It's wrong to plow Townsend's road at public expense...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 08, 2000

It's wrong to plow Townsend's road at public expense

Along with my two neighbors, I have just written my second check for snow removal. We also anticipate a $9,000 expense in the spring for repaving our private lane.

We, too, would like to "give the road to the county" and have it paved and plowed, as Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and her neighbors did ("Plowing Townsend road called a mistake," Feb. 1).

It is an outrage that taxpayer money is paying the private expenses of a public employee.

Eileen Starner

Butler

Shouldn't the lieutenant governor be required to live on a public street so her husband can get to work (she was out of state) without using tax dollars to plow their private road?

David Townsend's intimidation of Baltimore County employees is deplorable.

This behavior exemplifies the continued high-handed actions of some public officials -- and those associated with them -- who take benefits for themselves while taxpayers wait, among other things, for their streets to be plowed.

Charles A. Adams

Ellicott City

To do her job, Townsend must be able to get to work

The Sun's article "Plowing Townsend road called a mistake," (Feb. 1) could only have been printed on a slow news day.

What's the big deal? Is there a good reason why Maryland's lieutenant governor should be denied reasonable access to the state capitol?

The article was a misguided attempt to embarrass a fine elected official and her husband. It's no wonder we do not have enough good people seeking elected office.

The political innuendo smacks of tabloid tripe.

Herb O'Conor

Kathi O'Conor

Towson

Stop this petty bickering: I want my lieutenant governor to be able to get to work.

Kathleen Townsend must be able to get to her office to pursue her duties. If that means having her "private" street plowed, then so be it.

Phillip Paul Weiner

Pikesville

Despite uncertainties, forecasters do a good job

The recent letters complaining about the local weather forecasters were off the mark ("Maybe a groundhog could better predicts the area's weather," Feb. 1).

Weather forecasting is a science, but it is not exact. Mother Nature interferes.

In the vastness of space, many things can happen to change the course of high and low pressure systems in ways that can't be foreseen.

Having spent four years in the weather service of the U.S. Air Force many years ago, I can tell you our local forecasters did an outstanding job with recent forecasts.

But remember: they give a forecast or prediction, not an absolute guarantee.

Alfred E. Bittner

Baltimore

I believe it's safe to say that the authors of the letters titled "Maybe a groundhog could predict the area's weather better" have never taken a class in meteorology. If they had, they would know the dynamics involved in predicting weather.

I would have them survey maps of upper-level atmospheric conditions, then factor in the mid-level conditions, then overlap the surface maps; then hope nothing changed and no air moved.

I am not a meteorologist, just someone who has studied the subject enough to understand that any change in basic air dynamics (temperature, pressure, density) can change an entire forecast.

Camille Connely

Baltimore

Why can't the state sue the makers of lead paint?

I read with great interest The Sun's article reporting Gov. Parris N. Glendening's $50 million commitment of the taxpayers money to remove lead paint from buildings in Baltimore City ("$50 million pledged to fight lead poisoning," Jan. 29).

This is a project that really needs to move forward.

But if we can sue the gun manufactures, the tobacco industry and others, why can't we sue the paint manufacturers and recoup the cost to the taxpayers?

If the state should decide to solicit outside help for such a suit, please don't let Attorney General J. Joseph Curran negotiate a contract on which we'll later renege.

Don Pennington

Trappe

Computers aren't what young children need most

A recent column by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski commented on how few schools have adequate computers and access to the Internet. Ms. Mikulski pledged to rectify this situation ("Building a bridge across the digital divide," Opinion Commentary, Jan. 21).

In the same week, another article noted how few city elementary schools have musical instruments and access to arts programs ("Teacher sings mentor's praises," Jan. 26).

As we seek to help our children develop fully, and also to give them the skills for a technology-driven economy, let's not squander our resources.

This simple rule should be followed: Provide music, art and movement in the elementary grades and provide computers only to middle and high school students

To spend money on computers for elementary school students is wasteful. Some studies cited by child development experts suggest computers can even be harmful to young children.

On the other hand, song, movement, and creative arts enhance their learning.

Once young children learn basic skills through the grounding they get in the arts, they will be better prepared to use technology in middle and high school.

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