The Baltimore Sun

MTA service cuts hurt Annapolis commuters

The Maryland Transit Administration's decision to eliminate the commuter bus between Annapolis and the New Carrollton Metro stop has left many Annapolis-area commuters without access to mass transit ("MTA cuts service, keeps 10:05 train from Washington," Dec. 31).

The 921 bus circulated between Annapolis and the New Carrollton Metro stop. It has been ended. However, bus service from Annapolis to downtown Washington via buses 922 and 950 has been retained. I find this inexplicable.

The stated reason for service reductions is to save money. So why continue sending two different commuter buses to Washington?

The effect of doing so is to compete with the Washington-area Metro system instead of leveraging it to help area commuters.

Why not eliminate the 922 and 950 buses and channel all Annapolis-to-Washington commuters to the New Carrollton Metro stop?

It's an embarrassment that the capital of Maryland is so poorly served by both the Washington Metro system and the MTA.

The lack of effective mass transportation service to and from Annapolis also detracts from the credibility of the state's efforts to improve the environment and the bay.

Annapolis needs better mass transit, not less of it.

Alan Vandendriessche, Annapolis

Lawsuit wrong way to clean up the bay

While there isn't much doubt that the bay is seriously impaired, it seems to me that the rationale for the well-respected Chesapeake Bay Foundation's lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is a bit murky ("Groups to sue U.S. over bay," Jan. 5).

The strategy of the lawsuit seems to be to divert attention from our local and state governments' woeful failure to enforce existing regulations and laws over the past 25 years.

All of us want a healthier bay. But what we need to accomplish that is accountability and enforcement of our existing laws.

John N. Bambacus, Frostburg

The writer is a former state legislator and former mayor of Frostburg.

Hamas isn't open to offers of peace

Timothy Rieger thinks America should bring about peace negotiations between Israel and Hamas ("Stop lecturing, start helping," Commentary, Dec. 31).

Perhaps he should initiate the negotiations with Hamas. He should fly over to Gaza. He should find the leaders of Hamas. He should offer to make a peace treaty with them.

What he would find is that Hamas does not recognize the Zionist entity or its right to exist.

How could Israel or America make peace with such a group?

Mitchell G. Gold, Baltimore

Killing hundreds isn't self-defense

Israel's calling its military operation in Gaza self-defense is like calling mass murder crime prevention ("Israeli military drives deeper into Gaza," Jan. 6).

According to the Associated Press, 10 Israelis have been killed by Palestinian rockets fired into the town of Sderot since 2004. In comparison, more than 500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza in the past week.

I'm sure that many logical Israelis see that the only thing being accomplished by this latest round of devastation is the creation of yet another generation of Palestinian militants.

Paul Baroody, Baltimore

Rocket attacks leave Israel little choice

The writers of the letters "Collective punishment unfair to people of Gaza" and "Israel gains nothing from further carnage" (Jan. 6) seem to conveniently ignore the 6,000 rockets that have fallen on Israel since that nation forcibly expelled 8,000 of its citizens from the Gaza Strip and turned the region over to Palestinians.

Israeli cities near the Gaza border have been partially evacuated as Israelis have been subjected to destructive rocket attacks.

The people of Gaza elected Hamas in fair elections and have endorsed these constant attacks against Israel, and therefore cannot be described as innocent bystanders.

Until Hamas and its allies cease bringing in rockets with ever-increasing range and Hamas acknowledges Israel and stops embarking on campaigns to destroy it, Israel has no option but to use every means at its command to eliminate the deadly assaults on its citizens.

Nelson Marans, Silver Spring

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