From: Lori Livingston

Ellicott City

I would like to express my opinion on the distribution of condomsin schools.

Last week, a reader wrote a letter to the editor ("Students just say no," Lynn Kuselias, March 3) that gave me the impression she thought condoms are unsafe.

It is true that condoms are not 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, the contraction of AIDS, or any other disease, but the use of a condom is better than no protection at all.

I thought that adults wanted to promote the useof birth control. Along with the availability of condoms in schools,counseling could be provided for the students, which would give themalternatives and maybe change their decision about having sex.

Granted, the best form of birth control is to abstain from sex, but if teens are going to do it, shouldn't it be done safely?

Editor's note: The writer is a senior at Centennial High School.


From: Wilbur A. Dove


I am a farmer in the fourth district of Howard County who had the misfortune of a fire on my farm last week. I am writing to express my gratitude and praise ofour fire department. Their response was unbelievable, both time-wiseand professionally.

My wife and I certainly feel easier knowing such splendid service protects us from the spread of fire, as our buildings are rather closely clustered.

Again, our thanks to the personnel of the Lisbon Fire Co. and their associates for their speed and for the back-up of possible needed services.


From: Kenneth A. Stevens


Oh, how I wish I had the influence attributed to me by R. D. Bush in his attempt at assassinatingmy character ("Rerun of familiar litany," March 3).

If I did havethat much influence, I wouldn't have had to spend nearly as much time over the years writing letters to the editor, testifying at public hearings and working on behalf of those issues about which I care andhave opinions.

It's true I've been expressing my opinion in occasional letters to newspapers ever since I came to Howard County 30 years ago; it's also true that some of my opinions haven't changed much during that time. But if Mr. Bush or anybody else thinks they can shut me up by engaging in personal attacks, they might as well forget it.

Fortunately, under our federal Constitution, Mr. Bush and I or anyone else has a right to freedom of speech and to hold whatever religious beliefs (regardless of their popularity) each of us believes isappropriate for us.

He or anyone else can continue to believe that my opinions amount to "self-righteous dicta" or whatever, but I plan to continue sounding off now and then. Mr. Bush can respond as he chooses (and I've seen some of his letters on substantive matters in newspapers previously).

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