Students have received excellent health care
To the editor:
As an employee of the county health department, it was my privilege to work with school health staff as a program supervisor from 1995 until my retirement in 2005.
The success of this program stems from the extraordinary collaboration of the health department and the Board of Education. We worked hand in hand, opening new health offices, expanding services and introducing school-based wellness sites in high schools. The focus for both groups always concentrated on optimum health care for students.
In my opinion, in recent years, the school health staff have not received this same support from their employer, the Washington County Health Department. In fact, if the staff were queried, they would tell you that the majority of support that they receive comes from principals, teachers and school staff and, most importantly of all, parents.
In recent years, school nurses and health assistants have been functioning under difficult circumstances administratively, and despite this problem have continued to provide optimum health services for which they deserve great credit.
In the days and weeks ahead, as the nurses and health assistants struggle with their joblessness, I am hopeful that the agency that assumes responsibility for school health services will consider the nursing expertise, commitment and dedication to our students that these people have courageously exemplified.
Carolyn G. Donegan
Local Republicans are victims of their own tactic
To the editor:
Del. Neil Parrott is correct that redistricting will probably cost Congressman Bartlett his seat. He is also correct that Bartlett fits in well with the current and historic demographics of our district and he has fairly and acutely represented most of the views of our voters. I also agree that it is a shame that the generally homogenous nature of our district will be destroyed and that the mostly rural and conservative population of Northern and Western Maryland will lose its voice.
But I bet Parrott would be silent and probably joyful if we were a Republican-controlled state and a Democrat was being redistricted out of his job and the liberal constituents were losing their spokesman. Who has ever heard a politician bemoan the loss of an opposition party’s member? Rare is the politician who would lobby for compact and rational districts mandated by law and drawn by impartial boards.
Gerrymandering and the conspiracy between both political parties to create safe districts has all but destroyed the essence of the American body politic as envisioned by our founders. The use of gerrymandering — the act of redistricting to try to guarantee a specific electoral outcome by including or excluding certain groups of voters — has become the unwritten law of American politics. The result is that most of the congressional districts are “safe.” According to the Cook Report of June 14, 2012, only 33 of the 435 seats in the upcoming election are considered to be even mildly competitive. That is less than 13 percent of the House membership. Without competition, we mostly get incumbency for its own sake and the people lose their say.
It is totally ironic and sad that redistricting will cost the voters of Maryland’s 6th District their Republican representative while elsewere Republicans are the party doing the redistricting for their advantage.
Leon L. Seidman
Rail trail proponents should look at the numbers