Proselytizing And Pepperoni PizzaI am writing in response...


January 16, 1994

Proselytizing And Pepperoni Pizza

I am writing in response to your story concerning Freebie's Pizza. I am sure that many non-Christians like myself are offended by Christian paraphernalia in a supposedly religiously neutral establishment such as a pizza parlor. Such propaganda makes many non-Christians feel very uncomfortable.

Fortunately, in this great country of ours, we have a legitimate, legal ways of protesting these sorts of establishments. We do not give them our business. I thank the founding fathers of this country for the freedom of speech provided for in the Bill of Rights. . . . I would be relieved if the signs came down, but only if it was because the owners and the customers had realized that a pizza parlor is no place for religious doctrines. I would be frightened if the signs were removed forcibly, for such an act undermines the very foundation on which the United States is based. If we let nature, and our market economy, take its course, perhaps no one's morals need be sacrificed.

David A. Fessler

Ellicott City

Cable TV

The Cable TV franchise act, and the cable franchise assignment took place about 1972. At that time, . . . I was interested in the potential of the system for communications, education and in its potential as an interactive system. I had anticipated that these technological changes would be in place by 1985. It now appears that his capability could possibly be in place by late 1995.

Based upon what the audiences are witnessing in the current programming (with the increasing portrayal of violence, brutality, hate messages and material that places children in adult situations long before they should be), the citizens are sensing issues of real concern. There is an increasing absence of what I would term positive social and behavioral patterns.

Now would seem to be an appropriate time for the Cable TV Advisory Committee to study this matter and come up with some constructive suggestions for Howard County. I would then recommend a series of public discussions and local seminars. Finally, I would suggest drafting legislation for introduction by the County Council, and if it walks away from the problem, then have the committee put it to referendum.

I do not believe national or state legislation will occur with all the lobbying money around, and with the arguments about constitutional freedoms. However, I believe that at the county or community level, the citizens can decide what is acceptable. Now would seem to be the time to require the local franchise holders to incorporate into their systems whatever may be needed for a household to block out any channel it may desire, any programs it does not want to accept or any program that exceeds a specific rating level. . . .

It appears that it is also an appropriate time to examine the impact upon the cable TV business in Howard County by the pending entry of the telephone industry into the transmission of TV programming through the home phone. How does this trend effect the viability of the Advisory Committee? Does it need a change in mission? To add your comments on this subject, write to the Cable Advisory Committee, 10650 Hickory Ridge, Columbia, Md. 21043.

ames M. Holway

Ellicott City

Wrong On Sales To Minors

The purpose of this letter is to correct factual inaccuracies contained in an editorial appearing in the Dec. 21 edition regarding a change in the Howard County Police Department policy regarding the enforcement of laws prohibiting the sales of alcoholic beverages to underage persons ("Righting a Wrong on Liquor Sales").

One statement made in the second paragraph is that the effect (( of the department not bringing criminal charges against liquor store employees was that liquor stores and bars would be allowed to "self-police." This implies that the department would not enforce the alcoholic beverage laws regarding sales to minors during this time. This is wrong.

The discussion between the Howard County Licensed Beverage Dealers Association and the police department concerned only sales to undercover police cadets. If a store sold to an underage person other than a police cadet, the employee could still have been charged criminally. Further, undercover police cadets would still be sent to stores and if two sales were made in one year, the store would be required to appear before the liquor board, where the license could be subject to suspension or revocation. This, in fact, recently occurred, before the policy regarding criminal charges was changed.

These same facts show the inaccuracy and distortion later in the editorial, when it was said that the association's request for a change in the policy was done, not so its employees would not be branded with a criminal offense, but as a "smoke screen" to somehow protect their businesses.

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