College Trust plan can help Marylanders pay for...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 02, 1999

College Trust plan can help Marylanders pay for education

On behalf of the Maryland Prepaid College Trust, I want to encourage Marylanders to begin investing now for their children and grandchildren's college education.

The College Trust provides Maryland families the opportunity to start saving for college by purchasing a contract based in part on this year's in-state tuition and mandatory fees at Maryland public colleges.

When it's time for the child to enter college, the program will pay full tuition and mandatory fees at any Maryland public college. Benefits from this program can also be used toward tuition costs at almost any college in the country.

As an added incentive, the Maryland General Assembly passed new tax incentives in the past session that allow participants in the trust program to deduct from their state taxes up to $2,500 annually in income for each child enrolled.

As the June 10 deadline to enroll in the program at this year's prices nears, families can learn more about the Maryland Prepaid College Trust by calling us toll-free at 1-888-4-MD-GRAD or visiting our Web site at www.prepaid.usmd.edu.

Interested citizens can also attend one of our tour stops across the state. The details about these information sessions are listed on our Web page.

Joan Marshall, Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Maryland Prepaid College Trust.

`Keep Maryland Beautiful' program targets litterbugs

Thank you to The Sun for the editorial highlighting the never-ending problems caused by people who litter our highways, communities and parks ("Sacking the litterbug problem," May 22).

Not only are the litterbugs ruining our scenic vistas, they demonstrate a complete lack of respect for the environment and the law.

Concerned that the state had been spending more and more on litter cleanup with little to show for it, Gov. Parris N. Glendening challenged the Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration in 1997 to develop a public education campaign to discourage littering.

The state's "Keep Maryland Beautiful" campaign has sponsored activities to heighten litter awareness, including children's slogan and poster contests, appearances by our "Litter the Bug" mascot at public events and fairs, Adopt-A-Highway volunteer events and television and radio public service announcements.

The state's popular roadside wildflowers have been captured in an oil painting by local artist Anne-Marie Esson. For a $10 donation contributors will receive a reproduction of this work.

For information, visit the Highway administration's Web site at www.sha.state.md.us.

Valerie Burnette Edgar, Baltimore

The writer is director of communications at the State Highway Administration.

It's not stupidity that leads our `smart bombs' astray

I take strong exception to the remarks in letters from Gerald M. Rosenthal and Lawrence M. Rackson ("Smart bombs, but dumb bombers," May 28).

Launched from planes traveling at almost the speed of sound, high above the terrain, a bomb can miss its target because of many variables over which the pilot has no control. It is not because of the pilots' intelligence, or lack thereof, that innocent lives are lost.

To question the intelligence of these pilots is uncalled for. These men are doing the bidding of their country.

John F. Thomas, Catonsville

Aid should go to war's other victims, too

As a recent donor to a relief organization, I am heartened that so many Americans are reaching into their pockets to aid the victims of the Kosovo crisis ("Gifts flooding relief agencies," May 27).

However, the contributions the American Red Cross and other agencies are collecting appear to be benefiting only the Kosovars, and this needs to be corrected. Our campaign in the Balkans has has had a devastating effect on neighboring counties as well, especially Macedonia.

Macedonia, which borders on Kosovo, has taken in nearly 300,000 refugees and provided a base for 16,000 soldiers. In addition to the expense and destabilization this influx has caused, Macedonia is suffering extensive unemployment and loss of export revenues because of the war.

American generosity is helping the war's refugees. The charitable organizations should also assist the people in Macedonia and other neighboring countries who are taking the brunt of the exodus.

Rosalind Nester, Baltimore

If SUVs are good, wouldn't tanks be better?

Diane Steed's letter claiming that SUVs and trucks protect people better than cars ("New SUVs, trucks protect passengers and the environment," May 27) can easily be reduced to absurdity.

If a 3- to 4-ton SUV makes you safer, then a huge Peterbilt or Freightliner truck should make you safer still.

Extending that reasoning, I think a General Dynamics M1A2 Main Battle Tank (sans cannon and machine guns, but with cup holders and backward facing children's seats) would truly overawe a Honda Accord or a Buick Century or a Chevrolet Lumina.

Seymour S. Rabak, Baltimore

Government must not order prayer and religiosity

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