It's not the new millenium until next year Sun copy...

LETTERS

January 16, 2000

It's not the new millenium until next year

Sun copy editor John E. McIntyre deserves high praise and commendations (and perhaps even a pay raise) for his much needed wake-up article. ("Twenty-First Century Still 12 Months Away," (Jan. 2) For a while, I feared I was the only one refusing to celebrate a new millennium' on Jan. 1. And that I was one of the few left in the world who was numerate and rational.

Mr. McIntyre is dead spot-on when he lays waste to the spurious arguments for celebrating the new millennium this year. Indeed, any first-grader able to count on two hands would be able to deduce that 99 times one (year) yields 99 years, not 100. And certainly not a century and not -- in context, a turnover to the new millennium

All this is part from historical speculations and specious arguments to do with the year of Christ's birth (which some of us atheists do not believe occurred, anyway). As McIntyre aptly notes: "until someone with authority commensurate with Julius Caesar's or Pope Gregory XIII's reforms the calendar again, that is how centuries and millenniums will be counted." Up to now, the only authoritieswe've heard from have been overpaid network talking heads and media scribes who need to be sent back to kindergarten to count properly.

Philip A. Stahl, Columbia

U.S. should stand up to terrorists

Amid the New Year's eve festivities ushering in the new millennium came good news of the release of the Indian Airlines' hostages in Afghanistan.

The world celebrated, and hundreds of innocent lives were saved. However, AP news reports carried by The Sun ("India agrees to jail release," Dec. 30, and "India accuses ....," Jan. 3) leave some questions unanswered.

The hijacking of the Indian Airlines' plane highlights the agony of dealing with hijackers and terrorists. No civilized nation wants to deal with terrorists and hihjackers; yet, we must "negotiate" with them to save the lives of innocent people.

The hijackers brutally murdered one passenger. For more than a week, they held hostage and mentally tortured nearly 160 passengers and crew members. Theywalked away with three others that were released from jail, including MohammadMasood Azhar, the General Secretary of the Harakat-ul-Mujahideen (HUM).

The U.S. Department of State designated HUM as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997 and 1999, with links to Osama Bin Laden, who has called for "attacks on US and Western interests." The HUM has been linked to several kidnappings,including those of American tourists, and the murder of a Norwegian tourist.

All nations, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, must work together to bring the"terrorists" to justice. In this hijacking case, the battle for lives was wonwhen the ordeal ended peacefully; however, the war against terrorism sufferedyet another defeat. It is time to stand united against terrorists. Problems can and must be resolved through peaceful means.

Pradeep Ganguly, Ellicott City

One death shouldn't tar entire industry

I am writing in response to the feature article which appeared in the Howard section of the Sun on Sunday, Dec. 12 entitled "Chilling Effect on Day Care."

The death of an infant and the arrest of her family child care provider is a shock to the community, however, this tragedy should not overshadow the hundreds of wonderful family child care providers in our community. They are dedicated professionals who provide loving rare to thousands of children every day. Despite the focus on one provider leaving her profession, our experience indicates that family child care providers are not leaving but continuing to provide the best possible care for the children of families they serve.

Howard County is committed to ensuring parents have access to quality, affordable child care in our county. Last April, the Howard County Child Care Resource Center opened. The Resource Center, a collaborative effort between county government and the child care community, conducts training programs for child care professionals, provides technical assistance to new and established child care providers and assists parents in locating child care that best meets their needs through LOCATE, a child care counseling service.

A new outreach effort has begun that assists local businesses in responding to their employees child care needs, scholarships to train child care staff are given and recruitment efforts are ongoing.

Debbie Yare, Ellicitt City

The writer is program manager Howard County Child Care Resource Center.

Don't abandon Talbott Springs

I'm writing in response to the Sun's article, "Elementay school battles exodus of pupils," Jan. 2.

My child is currently enrolled at Talbott Springs Elementary and I plan to send my daughter there next year for kindergarten.

We have had nothing but a positive experience with the school since my son began there almost two years ago in kindergarten.

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