Judge Duckett and Johnson's ParoleI am greatly dismayed in...


August 28, 1994

Judge Duckett and Johnson's Parole

I am greatly dismayed in reading of the stories regarding Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Warren Duckett and his praises for convicted police killer Terrence Johnson. . . .

Judge Duckett overstepped his impartiality in lauding Terrence Johnson. The unfortunate message is conveyed that it's all right to kill police officers. Judge Duckett's warmth, sincerity and compassion could have simply played into his ruling on the matter (of Johnson's parole review) without the demonstrative hugging and mingling with the defendant and his family. . . .

Slain Prince George's County police officers Albert M. Claggett IV and James B. Swart aren't around for Judge Duckett to praise on how they're "going to make it," nor for him to declare "and

boy, do I wish him luck." The officers' luck ran out on June 26, 1978, at the hands of Terrence Johnson. . . .

You made a bad character judgment. Police officers in Anne Arundel are attentive to your actions.

Dennis P. Howell


The writer is president of Anne Arundel County Maryland Lodge 70 of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Chaney's Name

Your article of Aug. 24 misrepresented me and my family. My name, Dorothy Dixon Chaney, is associated with education as in teacher and Anne Arundel County board of education, as in speech pathologist and Anne Arundel County Head Start program and Anne Arundel County Health Department.

I have spent my life rearing and educating children, my own and those whom I have taught. My name is associated with responsible public service as in PTA, United Way, YWCA, Infants and Toddlers program, Scholarships for Scholars and MABE legislative committee.

Please know that my profession is education; my husband's profession is marina owner and operator; my husband's cousin's profession is sand, gravel and concrete.

Dorothy Dixon Chaney


Smoking Stinks

This summer, more than 750 Anne Arundel County kids attending playground programs learned why "smoking stinks."

Games and other activities about the hazards of tobacco were presented to the kids by the county Health Department's Learn To Live cancer prevention campaign.

Special thanks to the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks departments for helping us sponsor the "Smoking Stinks" activities as part of their playground programs.

Special thanks also go to two teen volunteers: Alex Pruner of Annapolis and Elizabeth Teixeira of Severna Park. They assisted in planning the campaign and visited the playgrounds with health department staffer Wendy Roberts. . . .

Many youngsters also received McDonald's coupons, generously donated by Jenny Boston, owner of the Severna Park restaurants.

County residents can call the Learn To Live telephone line at 410-222-7979 for cancer prevention services.

Dr. Katherine Farrell


The writer is deputy health officer for the Anne Arundel County Department of Health.

Back to School

Almost one year ago today, I appealed to students, staff, parents and community members, asking for their support and for their willingness to rise to the challenges facing the school system. Along with pledging my own commitment, I reminded everyone that students are and must always be our first priority. I remain steadfast in that dedication, and I know that I am joined by my colleagues and friends across the county. I thank all of those individuals as well as my board members who have supported me . . .

As a school system, we are always on a "journey," and we always have the same destination and the same goal: the success of our students. How we reach that destination involves ever-changing decisions on the part of the superintendent and the board.

A point in question is my recent reorganization plan. With more than 7,000 employees serving 70,000 students at 120 school sites and an annual operating budget approaching $410 million, the system rivals many of the area's largest enterprises in size and economic impact. . . .

I believe that the reorganization accepted by the board in March 1994 addresses the structural requirements of a system this size. I believe that it orders resources in a manner designed to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the district's highly able and dedicated staff. . . . Simultaneously, I am aware of the perception of the "overloaded bureaucracy." And while I stand by the appropriateness of the planned reorganization, I would welcome its examination by a new set of eyes. I promise you that I will never have too much pride to say, "Maybe I was wrong." . . .

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