School BoardsI am writing to comment on the conclusion...


December 12, 1993

School Boards

I am writing to comment on the conclusion drawn by The Sun's editorial concerning Gov. William Donald Schaefer's decision to appoint two new, independent members to the Baltimore County school board.

The Sun concluded that by ignoring the School Board Nominating Convention's (SBNC) nominees, the governor has fueled the argument that the current process is rigged, and such actions only encourage the concept for an elected school board.

To the contrary, I believe the governor's use of the flexibility in the current system strengthens the public's understanding of, if not support for, the current process.

The governor has shown that in a time of crisis, the public does have one avenue to create change. That avenue is to appeal to the governor for the appointment of different representatives.

One of the most frustrating lessons learned from the current problem in Baltimore County is that no person or collective body has any power over the school board. Short of finding criminal activity, they are totally autonomous.

Such massive power in the hands of a few is inappropriate in a democratic system. The only power to exert some control is through the governor's appointment process.

Had the governor been required to follow the SBNC's nominees, as is being proposed by some legislators, the public would have had no avenue for change.

The governor's appointments were political only in that they responded to desires of the majority of the public this board is supposed to serve.

Janice Piccinini

Owings Mills

The writer is a state senator from Baltimore County.

Saving Horses

Thank you for your excellent article Nov. 29 about the recovery of Root Boy.

Many racing fans and horse lovers must have felt the same dismay and horror I felt as this gallant racehorse went down. Congratulations to the owner of Root Boy, Richard Blue, and his veterinarians who worked so hard to save the horse.

Thoroughbred racing suffers from the public perception that the horses are just so much fodder for racing mills, that their health, safety and lives are of little concern to those working in the racing industry.

Ross Peddicord has told an emotional story of people and an animal who refused to give up, and in so doing demonstrated that there is still a ''human'' side to horse racing.

Valerie J. Harwood


Compensate All

Dana Owens' Nov. 30 letter, ''Estimating The Cost of Slavery,'' insinuated that African-Americans are somehow entitled to the money, time and general effort that this country has extended them due to the fact that their ancestors were slaves for 244 years.

If this is the case, Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Jews, Catholics and Puritans are also entitled to their just compensation.

All of these groups were persecuted and exploited in some form at some time by the majority population in this country.

Many came to this country with no more than clothes on their backs only to become indentured servants or be pushed into working in bad conditions for poor wages. Many did not even have the food, shelter, clothing, and vacation days afforded most slaves.

These groups also helped build the industrial foundation for this country's economy and did not have much to show for it.

Why should African-Americans be entitled to anything from this country? Because people like Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King Jr. and many black Americans in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s fought for a better life? Just like many labor unions and farm cooperatives were formed to help the plight of poor white Americans.

Maybe if Americans now would learn from these examples and fight to make a better future instead of expecting the future to be better simply because their ancestors were treated poorly in the past, this country would not be in such dire straits.

No one should expect their lot in life to be improved simply because of their ancestry.

Many lessons can be learned from the plight of the slaves. The most important one is that anyone can overcome adversity and improve life for future generations if they simply fight for what they believe in and teach their children to do the same.

But if African-Americans keep teaching their future generations that they are entitled to something simply because their ancestors gave so much to this country without being justly compensated, then all the gains that people such as Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. fought for will mean nothing.

Karen L. Hart


Peace Conversion

Your Nov. 24 edition reported the current work of Westinghouse regarding the redirection of defense technology toward other societal needs. In this case, it was the use of computer technology to advance law enforcement.

Westinghouse demonstrates the kind of work that needs to be done if we are to re-orientate ourselves to the post-Cold War world.

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