From: Angela Beltram
This letter is in response to Scott Miller's letter to the editor, ("Beltram: foot in mouth," March 17, The Howard County Sun.)
Scott Miller must be the only person in the United States who doesn't know that we are in a recession.
R-E-C-E-S-S-I-O-N is defined as "a slowing down of commercial and industrial activity marked by a decrease in employment, profits, production prices and sales."
Mr. Miller, let me refresh your memory: Who has been in the White House since 1980? There is only one answer -- the Republicans. George Bush had itright when he called Reaganomics "voodoo economics." Now President Bush has embraced it, thus far.
Did you ever hear about the balanceof trade problems, corporate and individual over-extensions, living on plastic money, speculative growth investments by unregulated Savings and Loan banking industries? Is this unique to Howard County? Come on!
Mr. Miller believes we can solve the problem of the recession by making county employees forgo a cost of living increase. How would Mr. Miller like it if he were required to reduce his real estate commission because of the Republican-caused recession?
VOTER FEELS BETRAYED
From: Patricia Eikenberg
This is an open letter to County Executive Charles I. Ecker.
I have never been so compelled to write a letter to any politician that I had elected into office, except recently, regarding the budget crisis going on around us.
As a resident of Howard County, a concerned parent and registeredvoter, I feel I have never been so humiliated by someone who I votedfor.
When you were running for county executive, your experience in the county educational system really swayed me toward you and, therefore, I let the future of my children's education in your hands. Little did I know I would feel so betrayed by you.
With your experience in the educational system, I don't see how you can let Howard County, being one of the best counties to live in to raise a family and give your children a good education, go to pot.
I was very shockedto hear that the students of Howard County will not receive their Effort of Maintenance, (county money to schools based on a per-pupil enrollment formula), that we need to accommodate growth in Howard County of approximately 1,300 additional students.
I was also shocked to hear that you are not for keeping our valued teachers we have striven so hard to maintain, and most of all, you are for increasing our student classroom size and jeopardizing the quality of education in the county.
I don't know anymore if you are for the people of HowardCounty. From what I see and hear, you sure have lost a lot of support from county residents, along with me. I realize there is a budget crunch, but there is no way to solve it in one term. You can ask President Bush that.
I am a member of a local PTA, a delegate for our school with the PTA Council of Howard County, and a very concerned parent. I have seen the budget, have heard many testimonies, and hope you have been listening.
The following are responses to the question, "Should the county's public schools continue to include prayers at commencement ceremonies?"
PRAYER FOR GRADS
From: Virginia Lockhart
Graduation prayers are different from classroom prayers just as graduation is different from a high school class session. Graduation is a formal, public ceremony attended for the most part by adults. They choose of their own free will to attend. A class session is a mandatory requirement for young people under the age of majority. The opportunity for significant influence on the individual that exists in the classroom simply does not exist at the graduation ceremony.
I agree with Superintendent Michael Hickey that the prayers are not endorsing a particular religion, but rather our creator. Our First Amendment rights would be infringed upon if this were disallowed.
From: Sallie Carr
Prayers should be continued at graduation exercises, and should have never beenbanned in public schools.
After all, doesn't the Senate always open its sessions with a prayer? It seems our Supreme Court is a littleconfused.
Perhaps if our children heard more prayer and not blasphemy and crime, we could look forward to a better tomorrow.
DON'T AGREE WITH BAN
From: Lee Keiser
I did not agree with the ban on school prayer in 1962 and don't agree in banning prayer at commencement exercises.
Since the time when prayers were banned inpublic schools, the quality of life, morals and integrity have not improved, but severely declined.
If this meant a betterment of life, I would say yes. However, to me, it is a continual decline and erosion of the moral basis of our life and country.