Language can be used to lift up, diminishIn reference to...

Letters

October 04, 1998

Language can be used to lift up, diminish

In reference to the Sept. 24 article in The Sun in Howard, "Help for the disabled coming through," I have to object to the language used by staff writer Diana Sugg.

Throughout the article, she defines people by their disabilities. It is infuriating. I was taught the most valuable English lessons that I ever learned by a man who used a wheelchair. I heard a funny joke from a young woman who is mental retarded. Once, I loved a young man who had schizophrenia and I am the daughter of a brilliant computer nerd who is blind.

The point to these personal revelations is that these life experiences were given to me by people who coincidentally had serious disabilities. Language has the power to change attitudes, to lift up and to diminish. Please stop using an individual's disability as his or her single most important defining feature.

The theme of the article was that additional funding is allowing people with severe disabilities to make important life choices and join their communities. This is a wonderful evolution but we can all assist the change effort by writing and speaking in a more sensitive way and gently reminding others to do the same.

Andrea Paskin

Columbia

Olesker should ask Kane about voting

Maybe Michael Olesker should wander over to Gregory Kane's desk and ask him about the idea that minorities are "owned" by this or that political party and those among them who vote "wrong" are traitors to their class or their race or their religion.

I'm sure he'd tell him what a nasty piece of rhetoric he just spewed on the subject, since he's heard it so often himself. Jews don't have to vote for Democrats, no matter how many times your grandmother endorsed them.

It isn't cute to denounce people for voting the way they think. It's anti-democratic (small "d") and ugly. The writer's prejudices should see some revision before they see the light of day.

John Heasley

Ellicott City

Candidate Feagathanks supporters

Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on my campaign, especially my family and long-time friends. So many of you gave time, money and so much more. You cared and believed in me. I am convinced that we could have made a difference.

We all care about the future of Howard County and what has made our country a great and safe place to live. We must never forget our heritage, nor should we forget that our children and grandchildren need and deserve the opportunity to live and enjoy Howard County.

I have been active in helping to create a two-party system in Howard County for more than 40 years and hope that we may continue to have the checks and balances in government. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving on the county council for 12 years. I deeply appreciate the public support from Howard County citizens.

We may have lost the election for county executive and we may not agree entirely with the election process, but nowhere in the world do we have a better opportunity to express our views.

There are some very good candidates. It is our duty and obligation to demand honesty and integrity of them and to make ourselves familiar with their views. Most important of all go to the polls and vote on Nov. 3. Privileges also have responsibilities.

Charles C. Feaga

Ellicott City

Robey improvednpolice department

For the past several months, friends and colleagues in the business and education communities have asked me why I so vigorously support James Robey's candidacy for Howard County executive. My answer is relatively simple. I admire good leaders and respect competent managers. Mr. Robey is both an outstanding manager and an excellent leader.

During my six years as a member of the Citizens Advisory Council to the Howard County Police Department, I have had an opportunity to observe Mr. Robey's ability to effectively and efficiently manage one of the county's most important organizations.

When a difficult decision had to be made, he focused only on how the department could be improved. He introduced innovations for community policing. He listened carefully to citizens, officers and staff for ideas and concerns.

As Columbia and sections of Howard County began to feel the effect of increased urbanization, he demanded that the department apply its resources to identify issues before they became problems. When budget requests were reduced, he reallocated resources to optimize performance.

Seldom does one see the support of a chief executive through all levels of an organization that Mr. Robey received from the uniformed officers to the command staff.

Perhaps the ultimate testimony to the effectiveness of any manager is the condition of the organization upon departure. The Howard County Police Department is a better organization today because of his efforts.

Laurence C. Aaronson

Columbia

Watershed stream should be protected

Howard County Executive Charles I. Ecker informed residents in April of a Patuxent watershed stream survey, which would be accomplished in two months.

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