Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 19, 2007

Protecting children isn't wimpy at all

Matt Jablow seems to view Marylanders as weak and soft when it comes to snow ("Are we weather wimps?" Opinion * Commentary, Feb. 14). I disagree.

To be truthful, we are not as experienced with snow as the brave souls in Oswego, N.Y. But we have still survived many a blizzard.

And when it comes to our children's safety, we must agree to err on the side of caution to keep them safe.

The reality here is that Mr. Jablow and many others are "inconvenienced" when they have to find alternative child care when school is closed.

But he seems to forget that schools are here to educate children, not babysit them.

Has Mr. Jablow ever had to wait on a cold corner for a bus or have his car repaired when it was involved in a fender-bender related to ice?

George Washington did not, nor did he have to fear a lawsuit because some child was injured on the way to school during a snowstorm.

Because it is up to us to guard the safety of our children, I am most happy to have schools closed to protect them.

Catherine Knight

Perry Hall

Matt Jablow seems to think we should be able to go about our business with the same effortlessness as our Colonial forefathers regardless of the weather.

What he seems to forget is that they traveled via horse or by foot and for much shorter distances. Moreover, their children could walk to school.

Travel today is compounded by distance, speed and time in ways that were unimaginable 250 years ago.

Mr. Jablow may find humor in our concern for children during inclement weather.

But we teachers take this issue seriously and feel we can't take any chances with our charges.

K. Gary Ambridge

Bel Air

Ice storms create dangerous situation

As a transplanted Iowan who for years laughed at how quickly schools were closed in this area, I can answer Matt Jablow's question in his column "Are we weather wimps?" (Opinion * Commentary, Feb. 14).

Yes. But not for the reasons cited in Mr. Jablow's column.

I grew up in Iowa: severe cold, extreme heat. I moved to upstate New York: lake-effect snow. I moved to Florida: hot, hot, hot and humid.

Following a few other moves, I ended up in Maryland, a state with the mildest climate of all the places I've lived, yet the most complainers.

In spite of the complaining, as a parent and teacher, I think that the school delays and closings are usually justified.

It is not the snow that is the problem in Maryland; it is the ice. Winter temperatures here often hover around 32 degrees and even the most snow-hardened Midwesterners do not mess with ice.

Take a ride down any of the numerous tree-lined, snaking, shoulder-less back roads on an early winter morning after a bit of precipitation and you will see what I mean.

I will take a school delay any day over a bus in a ditch.

It is fun to sit back and chuckle when schools open late or classes are canceled because of a dusting of snow.

But we have to remember that this is a decision to keep our children safe.

Judy Kinshaw-Ellis

Bel Air

Wrong to expel Mid who was acquitted

It is disturbing that the U.S. Naval Academy is attempting to expel a midshipman, Lamar S. Owens Jr., after he was acquitted of a rape charge ("Navy wants Mid gone," Feb. 14).

In its attempt to redress its prior history of condoning sexual harassment on campus, the academy is using Mr. Owens as a scapegoat.

I do not know Mr. Owens, and I consider myself a feminist. But I also believe in the integrity of the legal system - and that system has found Mr. Owens not guilty.

It is unconscionable for the Naval Academy to seek to destroy a young man's life because of a mistake he (and many others) made in college.

Elizabeth S. Henn

Baltimore

Advertising agencies can uphold integrity

Reporter Andrea K. Walker did a good job of detailing the sudden closing of a local ad agency ("Eisner Communications: Where image trumped reality," Feb 11). But she left one misconception that must be corrected.

In describing how Eisner Communications has for years inflated its billings and its capabilities, she writes that "such contrivance is the stock and trade of the advertising business." This blanket assertion is unfair and untrue.

Steve Eisner didn't need to lie to build his business. There are dozens of examples of small shops outside of New York that made it big on the quality of their work and the quality of their workplace.

So it's simply not correct to suggest, as Ms. Walker does in her article, that Mr. Eisner's ambition was "audacious." Only his actions were audacious.

At my agency, and at many other shops here in town and around the country, we're building our business just like any other.

We're telling the truth about what we can do, and what we can't.

Integrity is our stock and trade.

Andrew M. Malis

Owings Mills

The writer is the president of an advertising and public relations agency.

Autism isn't limited to young children

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