- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 4, 2006



Ehrlich blasts PSC critics

Calls for replacing the Maryland Public Service Commission and re-regulating the electricity market is “demagoguery” that does not help energy customers, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. said yesterday on WBAL Radio. Mr. Ehrlich, a Republican, also said Baltimore’s lawsuit challenging his plan to ease the pain of rate increases will hurt customers.

The commission said Friday it was returning to the rate-mitigation plan it approved in March.

Instead of an immediate 72 percent increase, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers will have a 21 percent increase next month, but will have to pay interest to make up for the difference. Customers can also pay the full increase, without interest charges.

Mr. Ehrlich said he is angry that the city’s lawsuit has taken his rate-deferral plan off the table.

He also said replacing the commission would do nothing to change the law that states electricity prices will go to market rates on July 1.

Several Democratic politicians say the commission hasn’t done enough to protect ratepayers and have called for it to be replaced.


Carroll County keeps boundaries

The state’s highest court has decided against altering the structure of Carroll County government, disappointing both sides involved in the lawsuit over how to draw district boundaries for this fall’s election.

The Court of Appeals ruled Friday that only the state legislature can establish boundaries for the five commissioner districts. As a result, three commissioners will be elected at large in November, despite the passage two years ago of a referendum to increase the Board of Commissioners from three to five members to be elected by districts.

The case before the court involved a long-running dispute over two proposed maps that were drawn to define five commissioner districts. The county’s General Assembly delegation favored one map, while the other map was backed by the current commissioners, the mayors of Carroll County’s eight municipalities and by many residents.

Joseph Getty, a policy director for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Republican, wanted the court to adopt the map, known as Option 1, supported by the county’s all-Republican delegation.


Marine’s father to sue picketers

The father of a Marine from Westminster who died in Iraq plans to sue an extremist group that picketed his son’s funeral, said family attorney Sean Summers.

Albert Snyder of York, Pa., is the father of Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder.

Mr. Summers said Mr. Snyder will sue the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., for unspecified actual and punitive damages.

The civil suit will claim defamation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Mr. Summers says he will file the lawsuit tomorrow in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.

Lance Cpl. Snyder died March 3 after an accident in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. The accident did not involve combat.



Fort Myer building to be imploded

The Army was scheduled to implode the Tencza Terrace high-rise building at Fort Myer today at 6:30 a.m. The building has been used as a training ground for military personnel and federal agencies. Nearby residents were warned to expect a loud noise.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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