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Don't abandon AES

January 02, 1997

To the editor:

To Gov. Parris Glendening:

Early in your Administration, you made a decision to support the Warrior Run project in Western Maryland. That decision was right then and it is right today. The Warrior Run project is finally bringing the economic benefits from the generation of electric power to the region where it consumed. The project is good for Maryland.

The Western Maryland region will enjoy the benefits of jobs during construction of the plant and the on-going jobs from the plant's operation. There will be suppliers of services and materials that will benefit from the plant. The most significant impact will be the miners and transporters of coal to fuel the plant. In addition to all of the direct employment will be the many indirect benefits, such as restaurants, grocery stores and even haircuts.

You did the right thing in supporting the construction of the Warrior Run plant.

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Now, I understand that Allegheny Power is trying to end its contractual obligation to buy power from the Warrior Run plant. They say the cost of electricity is going to increase. It is reasonable to assume that over time the cost of electricity will increase. But to stop the Warrior Run project will cost the rate payers a lot of money with no corresponding benefits. Allegheny Power is trying to save pennies at the expense of jobs for Western Maryland.

The facts have not changed from when you attended the Ground Breaking Ceremony at Cumberland. The project was good for Maryland then and its good for Maryland today. It is a great example of the work you have been doing to support the private sector of the Maryland economy.

Thank you for this opportunity to express my views on this important matter.

E. Ray Lichty

Hunt Valley, Md.

To the editor:

When President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law, America made a commitment to its workers. Social Security would be there to protect our retirement security. Now Wall Street Stockbrokers want to take control of our retirement security. Wall Street lobbyists want to change the rules and push for privatization of Social Security with hope of gaining big commissions and management fees. It's bad for America and bad politics. It would be a financial bonanza for Wall Street. Unless we stop it, it will determine the solvency of the entire Social Security system. If the stock market crashes or goes into a slump, the retirement income of millions of future seniors would suffer. Today Social Security funds are invested in guaranteed U.S. Treasury bonds. Privatization is a bad deal for seniors and for all Americans. The Investment Company Institute, which represents mutual funds, has made Social Security "reform" its number one legislative priority. It has a lot of political clout on Capitol Hill and could be crucial to the well being of senior citizens. We must let the President, our Congressmen and Senators know that any attempt to put the profits of Wall Street before the real needs of seniors and their families will carry a very high political price. We must remind them how much our generation has sacrificed to build this great nation and how we worked and paid our hard-earned money into Social Security. Nearly 1 in 3 retirees rely on Social Security for 90 percent of his or her total income. The government should stop borrowing the Social Security Trust Fund to pay current federal expenes. Congress should put back the $496 billion they've taken from the Trust Fund. Our Social Security benefits have been earned and paid for. They should not be included in the cuts. They were taken from our paychecks week after week, month after month, and year after year. Cut the waste and pork in government instead of Social Security and Medicare. It didn't cause the deficit. Waste, greed, and mismanagement by Congress did cause it. Their 133,000 salaries and million dollar pensions. Also billions in aid to Russia and pork barrel, vote-getting projects we can't afford. End benefits to drug addicts and alcoholics, also to non-citizen aliens. Millions of dollars of fraudulent claims for disability benefits for immigrants should be cut out. Immigrants receive over $3.3 billion in Social Security benefits a year. It is too much waste and fraud. Don't blame us for the deficit. Put the blame where it belongs.

Anna Lee Burker

Sharpsburg, Md.

To the editor:

Charley Reese has done it again! His column today concerning the secularization of Christmas is a masterpiece. It hits the nail on the head for sure.

Thanks for publishing such a refreshing piece of editorial comment.

James C. Pittman

Needmore, Pa.

To the editor:

I think that Hagerstown Speedway should either find a new way into the race track or put a gate across the opening in the back stretch wall where the race cars come into the track. The reason why I want this is because a number of cars are hitting the wall and the drivers are getting hurt.

Michael W. Walls

St. Thomas, Pa.

To the editor:

Have Washington County Commissioners Bowers and Shank lost their minds, or are they just hopeless tax-aholics?

The Halfway Volunteer Fire Company is doing a herculean job in raising revenue through various fund-raising projects, but apparently Commissioners Bowers and Shank are offended by initiative, accountability, and self-reliance. They prefer the "Nanny-state."

Larry D. Kump

Falling Waters, W.Va.

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