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Letters: Midwife services offer women choices in Howard County; and more from readers | READER COMMENTARY

Midwives offer women choices in Howard

This September our local certified nurse midwives at Signature OB/GYN will lose their labor and delivery rights at Howard County General Hospital, and the women of Howard County will lose a beautiful childbirth choice.

Our community has benefited greatly from the 34 years of phenomenal care that the Signature midwife practice has provided. Both of my daughters were delivered under the care and expertise of these midwives. I am thankful for the personable and knowledgeable care that the midwives have provided my family and I and the successful and positive birthing experiences they have supported in our community.

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Midwifery popularity is increasing across our country for good reason. Study and after study show better health outcomes and overall care for mothers and their babies at a lower cost when they are under the care of a midwife. The World Health Organization states, “Midwifery is associated with more efficient use of resources and improved outcomes when provided by midwives who are educated, trained, licensed and regulated in international standards.” These proven results hold even greater significance during this current pandemic.

Midwives offer women choices for their pregnancy and birth experience. Help us stop this decision by urging Signature OB/GYN to reinstate the role and function of the certified nurse midwife: supporting and caring for a woman’s labor and delivery.

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Alexa Andersen-Proetorius

Columbia

The price of Chromebook increasing?

The price of Chromebook laptop computers purchased by the Howard County Board of Education seems to be inflating very quickly, according to an article in your July 16 issue.

In March, 20,000 Chromebooks were reportedly purchased for $5.7 million as the pandemic closed schools. That comes to $285 per Chromebook. Many of us non-students would be happy to buy laptops at that price for personal use.

However, this month the school board voted to purchase 6,500 more for $2.5 million. That comes to $384 per unit.

Then, the board applied for a $1.5 million grant to buy 3,500 more in the near future for third grade students. That divides out to $428 each.

Why has the price of board-purchased Chromebooks increased 50% in six months?

Kenneth Kepler

Columbia

Open schools or share savings with taxpayers

According to the governor, during the entire pandemic in Maryland, only one person under 19 had died from COVID-19. Additionally, most teachers are under 50. In the entire state, only 166 people under 50 have died from COVID-19. Yes, you may get sick, but this subset has very little mortality and will get better. More people will be murdered in Baltimore City than that. The CDC also recommends opening schools in the fall. So, why do the teacher’s union, their rubber stamps at the school board and Calvin Ball pretend this is about “safety” or dying from COVID-19 when obviously that is not true?

It’s about money. Seventy-five percent of our property tax bill goes to schools. Since the teachers will not be living up to their contract, it should be voided. It is unreasonable for anyone to expect full salary for half a job, so why should the teachers? I believe half salary would be fairer to the taxpayer as some will work and others will not with lots of collateral damage to kids. Also, there will be little costs for lights, heat, AC, transportation, cleaning or maintenance in the buildings.

Now that costs will be reined in, the fairest thing to do would be to give a property tax refund at the rate of at 15% for each quarter the schools remain closed. It’s time for some facts, fairness and tax relief to be interjected into the pandemic of irrational fear.

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Ruth Taylor

Ellicott City

Mail-in voting will encourage voter fraud

I strongly disagree with Cynthia Williams’ assertions (”Vote by mail is essential during pandemic,” July 9). Mail-in voting should not be permitted. The real danger is voter fraud, not the coronavirus.

Ms. Williams resorts to emotional scare tactics. Physicians Andrew C. Berry, D.O., and Bruce B. Berry, M.D., with mathematician Madhuri S. Mulekar, Ph.D., conducted a study on Wisconsin’s April 7 in-person elections and found essentially zero effect on the infection rate. Polling stations can take the same precautions (masks, face shields, 6-foot distance) as grocery and other stores. If it means that the polling stations must open earlier and stay open later, so be it.

The first problem with mail-in ballots is the chain of custody. The ballots disappear from public view for days or even weeks. On April 8, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported many absentee ballots were not delivered to voters; three tubs of them were found in a mail processing center. The Village of Fox Point, Wisconsin, reported finding 100 or more ballots per day being returned as undelivered during the final week before the election.

Ballots can be intercepted and filled in for those who have requested them, or screened, with “wrong” votes not making it to their destination.

Former Chicago Alderman James J. Lasky Jr., author of “My Fall From Grace — City Hall to Prison Walls,” writes that some, not all, precinct captains opened absentee ballot envelopes, and altered some ballots.

People can request mail-in ballots for someone other than themselves. On Oct. 26, 2002, the Washington Times reported that a former government employee had submitted more than 25 absentee ballots.

In 2012, the Pew Research Center reported that voter registration lists were plagued with errors. Approximately 24 million — one out of eight — active voter registrations were no longer valid or significantly inaccurate. More than 1.8 million deceased individuals were listed as active voters, while about 2.75 million people had active registrations in more than one state.

Backroom counts of mail-in ballots offer no safeguards against an inaccurate count. The Nov. 19, 2012, edition of The New American reported being unable to learn where and when votes in Ohio were being counted. The Aug. 16, 2006, issue of USA Today reports that politics often determines who counts the votes, and how they are counted.

Ballot harvesting, where legal, offers numerous opportunities for vote fraud. Mail-in ballots can be and are stolen from mailboxes. Breitbart News on March 7, 2017, reported a case in Texas in which a ballot harvester helped a non-citizen to illegally vote. Ballot harvesters also sometimes take advantage of the elderly in nursing homes, marking ballots in other ways than the voters themselves wanted. Voters in Texas have shown up to vote, only to learn that someone else already voted in their names via absentee ballot.

The voices advocating mail-in ballots are often the same as those opposing voter ID laws. They are doing more to undermine the integrity of our elections than Russia or the Ukraine could ever hope to.

If mail-in balloting is instituted, we may never again have unrigged elections. At least, we can never have confidence that our elections will be secure.

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Thomas M. Crawford

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Laurel

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