Metro should warn riders of dangerous overcrowding

Metro's Yellow and Blue lines experienced significant delays on Monday due to a crack in the track. Thousands of passengers were stranded either on the platform or in cramped cars with very little room to exit or enter. As local residents flock to Metro as an alternate way to get to work, such obvious safety issues must be addressed.

During the course of my 75-minute trip from Franconia/Springfield to the Pentagon, one young lady fainted and had to be assisted onto the King Street platform by fellow passengers. Two other ladies got into a verbal altercation over the lack of space available for one to depart the rail car.

At some point in time, the Metro safety board or transit police should advise commuters that platforms and rail cars are no longer safe due to overcrowding. One can only speculate what would happen if a medical emergency were to occur. Fire and Emergency Medical Service personnel would have a difficult time responding.

Metro police officers, who are paid to serve and protect commuters, should be present and work diligently to maintain good order, discipline and safety when rail cars and platforms become overcrowded. Although they routinely monitor the transit centers during normal operating hours, none can be seen when Metro experiences delays.

Alfred Boone


Online sales tax would be spent in consumers' own state

Re:"Internet sales tax bill a bad idea," March 9

There is vast agreement across the ideological spectrum that sales tax on online purchases should be remitted.Introduced last month in both the House and Senate, the Marketplace Fairness Act, or MFA, shifts power from the federal government to the states, allowing them to require Web retailers selling products in their jurisdictions to collect sales taxes -- just like brick-and-mortar shops already do.

Opponents like Jessica Melugin assert that the MFA would apply "taxation without representation" on online retailers.That is simply false. Sales taxes are issued on consumers, not businesses -- which are simply the collectors of these taxes.

The MFA rightly uses a destination-based sourcing model, meaning that online consumers will pay the sales tax that is due in the state in which they reside. This necessary safeguard for consumers means they will benefit from the services that their state sales taxes provide.

Moreover, the MFA ensures they have a political voice in how their online sales taxes are spent by making state lawmakers accountable for spending decisions.

Stephen DeMaura


Americans for Job Security


Venezuelan president, Obama had much in common

Re: "Hugo Chavez vows 'much stronger' socialist drive," Oct. 1, 2012

In its editorial on the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the Economist concisely described the formula he used to gain power in 1998 and stay in office until his recent death by "exploiting inequality and social grievances to demonize the opposition."

Sounds like a description of President Obama's 2012 campaign and his subsequent governing style.

No wonder that, as The Washington Examiner reported last October, Chavez believed that Obama was a "good guy" who'd probably vote for him.

Bob Foys