Undercutting Howard's SchoolsAn open letter to Howard...


May 23, 1993

Undercutting Howard's Schools

An open letter to Howard County Executive Chuck Ecker and County Councilman Darrel Drown:

Well, here we go again. The two of you once again begin your assault on educators in this county by trying to pit us against other county workers. It's a well thought out, politically astute approach, but it reeks of moral hypocrisy.

While you encourage businesses to locate in Howard County because there is no finer education system in the state, you then ask teachers to totally foot the bill for any shortcomings in the budget. As usual, both of you try to get the public to ignore the most crucial element in Howard County's excellent education system -- the highly motivated professionals that work in the system. . . .

Your hypocrisy knows no limits. Each of you endeavors to be present at as many public ceremonies as possible that celebrate our educational system. Showing up at these events seems to be your way of taking credit for a system that continues to be successful despite your attempts to erode it. Do not insult or demean us with your presence at graduation ceremonies, etc., when your actions are seldom in the best interests of the people involved in education in Howard County. . . . It is hoped that by the 1994 elections, people who value education will make their feelings known and not forget all that the two of you have done to set back education in this county. . . . This personal vendetta you have toward the educators in this county is shortsighted and vicious, and sadly, the legacy of your initiatives may one day make all Howard countians pay a far steeper price for the failings

of a system that was once the best.

Dave Greenberg


D8 The writer is a counselor at Mt. Hebron High School.

Smoking Ban

I have to disagree with C. M. Matthews of Columbia (Howard Viewpoints, May 9) regarding C. Vernon Gray's proposal of making Howard County a smoke-free county and how this will supposedly hurt restaurants.

I refuse to go to any restaurant regardless of where it is located and how good its food is if they don't have separate non-smoking sections. Even in restaurants with separate sections, I am bothered with second-hand smoke and can't enjoy my dinner to the fullest. My answer is not to patronize that restaurant again.

To answer C. M. Matthews' burning comments (pardon the pun): The candle can be flicked off and it is my prerogative whether to use a wood stove and/or fireplace. When I go out to dinner or for a quick bite, I do not want to be bothered by the noxious fumes coming from a cigarette. The only way to prevent this is to ban smoking so that everyone can smell and enjoy what they are eating. Granted, smokers are not criminals, but your rights stop where mine begin.

M. Alvarez

Ellicott City

Surgeon Excess

The facts in the article "Rise in Cataract Surgery Putting Medicare in Pinch" in The Sun May 2 scream out with part of the solution to unchecked medical costs.

Can we really afford to pay surgeons $16,000 for a single day's worth of surgery? Even if the surgeon only performs surgery two days a week, this works out to $1,545,600 per year if he takes a four-week vacation. Don't tell me his . . . expenses are $1,345,600, leaving this poor professional with only $200,000 per year.

Changing technology has made many surgeries quicker and easier. But surgeons continue to increase their fees for procedures that take a fraction of the time they did years ago. The American public is being taken to the cleaners by a significant fraction of grossly overpaid surgeons. Sure, the crisis in medical care is complicated. . . . But I still don't understand why surgeons can be reimbursed by the federal government to the tune of $1.5 million a year, when the president only makes $200,000 per year. How about an editorial on this subject?

L. Larrabee Strow


Dealing With Cults

I am writing to you to express my feelings toward the actions taken by the FBI in Waco, Texas. . . . I feel that the FBI spent too much time playing around with David Koresh. I don't think you can expect a madman to ever surrender without some serious consequences. . . . David Koresh had said that the standoff would end in flames and that it would be glorious for him to die under the circumstances.

The FBI decided to play it conservatively by waiting Koresh out and look where that got it. . . . I think that when it becomes apparent that negotiations with terrorists and Koresh-type people are going nowhere, the FBI needs to use force or suffer another complete disaster.

Ryan Macks

Ellicott City

Why Don't Deer Eat Dandelions?

Spring is a great time of year when everything comes to life. My wife and I have enjoyed taking a long walk through our Ellicott City neighborhood.

The flowering trees, shrubs and flowers are a delight to see. The entire neighborhood has done a superb job.

However, everyone has the same complaint. The deer and rabbits have been selectively eating all the scenery before everyone is finished enjoying the fruits of their labors.

We enjoy the tulips and daffodils along our drive, just as our neighbors enjoy their flowers and shrubs.

When we came out one morning recently to walk, there was a beautiful row of tulips and daffodils in bloom along the driveway. The next morning, instead of tulip, daffy, tulip, daffy, it was daffy, daffy, daffy, but no tulips.

Along our walk we noticed other flowers and azalea blooms missing.

Would someone please tell me why God did not make deer and rabbits like dandelions!

James M. Holway

Ellicott City

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