Illegal aliens have not earned the right to drive

Re: "Md. panel considers driver's licenses for illegal immigrants," March 14

It boggles the mind that our duly elected "lawmakers" in Annapolis have the audacity to promote illegal aliens' entry into our already crowded roadways by issuing them driver's licenses.

The delegates who have proposed this nonsensical idea should be reminded they cannot just thumb their noses at the legal citizenry, who have earned the right and privilege to drive.

Bernard Helinski


Now that pope has been chosen, media should cover Mormon event

Re: "Argentine is first Latin American pope," March 14

Media coverage of the election of the new leader of the Catholic Church was quite thorough, as befitting the man who is the focal point for so many religious people around the world and is indeed worthy of honor and respect.

Another significant religious event will occur on April 6 and 7, when members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or the respectful but overused nickname Mormons) call a "general conference" in Salt Lake City.

The church has almost 14.5 million believers around the world, including more than 6 million in the United States, all of whom will have the opportunity to hear the same words from the same leaders in support of general policy announcements, instruction and overall consistency in religious teachings because they will be broadcast via cable and satellite to more than 7,400 churches in 102 countries, as well as live streams to the website. The conference will be simultaneously interpreted into 94 languages, from Albanian to Yapese.

It is my hope that this event will receive a portion of the media attention the Catholic Church received during its time of celebration.

Jeff Wright


Alexandria's 'do over' worse than editorial suggests

Re: "Alexandria's cynical 'do over,' " Local Editorial, March 13

I attended the Alexandria Planning Commission's meeting where commissioners agreed to "do over" the controversial waterfront plan. But what choice did they have when the City Council had just sacked all the Board of Zoning Appeals members who had voted to recognize the protest petition whose terms were up? (Another BZA member resigned in protest).

This is not the first "do over" city hall has tried.After the BZA accepted the petition, the City Council had another "do over" in March 2012. They voted on the "text amendment" because they believed only zoning map amendments could be petitioned, only to discover that the fine print of the zoning ordinance language suggests text amendments might also be petitionable.

Now city hall is trying to "clarify" the zoning ordinance to remove petitions of text amendments, even though many land use changes can be enacted this way.

Now that the council believes it has the requisite six votes, it is trying to "right" the wrong it did a year ago.But if it merely rubber-stamps what it did last year, this latest "do over" might not fly in court and may require yet another "do over." Sooner or later, folks will lose count.

Fortunately, Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg proposed a real "do over" that respects petitioners' concerns, even if it doesn't completely endorse them, and also respects the judgments of past City Councils that established the current zoning. She would reduce the number of waterfront hotels to one, so residents, planners, and elected officials can gauge its impact on Alexandria's historic waterfront in real time, rather than just theorize about it.

Dino Drudi