Proposed school increase is simply too largeI am saddened...


May 17, 1998

Proposed school increase is simply too large

I am saddened to read all the back-and-forth nonsense between Anne Arundel County Executive John G. Gary and school Superintendent Carol S. Parham on the submitted school budget.

As soon as it was submitted with a 14 percent increase, I could see, and I reasoned other thoughtful people could see, the requested increase was too large.

Baltimore County only submitted a 2 percent increase. Budget people, when they want to propose an increase, always point to other areas.

Pressure was brought to bear for the superintendent in Baltimore County to increase his request. No, he stood firm and said that was all he needed.

If a 14 percent increase were approved, the school budget would double every five years. Is that what the taxpayer is prepared to fund? I think not.

In Howard County, a crowd of 800 appeared to demand increased spending for schools. Who should be better informed: Charles I. Ecker, the county executive who spent a lifetime in education, or an angry mob of 800, hardly representing a majority of Howard County's population?

I have a suggestion for those angry people who are so willing to spend others' money on their demands.

Include an envelope in the next tax bill. All those who want to pay more, submit an extra check directly to the school system. I believe Baltimore County tried that and got all of several hundred dollars.

John J. Miara


Orioles' Alomar earned every boo

Poor Roberto Alomar was booed heavily in Tampa, while "icon" Cal Ripken received a loud ovation.

So what? Alomar worked hard for those boos, and he should savor every one of them while his career permits. Neither he, the Orioles nor the front office seem to get it. Alomar's behavior in 1996 when he had his "confrontation" with umpire John Hirschbeck was despicable.

It doesn't matter what the topic of conversation was. Nothing justified his actions.

Consequently, he should live with the results of his actions and know that not all fans support him.

As for the players who continue to make excuses for him and an owner who still sees nothing wrong with his actions, they belong in the same category. As for Ray Miller's separating Alomar and Ripken in the batting order to spare the former's feelings, unless Alomar's hearing has suddenly been impaired, I think he might be able to distinguish applause from boos, no matter what position he's batting.

W. Wayne Jones


More environmental coverage needed

I read Tom Horton's column on environmental journalism ("Reporting on the environment," April 24) with great interest. I strongly agree that environmental issues receive very little coverage.

Students between the ages of 7 and 18 seem more interested and more eager to learn about the environment than adults. Obviously, children are not going to watch Dan Rather or Tom Brokaw talk about the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or what happened to President Clinton in court that day just to hear a 30-second story on the environment.

Programs like the "Junior Envirothon" in Anne Arundel County are giving environmental issues the coverage they deserve.

Students who participate in this program learn that environmental issues are not a "one-way street" in the sense that they are given balance: not all factories are bad, we do not need to get rid of cars. Environmental education has suffered because of such extremist statements.

The Junior Envirothon addresses the whole spectrum of human needs: ecological, industrial, economic and recreational.

At present, the best way to get real environmental news is to look overseas. There are many environmental problems worldwide. Being from the Ukraine, I can tell you that the world has lots of problems that have already been solved in the United States. Air and water quality in parts of Eastern Europe are far below American standards. Here, as your article stated, "the easily spotted villains have been vanquished." But such is not the case overseas.

Environmental journalists must think and report globally.

Anton Pototski


The writer is an eighth-grade student at Arundel Middle School.

Marylanders made Whitbread a winner

Thank you for making the Maryland stopover the most successful one in the Whitbread Round the World Race for the Volvo Trophy.

Your courtesy and cooperation with authorities, both on water and land, for the race restart was fantastic.

The Whitbread was a unprecedented opportunity to showcase Maryland to international business leaders, tourists and the media. These far-reaching efforts will bode well as we welcome the opportunity to host the Volvo Ocean Race.

Congratulations to Whitbread Chesapeake, the state departments of Business and Economic Development, Natural Resources and Transportation and Annapolis and Baltimore for Maryland's first spectacular Whitbread experience.

While walking the Bay Bridge and visiting Sandy Point State Park's Waterfront Festival, citizens both young and old greeted me with tremendous enthusiasm and pride for Chessie and her crew.

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