The Baltimore Sun

Wrong for city leader to undercut prosecutor

It may well be that Mayor Sheila Dixon will eventually be acquitted of all 12 criminal charges against her ("Evidence, sympathies could vie in Dixon case," Jan. 13). However, Ms. Dixon's essential defense seems to be to blatantly attempt to undermine the credibility and integrity of the state prosecutor.

At a time when the city is doubling efforts to renew confidence in the integrity and even-handedness of our criminal justice system, Ms. Dixon is communicating this message: "You can't trust the prosecutors."

Ms. Dixon could have said: "I am innocent of all charges. I have full confidence in our legal system and I will be vindicated." Instead, she has tried to throw the criminal justice system under the bus. That's so self-centered.

Joe Migliara, Owings Mills

Accepting growth puts bay in permanent peril

Many thanks to Dan Rodricks for taking up yet another crucial but tragically neglected issue: the threats posed to living things in the Chesapeake Bay by the continued growth of Maryland's population ("Love crabs? Don't eat them," Jan. 4). He even commits the heresy of questioning the benefits of the military base realignment and closure process.

There's lots of evidence that Mr. Rodricks is right to raise these issues. Much of it can be found in a recent paper by Tom Horton on the Web site the Abell Foundation. Mr. Horton demonstrates that, thanks largely to the fact that there are ever more of us polluters in the watershed, 25 years of work and billions of dollars in efforts to clean up the bay have been "a failure" and have neither reduced the most important pollutant nor increased the numbers of the most valued marine life.

He shows that "the greatest, most uncritically accepted and fatally flawed assumptions made by those charged with protecting the natural resources" of the bay are these: "Growth is good. Growth is necessary. Growth will come. Growth can be accommodated."

The belief that growth spurs prosperity, Mr. Horton points out, survives only by ignoring the economic and other costs of environmental degradation

Cliff Terry, Gwynn Oak

The writer is population chairman of the Maryland chapter of the Sierra Club.

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