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The Baltimore Sun

Dixon's work boosts the city

Don't wave Mayor Sheila Dixon's fur coats and romantic weekends in my face ("Dixon gifts probed," June 24). I don't give a flying flea biscuit.

Maybe she should have understood that the old boy political games only apply to old boys.

But in the end, the projects that she has supported are worthwhile and continue to move this city forward.

Graft and corruption? Give me a break.

Reginald Stanfield, Baltimore

Prosecutors seek needle in haystack

Please tell me why The Sun seems to report with such glee about the investigation into the affairs of Mayor Sheila Dixon.

Even a photo of her unveiling a new grocery store on Lombard Street gets a caption that begins: "Amid an investigation, Mayor Dixon attends a ribbon-cutting ... " ("Some see cloud over City Hall," June 20).

The whole affair sounds to me like looking for a needle in a haystack - in a case in which no one even knows whether any needle was dropped.

The Republicans did an amazingly nasty job of investigating President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, and thus inhibiting their amazingly effective governance.

Why is The Sun apparently applauding a similar Republican "dig for dirt" to inhibit effective governance by Ms. Dixon?

Max Amichai Heppner, Baltimore

Plug LLC loophole to donation limits

The Sun got it right in its editorial "The LLC shell game" (June 22).

It really brought this point home for me when I realized that former Rep. Tom DeLay was forced out of office because he had violated a Texas law that forbids electoral contributions by corporations.

Mr. DeLay allegedly used a political action committee to launder corporate money because Texas forbids contributions by corporations.

Certainly Maryland could raise its standards at least to Texas' level and only allow contributions by people.

This would be a major advance toward clean elections in Maryland.

Kevin Zeese, Baltimore

Democrats accept some racial slurs

Laura Vozzella's column "Can't we just get along?" (June 22) describes Democratic Party spokesman David Paulson's false suggestion of racial insensitivity in the hosts' reactions to a call from an African-American listener on the Ehrlichs' weekly radio show on WBAL.

Such a claim by a member of the state Democratic hierarchy, which has exhibited overt, ugly and destructive racism over the last six years, is hypocrisy at its worst.

In addition to the examples of Democratic insensitivity cited in Ms. Vozzella's column by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s spokesman, Henry Fawell - of Rep. Steny H. Hoyer and state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller's use of racial epithets against former Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele - there was the silence among most Democratic office-holders when Mr. Steele was called "Simple Sambo" on a liberal blog, there was state Sen. Lisa A. Gladden's justifying the use of ugly racial slurs against Mr. Steele by arguing that "party trumps race," and there was Democratic Del. Salima S. Marriott's suggestion that comparisons of Mr. Steele to a slave or an Oreo cookie were deserved because he's a conservative.

The silence about or condoning of such racial attacks by many Democrats conveys the message that vile racial rhetorical assaults are acceptable to Democrats in Maryland if they are made about an African-American conservative.

Richard E. Vatz, Towson

The writer is a professor of rhetoric at Towson University who was a panelist on the radio show discussed in Ms. Vozzella's column.

Not just gas price keeping folks home

In the editorial "Pitching Maryland" (June 24), The Sun shows how out of touch it is with the current economic plight of Marylanders.

I have heard from many middle-income Marylanders who regularly take a family trip to Ocean City, who this year are either canceling vacation plans or drastically cutting back the number of days they will spend at the beach.

The exorbitant gas prices are not the sole reason many folks are not making their summer pilgrimage. The electricity rate increases, higher food prices and higher sales taxes should also be factored in.

When there's a choice between going on vacation, and putting food on the table and keeping the lights on, the decision is pretty obvious.

Lou Fritz, Baltimore

Let windmill foes find own power

The Sun's article concerning opposition to the plans of a couple in Phoenix to erect a windmill on their rural home site to generate clean electricity reveals the kind of NIMBY frame of mind we often see ("Reaping the wind in Phoenix," June 24). But that attitude really is not fair.

Most of those who object to windmills spoiling their view seem to live in relatively high-cost suburban or rural areas.

I am an urban dweller. There's not much of a view from my home except for a cell phone tower about 100 yards away. And driving down the Jones Falls Expressway or on the Beltway toward Essex, one can see a veritable forest of ungainly cell phone and TV broadcast towers.

I do not recall much in the way of complaints before they were erected. At least windmills would be more graceful than these ugly towers.

I think this issue is simple: If you object to windmills or any other effort to provide additional clean energy, just disconnect your home from the electric grid to save us all electricity.

Sidney Rankin, Baltimore

Bottled water wastes resources

Thank you for the editorial "Tap dance" (June 23). Interestingly, I was just primed to write a letter expressing much the same sentiment - that folks could find the funds for a gallon of gas by giving up a gallon of bottled water.

In addition to the damage to the environment from the water bottles filling our landfills, we should consider the terrible waste of fuel to manufacture and ship the water.

Wouldn't it be better to spend the money we spend on bottled water to help the millions in developing countries who are without safe water?

Jo Sack, Timonium

Another way to reach capital

The writer of the letter "Invest in future of rail transit" (June 14) laments the lack of inexpensive public transit between Washington and Baltimore on the weekend, because the MARC trains do not offer weekend service, although this service is coming soon, according to The Sun's article "MARC aims to triple service" (Sept. 24, 2007).

There is a way around this problem. You can take the Baltimore light rail to BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and there pick up the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority B30 bus, which will take you to the Greenbelt stop on the Washington Metro's Green Line, which you can take into downtown Washington.

Richard Layman, Washington

The writer is acting director of the Citizens Planning Coalition.

Make Jewish meals animal-cruelty-free

After reading dietitian Adriane Kozlovsky's suggestions to the Burstyn family in "Make Over My Meal: Shabbat Dinner" (June 18), I'd like to add one more suggestion: Choose vegetarian foods.

Proverbs 12:10 teaches that "the righteous man regards the life of his animal."

In today's world, the overwhelming majority of animals raised for food are confined on massive factory farms, where they're subjected to miserable conditions and unbelievable cruelties.

People of faith across America and across the world are "making over their meals" by replacing meat with healthy, delicious, cruelty- and cholesterol-free fare, such as citrus barbecue tofu, mock meatloaf and vegan shepherd's pie.

As Jews, a historically persecuted minority, we have a special obligation to protect the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves. There's no better way to defend animals than to leave them off our dinner plates.

Max Fischlowitz-Roberts, Washington

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