MGM should not be allowed to charge resort fee
Re: "MGM nears deal to run proposed casino at National Harbor," June 15
Something else that needs to be included in this deal is a provision that MGM, or any other casino operator, may not charge a "resort fee". In the Las Vegas market, all MGM Resorts International casino hotels charge one.
In comparison, Caesars Entertainment (formerly Harrah's Entertainment) has billboards all over that city proclaiming that it does not charge a resort fee.
"Render unto Caesar that which is Caesars" is mentioned in the Bible, but I see no reason to render unto MGM a fee for services I'll never use, such as the exercise facilities, a "free" shuttle to other properties and the like, especially since many hotel minibars in premium hotels have items for sale at outrageous prices.
For any jurisdiction interested in casino gambling, that should be one of the major issues raised before approval of any deal. Any local government should justify the reason for any resort fee charged by a lodging operator.
Jonathan G. Begay
D.C. officials are corrupt because they have too much power
Re: "Home rule becomes home fool as D.C. politics unravel," June 15
District Council members' corrupt practices have indeed embarrassed the city and made a laughingstock of home rule. But instead of seeking accountability for past transgressions, Harry Jaffe inserts Marion Barry into his formula for reform.
Is he kidding? Barry is the poster child of D.C. corruption and has worked very hard to earn that title.
Jaffe proposes tinkering with the system by expanding the size of the council to 26. But if reform is merely a question of scale, why not 100? Next, he proposes supplanting the mayor with an appointee of the council, somewhat analogous to a prime minister, who would be even less accountable to voters.
Finally, Jaffe suggests a mandate that would require a third of the council to be Republicans. We already have a similar requirement that has given us Democrat Michael Brown donning the costume of an independent.
Jaffe tragically fails to identify what leads to corruption in politics: a governing culture with too much power.Until D.C. voters decide to stop electing candidates who want to micromanage every constituent's life -- from smoking to transportation to business regulation -- expect plenty
more corruption to come.
In fact, we're probably just getting started.
Metro staff was courteous, helpful to Girl Scouts
This is in reference to Metro's service on Saturday, June 9, during the Girl Scouts' "Rock the Mall" celebration.Many Girl Scouts and their families traveled from the Vienna Metro station to the Smithsonian station. That Saturday, tracks were down on the Orange Line between West Falls Church and East Falls Church, so we were shuttled from one station to the other.
Since Metro rarely gets any positive feedback, I wanted to give my sincere thanks to Metro's staff. On this particular day, everything went smoothly.The bus drivers, bus supervisors, station managers and Metro Transit Police were courteous, patient and helpful in making our experience memorable, showing complete professionalism.
Their hard work should not go unnoticed.