What Housing Authority seeks in a new directorThis is in...

LETTER

December 22, 1996

What Housing Authority seeks in a new director

This is in response to your editorial of Dec. 2, "What next for Annapolis Housing." You ask, "What set of problems does the board want the new director to tackle?"

I am pleased to report the board is diligently steering the agency forward. The following goals are available for the new executive director:

Provide open communication to board members, residents, staff and other agencies in order to solve problems.

Be accountable and efficient.

Resolve problems by priority of need.

Improve the physical renovation and maintenance of the buildings.

Activate educational programs in the housing complexes.

Encourage resident health by reducing drug, alcohol and tobacco use.

Move toward a normal, safe community through greater self-sufficiency of each family.

Be an environmentally friendly agency by planting trees and controlling graffiti.

Seek additional resources.

The entire community must work together in order to reach these goals, because we know the needs of the citizens we serve are real. Do you have suggestions? Your ideas will be given careful consideration.

Mary Lou Pontius

Annapolis

The writer is an Annapolis Housing Authority commissioner.

'The real enemies of the children'

What was the real GOP blunder on education? It was the failure to follow up Bob Dole's acceptance speech with detailed statements on real educational reform.

It took political courage to take on the Department of Education and the National Education Association.

These two entities are the real enemies of the children. More money and even more bloated bureaucracies will not improve basic skills such as math and reading. Technology will not provide the magic bullet that will solve our educational problems. A veneer of computer literacy is of minimal benefit to a person who cannot read the operating manuals.

If per-pupil expenditure and small class size could be equated with quality of education, the schools in Washington, D.C., would be among the finest in the nation. Why are impoverished schools in the West Indies producing better-performing students than American schools?

Why does a nation with great public universities have public primary and secondary schools with such dismal performance? How many professional educators and political leaders place their children in public schools? Why does the educational establishment fear any competition from even limited experiments with voucher systems that would offer parents real choice?

Until we have candidates who are willing to discuss questions such as those, educational quality will suffer for most of our citizens.

Arthur W. Downs

Severna Park

Shop American

Regarding Fred B. Shoker's commentary, ("The Made in America Mall," Opinion * Commentary, Dec. 10), it is about time someone came up with a great idea to promote American-made goods.

As for myself and my wife, we always buy American, if at all possible. It sometimes takes visiting many stores in our neighborhood malls to find American-made goods, but we persevere and are successful with patience.

Daniel W. Lewis

Severna Park

Messiah Sing-A-Long a resounding success

We wish to thank all who helped to make our 10th annual Messiah Sing-A-Long, on Dec. 1 a resounding success. This event at St. James Church in South County once again drew enthusiastic support from all participants. The soloists were outstanding, as was the chorus, who without any rehearsal fearlessly plunged into the great Handellian choruses. The final Hallelujah chorus was not only a triumphant celebration of a job well done, but a joyful proclamation of the season.

We offer special thanks to The Sun in Anne Arundel for helping us to publicize this event.

Michael S. Ryan

Lothian

The writer is music director at St. James Parish.

Betty Asplund's death is a great loss to everyone

Betty Asplund, our friend and colleague, passed away early in the morning on Dec. 6 at the age of 51.

I don't know if her name sounds familiar to you. But I do know that even if you never had an opportunity to meet Betty, she has touched your life or the lives of those you care about in ways you cannot yet imagine. Her death is a loss to her family first and foremost. Betty's death is also a great loss to our community.

There seem to be so few people who can truly put aside personal agendas for the good of others. Betty was that kind of person. As director of Hospice of the Chesapeake's Bereavement Center, she was compassionate, enthusiastic and enterprising. But, most importantly, she was genuine.

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