. electricity rate increase?

That's what seems to have occurred, judging by all the scorn heaped on Mr. O'Malley by the various conservative and libertarian columnists and bloggers clogging the opinion columns ("BGE ratepayers, behold the man," Opinion * Commentary, June 1).

I think this is just sour grapes because former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a BGE apologist, lost the election.

Mr. O'Malley is now accused of winning the election on false hope and promises that he would somehow stymie the rate increase.

Sure, Mr. O'Malley didn't deliver all that he promised, but at least he's in fine company.

I'm still waiting for President Bush to show some conservative compassion for someone other than CEOs and start coughing up some of those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Wake up, people: If we want cheaper electricity, we have to build it.

That means licensing new generating plants and building new high-tension lines and maybe even a liquid natural gas plant to fire the boilers.

But if you're too dainty to be besmirched by power generation in your area, don't complain when the laws of supply and demand hit your wallet harder than necessary.

David Harrison


We need a new party to protect the public

Since both major political parties have now failed miserably to help the population at large ("BGE ratepayers, behold the man," Opinion * Commentary, June 1), it seems to me that it is time for a real third party to emerge in Maryland.

Statewide, our "leaders" are either unwilling or unable to provide affordable electrical power for the masses of people, while nationally, they are either unwilling or unable to halt our criminal wars overseas.

As it stands now, the mandates of the 2006 elections - nationally and statewide - have effectively been nullified.

The Democratic and Republican parties have failed ignominiously, and are totally owned by the special interests.

We no longer need to "behold the man," but to "behold the people" instead.

Blaine Taylor


Weaselly language not limited to left

I admire columnist Thomas Sowell's ability to see only his side of any issue.

He acts as if liberal politicians are the only ones who ever use simplified or emotionally charged language to influence people ("Liberals win war of words, not ideas," Opinion * Commentary, May 31).

Apparently Mr. Sowell is unfamiliar with terms such as "pro-life" and "death tax," which are just two of the loaded terms conservatives use to affect public opinion.

Weaselly language is the domain of politicians and pundits of all stripes.

Grant Hamming

College Park

The writer is a student at the University of Maryland, College Park.

High court majority just upheld the law

The Supreme Court says a law that puts a 180-day time limit for filing a wage discrimination lawsuit means 180 days. The Sun thinks this is narrowly interpreting the law, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose job is to interpret the law, is lobbying for Congress to change the law to what she wants it to be ("Court ruling shouldn't stand," editorial, May 31).

The real concern here is not the five justices who made the ruling; it is the four justices in the minority who think the Supreme Court should change laws because they don't agree with them.

Phil Maxwell


Congress must alter new pay-bias rules

The Sun's editorial "Court ruling shouldn't stand" (May 31) is right: Congress must promptly modify the Supreme Court pay-bias ruling, which runs contrary to appellate court precedent and Congress' intent to minimize workplace discrimination when it passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Carl Tobias

Richmond, Va.

The writer is a professor of law at the University of Richmond.

Puerto Ricans also proud Americans

I truly enjoyed Nicole Fuller's article "23 from Puerto Rico graduate as city police" (June 2). But some of its statements need clarification.

The article states, "The Americans helped some of the Latinos with English; the Latinos taught the Americans words and phrases in Spanish." However, we are here dealing with Puerto Ricans, who are fortunate to be both Americans (as U.S. citizens by birth) and Latinos. The article makes it sound as if we Puerto Ricans are not Americans.

I can tell you that Puerto Ricans are proud to be Americans.

And I wish all the American graduates the best.

Enrique M. Melendez


The writer is a member of the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.

Sun theater critic will be much missed

It is with great sadness that I write to say thank you to J. Wynn Rousuck and to wish her all the best upon her departure from The Sun.

I've been a reader of Ms. Rousuck's theater reviews and other commentary for 24-plus years, and will miss her insightful and thoughtful views on a subject that is obviously her passion.

Her departure is a great loss to The Sun, her readers and the theater community.

Karen Beaudouin


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