Letters to the editor

September 09, 2014

Legacy of 1814 shines light on historic preservation

While Maryland is going to great lengths to commemorate the Fort McHenry battle, little effort has gone into acknowledging several Savage residents: Commodore Joshua Barney in the Battle of Bladensburg or his son-in-law, Nathanial F. Williams, in the Battle of North Point. The Williams family developed what we know today as the Savage Mill, a cotton mill that allowed our ship industry to continue when the English ransomed our fledgling country's critical resource.

Today, both the Mill and the Commodore Barney House are under development pressure for "smart growth in-fill." Would you want a high-rise apartment to dominate the area adjacent to Fort McHenry? Would a zoning designation that has no enforcement criteria for comparability in a historic district be welcomed?

How can we respect our county government, when it does not respect the historic achievements of its citizens? These brave citizen soldiers didn't defend our land and our freedom so that the community's overwhelming concerns could now go unaddressed?

There may be no candidate that strongly supports the Savage area this fall, but we do have the freedom to vote. This freedom was fought for 200 years ago on our own homeland, by our own residents. We have a duty to support what they stood for then — by voting now.

More than party affiliation, voters should consider a candidate's record of respect for the history of the communities they represent.

John Garber


Political mailings are a bad beginning for campaigns

Thanks for your Aug 20 article on the upcoming county executive race. I and may countians hope it will be a clean race.   However, it has started rather badly.  

Already we have received mailings focused on the candidates supposed standings and voting record on gun rights. It leads us to believe, if an individual has ever commented on, or voted against legislative action (even if it was bad legislation) relative to gun registration, they must be an extremist.  Cannot the same logic be applied to a candidate who is for gun control as being against the Constitution?

Lets keep this race clean.  Both Mr. Kittleman and Ms Watson are good candidates, citizens and leaders. Lets judge them on their merits.

Charles D. White Jr.


Local charities need greater transparency

This is in response to the article and editorial on Howard County residents not being generous in terms of giving to charities as a percentage of discretionary income.

On a side note, while I do give to charities, I would like to give more to local charities. However, what has been holding me back is the lack of full disclosure on how my money is spent. I know in the past I have tried to obtain financial and governance information on various local charitable organizations through such tools as Charity Navigator and was not successful.  

Without knowing the details of an organization's financial efficiency and governance one cannot evaluate the effectiveness of the charity's programs.   Moreover, in the case of one of your featured charities, after giving, I never received a response or a receipt for tax purposes.

Michele Brown


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