More Jails Won't End Drug ScourgeYour article by Richard...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 26, 1993

More Jails Won't End Drug Scourge

Your article by Richard O'Mara and Sandy Banisky concerning the drug conference was very informative. What I found comforting was the emphasis the members were placing on treatment.

With people willing to give up drugs, this can greatly help this epidemic that is plaguing America. Education should also be stressed, for the next generation is also going to face this reality.

Drugs are a part of the younger generation and the government should take the responsibility to do whatever is within their power to stop this major problem.

However, this does not mean to build more jails and employ more police officers. . . . The major question is: Should drugs be legalized.

Personally I think certain drugs should, but under very extreme circumstances and very strict laws. The main reason for this is to reduce drug-related crimes and violence. . . .

Jonathan Chen

Ellicott City

Biased Coverage

If Sun writer James M. Coram can't be completely honest in reporting of the Howard County Council campaign, he should at least try to be objective. Believe it or not, the folks in Howard County can make knowledgeable decisions for themselves based on facts, and we don't need biased reporting from The Sun.

The March 8 article, "Schrader builds funds . . ." questioned Dennis Schrader's campaign promise "we will be on the council in 1994," made at his campaign fund-raiser. In a Nov. 2 article, "Acquard takes on GOP's Schrader," Charles Acquard is quoted as calling Mr. Schrader "arrogant," based solely on this campaign optimism. Mr. Acquard contends he will run a "door-to-door grass-roots campaign."

These articles seem very biased against Republican Mr. Schrader.

Tom Herring

Columbia

What's Wrong? . . .

There is something seriously wrong with a system that distributes for free clean and sterile needles to drug addicts but denies this same provision to law-abiding diabetics and other needing injections for medical reasons. Why aren't "clean" citizens given the same consideration as those druggies who are adding pain and sickness to our society?

There is also something wrong with a government that allows Medicare to deny payment to seniors for mammograms and Pap tests that are performed two years in a row. . . . And why is almost anyone in this nation allowed to go into a store and purchase a gun with which he or she can kill another human being with no more than a squeeze of the trigger? Guns are made for one purpose -- to kill. With all the immense problems in this world today, we need to stop the sale of firearms to reduce the murder and maim of our people.

Yet another problem in our real world is the unbridled violence seen on our television sets and motion pictures, and read in our books and magazines. It's no wonder we have such a sick, mixed-up society. . . . These situations are wrong and unfair in a civilized nation.

Why can't decent people be heard? Why can't law-abiding citizens be protected from these ills?

Surely something should be done.

J. Doyle

Ellicott City

Year-Round Vacations, Yes

Businesses operate year-round. Employees cannot all take their vacations at once. This concept helps stagger vacations so that there is a steady stream of adults on vacation. "Year-round school" is a terrible name for a system where kids are scheduled for shorter school vacations staggered throughout the year, instead of the 10-week summer vacation and two one-week breaks. Several staggered, three-week vacations and one short, unified summer vacation would create a small, steady stream of kids on vacation.

With a steady stream of kids on vacation, churches, camps and sports facilities would be better utilized. The start-up costs for new businesses providing educational experiences would be lower. . . .

Indoor swimming lessons would not oscillate between empty and crowded. Rather than staying up Friday nights, waiting in line to get the swim class you want, you could count on there being room. Instead of swim lessons being offered everywhere during the summer by newly hired kids with little experience, more professional swimming instructors could employed year-round. The same is true of any indoor sport. Outdoor sports would be limited by the weather, not by the artificial start and stop dates of summer vacation. Anyone ever been to the Maryland beaches in the fall? . . .

Most of us try to fill our kids' summers with educational activities. Traditional summer educational activities keep them busy, out of trouble and creatively challenged. We long for educational experiences that make our children feel special and successful. We want to impart values, customs and traditions that public schools cannot. A steady stream of children on vacation could enlarge and diversify the private education market while making it more affordable. Wouldn't temples, churches and synagogues offer a wider variety of curriculum? Vacation Bible School is well-attended at our church. Why offer it just once a year?

Our daughter, Ellen, needs remedial work. Instead of falling further and further behind for nine months, our daughter might only fall behind nine weeks before having a chance to catch up. . . . We're concerned that she will flunk the first grade "outcomes" for reading and not be passed up. An intercession break could be a time for her to take the bus a.m. and p.m., eat lunch as usual and attend the Chapter One Enrichment Session which would complement her regular Chapter One school activities.

Sure this is a new idea. But what is the alternative? More expensive school construction to accommodate the bulging +V population? Gov. William Donald Schaefer cannot tell us to move to a year-round school calendar. The county can't, either. However, the county can raise our taxes. Vocal citizens will make or break this issue. . . .

Many staggered, smaller school vacations are not only a better idea, but a better way of living our lives.

Scott Foerster

Columbia

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