Compare Insurance Rates & Save

Letters to the Editor[M]

Nov 7, 2007

Paranoia topping

Thanks for publicizing the stupidity of Needham police in the case of that poor innocent fellow who went in a restaurant to buy a pizza and ended up arrested (Nov. 6).

Of course, the worst part is that the police still charged him with disorderly conduct. Thank goodness for a good judge.

I know that this was an opportunity for Needham to show off its SWAT team, but show some judgment!

- Barry D. Hoffman, Westwood

Transit underfunded

The editorial "Caution signals on new rail lines" (Nov. 3) rightfully points out that rising costs are a problem facing future transit projects. We also agree with the Herald that, despite this challenge, the state has a duty to stand by its transit commitments - including the Green Line extension to Somerville and Red-Blue Line Connector - that will bring economic growth and improvements to air quality in congested communities.

However you cut it, our roads and bridges are crumbling and the MBTA suffers from an unmanageable debt load. But cost-cutting alone won't get us to where we need to be. The state needs to take seriously revenue-generating options like a higher gas tax. With a $15 billion to $19 billion shortfall, it's essential that we find solutions that match the scope of the problem.

- Carrie Russell, Staff Attorney, Conservation Law Foundation, Boston

Graham half-right

Michael Graham's column stated, "This desire to condemn inanimate objects is a bit, well, weird. Naughty beer, illegal guns, bottles of alcohol with bad attitudes . . . " ("Executioner, this Bud shouldn't be for you," Nov. 6).

I agree whole-heartedly but would add: Remember, guns don't kill people. Bullets do.

- Arthur S. Bruno, Dedham

Outrage justified

The reason illegal aliens from Ireland, India or Italy don't prompt the same amount of outrage as those from Mexico is simple ("In any era, immigrant an easy scapegoat," Nov. 5). Estimates place the percentage of Mexican citizens living in the U.S. at 10 percent. This dwarfs any other immigrant group. And since the percentage of this group who are here in violation of our law is about 50 percent, I challenge Alan Lupo to name any country that wouldn't feel outrage at their country being so clearly overrun by another country's citizens.

Add to this the large number of professional victims groups that not only demand we accept this situation but change the fabric of our country to accommodate it, and yes, Alan Lupo, you have outrage. Justifiable outrage. And a lot of it.

- Virginia Bennett, Dighton

For better coverage

Once again (actually, twice), the Herald has waded into the auto insurance controversy ("Senators strangle overdue reforms," Oct. 26 and "Politics driving debate," Nov. 1) on the wrong side.

The question is not "Do we want competition?" The question really is, "What kind of competition?"

The harmful kind is the rush toward the mediocrity of being like the other 49 states, with high urban and youth premiums, more uninsured drivers and much higher uninsured-motorist premiums for the rest of us, and using proxy factors and company tiering to eviscerate the proposed rating factor bans and consumer protections.

And why the rush? We are due for a 10 percent rate decrease under our present system.

The alternative is to make use of the best minds both inside and outside the state to build on legislation already filed and construct a consumer-oriented system that preserves our unique consumer protections, competes in ideas as well as in pricing and could provide savings to all motorists of over 30 percent.

Let us hope the administration will support the consumer's side.

- John Hayes, Belmont

Smarten drug laws

The Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy (CSMP) initiative does not legalize marijuana. Under its provisions marijuana would remain illegal in Massachusetts ("Political operative's smoky past," Nov. 3).

Our responsible, fiscally prudent initiative - like existing laws in 11 states - would make simple possession of a small amount of marijuana subject to a civil fine that can be paid by mail like a traffic ticket, saving thousands of hours of police and court time. According to Harvard economist Jeff Miron, the current law costs Massachusetts taxpayers over $24 million per year.

Our initiative would also avoid creation of a criminal record which now can deny college loans, jobs and housing to those possessing even a tiny amount of marijuana.

- Whitney A. Taylor, Campaign Manager, CSMP, Boston

(c) 2007 Boston Herald. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.

Insurance News: Letters to the Editor[M] ; Get an insurance quote! « Back