From: Sheri Happel
After reading "Ecker warns of further $1.1 million cut in school budget" (Howard County Sun, March 15, by James M. Coram), I began to wonder if there wasn't another area from which money may possibly be taken.
It seems that if Ecker really wanted to save the education budget, he could find a way to do so. By taking money out of less crucial budgets, he would be protecting possibly one of the most important groups of people -- the children who are the future.
I understand the economic situation of the county, but I can't see the reasoning behind more educational cuts because it seems that education funding is always the first to go.
I definitely agree with C. Vernon Gray when he said that the county will lose teachers if they don't get some sort of pay raise. It is only fair to give these teachers the money they rightfully deserve.
This county has some of the best teachers around, and it is unfair not to give back to them a fraction of what they've given to the children.
(Sheri Happel is a junior at Centennial High School.)
GIVE ROUSE A CHANCE
From: Richard N. Gambrill
In response to the publication of Mr. Jeffrey Young's letter in your March 15 edition (Howard County Sun, Readers write,"Don't develop River Hill"), I offer the following comment.
Before one screams,"Stop development" or "No growth," look around at the quality development created by the Rouse Co.
Drive down Oakland Mills Road and see if the family homes of the Sewells and the Dashers aren't still intact. Ask the Sewell family how displaced they feel. Take a walk around Lake Elkhorn and observe dam-building beavers. It doesn't take a sharp eye to also see great blue heron, Canada geese, mallards and barred owls. Red fox are also not uncommon.
These creatures inhabit the heart of our vinyl village and appear to be doing quite well in spite of us! I can assure you that their numbers are greater than when I moved in 20 years ago and, with the exception of deer,things seem no worse than when I hunted these same woodlands 30 years ago.
My point is this: Give the Rouse people a chance. They're very good at what they do. They're used to listening to folks like youand me. As for that cheap shot about money and profit -- shame on you! The investments that Jim Rouse made benefiting tens of thousands of us is surely worth some economic reward.
Look around. It's not so bad; or would you like to move to LA!
LET'S TALK ABOUT TRASH
From: Cole Schnorf
The members of the Economic Forum of Howard County have established a Solid Waste Committee, which welcomesthe leadership being provided by the county executive and County Council in addressing various aspects of trash collection, recycling anddisposal in Howard County.
Recent initiatives, including a proposed trash tax, a Solid Waste Enterprise Fund, additional landfill capacity and preferential purchasing of recycled products, have generatedconsiderable debate, some of it quite heated. We believe that debates will be more productive if these and other trash initiatives are evaluated within the framework of a solid waste management system.
In order to do that, county residents need to have a full understanding of our existing system and its costs. One efficient way to achieve greater understanding would be for the administration and council to co-sponsor, with other interested parties, a county-wide conference that focuses on who generates trash, how it is collected and disposed of or recycled, the costs associated therewith, and possible alternatives to what we are doing now. We suggest the conference be called "Thinking Beyond the Landfill."
In the course of defining a solutionto our trash problem, we should keep in mind that source reduction is the best way to minimize the environmental and fiscal costs of solid waste management. Other communities around the nation have implemented a variety of incentive programs to reduce the amount of trash generated by residents and businesses. We believe the evaluation of those programs should be given a high priority.
The Economic Forum's Solid Waste Committee stands ready to work with the administration, County Council and other community groups in formulating and implementing a comprehensive strategy for dealing with trash.
(Cole Schnorf is a member of the Economic Forum and chairman of the Solid Waste Committee.)
THE VOTERS KNOW BEST
From: Carole Fisher
During the present election year, we have seen several instances of true, democratic term limitations. The voters in various states have exercised their right and responsibility and sent incumbents home.
Some of these incumbents had sizable amounts of money and long terms in office. Here in Maryland, the voters spoke to Beverly Byron. In Illinois, the message went to Gus Savage and Alan Dixon.
We, thepeople, have enough sense to do the right thing. We don't need someone else telling us who we can or cannot vote for, thank you.
Don'tlet anyone take away this most precious choice.