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Trying To Save Another TraditionIn 1992, the...


Trying To Save Another Tradition

In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down another one of its "church vs. state" decisions when it banned public school systems from conducting baccalaureate services for graduating seniors. This long-standing tradition gave seniors an opportunity reflect on religious as well as materialistic goals as they embark on their life-time careers. Attendance was optional but most seniors did attend to listen to a religious leader give a message that outlined God in their future.

The Lee vs. Weisman decision has eliminated this tradition normally conducted by the public school system. . . . Our religious freedom is being challenged. . . . A group of students and parents of C. Milton Wright High School has decided to take on this challenge by conducting a baccalaureate service sponsored solely by the students and parents. . . . A group has been formed called the "baccalaureate committee," comprised of students and parents who will plan and conduct the baccalaureate service for the C. Milton Wright class of 1993. The service will be on Sunday, May 23, at 4 p.m. in the auditorium of C. Milton Wright High School. . . . The time has come for the "silent majority" of Christians, Jews and people of all faiths to stand up and be heard. Waiting for the "other guy" to do it will rob future generations of the God we know today.

Tom Korpela

Forest Hill

Getting Gouged For Cable Services

Thousands of Harford countians are painfully aware that they are being overcharged by Comcast for their cable television services. The accompanying chart illustrates the high degree of price gouging by Comcast.

Including the fees for Home Team Sports and Disney, Comcast's charges are twice that of other cable companies. Judge for yourself whether Comcast is guilty of price gouging? The information illustrates that we should be receiving about 50 channels for approximately $22 monthly, including Home Team Sports and Disney.

The Cable Act of 1992 promises us that "where cable television systems are not subject to effective competition, ensure that consumer interests are protected." Congress has provided the vehicle for our protection, and the Harford County government must carry it out by regulating Comcast and Clearview. . . .

It is suggested that all dissatisfied subscribers voice their concerns and objections to:

Harford County Council

20 West Courtland St.

Bel Air, MD 21014

Harford County Focus, a Comcast program on which Bob Gunther interviews county officials, is the proper forum to

discuss this matter. I recommend that the Harford County executive and council members resist Comcast censorship and discuss the following topics on Harford County Focus:

* Why has Comcast consistently charged high rates for limited channel coverage while they enjoyed a monopoly?

* Since 240 out of 250 cable systems in the Mid-Atlantic area include Home Team Sports in their basic package, why does Comcast charge its subscribers $15.50 monthly?

* Why does Comcast charge $2.95 monthly for its People's Choice package (American Movie Classics, The Learning Channel, Cartoon Network and Science-Fiction TV)? . . . * To what degree will the Harford County government impose regulation on Comcast with respect to costs and channels provided?

* Will Clearview or another cable system be permitted to expand in Harford County and eliminate the evils of Comcast's monopoly?

Comcast has demonstrated for years that it will not provide improved service and lower costs without competition, regulation and pressure from its subscribers. It is time for the Harford County government to protect our interests under the provisions of the Cable Act of 1992.

John H. Hesterly


Cable rates, services

Cable System ... ... Channels ... Monthly Fee ... Yearly Cost

Jones Intercable .. .. 52 ... .. .. $21.20 .. .. .. $254.40

North Arundel .. .. .. 46 ... .. .. $22.15 .. .. .. $265.80

Clearview ... .. .. .. 34 ... .. .. $20.95 .. .. .. $251.40

Comcast ... ... ... .. 35 ... .. .. $24.65 .. .. .. $295.80

* Comcast charges $25.45 extra monthly for HTS and Disney channels. Clearview charges $9.95 extra monthly for Disney; HTS included in basic fee. Jones and North Arundel include HTS and Disney in basic fee.

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