Abridging Teacher Property Rights
The Fifth Amendment of the Bill of Rights states: "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law." . . .
I believe in a liberal meaning so therefore I think property can be abstract. Anything you apply for and are granted, i.e. a job, driver's license, marriage license, etc., gives you a property right and cannot be taken without there first being due process. In the case of public safety or an individual's safety being jeopardized, due process can be temporarily denied. . . .
Professional employees, i.e. teachers, because they must pay for and earn their credentials regardless of whether they are in a union or not or have a contract or not, have a property right to their teaching positions.
Anne Arundel County public school management has not acted in a timely manner to establish hearings and reach decisions. . . .
School management has a fiduciary responsibility to assure that money from the taxpayers is used for its intended purpose. A jury or court might find management negligent in handling tax money, or even auditors might make the same finding. Close to $1 million is being diverted from educating our children so that management can drag its feet. . . .
Neall's Rocky Road
In response to your editorial of June 7, some facts that you stated referring to the portion of employees who stand to lose under County Executive Robert Neall's proposed health plan are erroneous.
You stated that 72 percent of employees who object to the
proposal already belong to a Health Maintenance Organization or Preferred Provider Network, which offer a wider choice of doctors. This is the number of people that stand to lose under the new proposal. . . .
As a member of Blue Cross/Blue Shield's Preferred Provider Network, I was able to choose a pediatrician, family practitioner, my wife's OB/GYN and even specialists from a pool of doctors at a cost of $33.21 per month for family coverage. What Mr. Neall proposes is that I change all my doctors, have to meet deductibles and still pay 10 percent of the premiums. . . . The 6 percent pay raise . . . is long overdue anyway.
I haven't had a cost of living raise in almost 5 years and took a 3 percent pay cut for six months when the county was in "dire straits." If I choose to stay with . . . all my doctors, . . . it's going to cost an additional $66.42 per month and I can kiss my raise goodbye.
Mr. Neall, . . . can I quote from your speech to the graduates of Anne Arundel Community College the other night? "Work hard, take risks, set goals . . . Instead of ordering vanilla, order rocky road." How profound. If you come to work for Anne Arundel
County, you're taking a risk and you'll get the rocky road.
Mark S. Praschak
X-mas In April
I would like to express my sincere thanks to all the men, women, children and some young men from the Naval Academy who worked on my house on April 30 and May 1.
Some of them worked until dark on both days. They tore off three layers of shingles and put on a new roof. A lady and young girl painted my stairwell going to my attic and a railing was put up. And a man cleaned my kitchen fan and cut my grass. I also want to thank the businesses who gave the shingles, paint and materials that was needed to do the work.
Dunkin Donuts from Odenton furnished four dozen doughnuts, McDonald's from Severn furnished coffee and the Junior League gave subs for lunch. Also my daughter-in-law brought a big pot of chili which was enjoyed by all.
My deepest thanks to Frank Scarpola, the captain, and Cecelia Evans, ambassador, who worked very hard to organize everything.
Lola M. Brown
A Business Helped My Son
In this time of debate over the decline in public education, my family has just had a very positive experience which, if it could be duplicated, would bring hope to educators everywhere.
My 12-year-old son Khalil had learned of the negative and even fatal health effects of E. coli bacteria and wanted to develop a science project testing for the presence of this common bacteria in food products. Several dozen telephone calls were made to groups mentioned in a newspaper article to see if any of them could help him perform the testing, including the University of Maryland Food Sciences program, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration. Several people wanted to help, but all said that they didn't have the time or staff to be able to do so, the desirability of mentoring elementary school-aged children notwithstanding.
Then someone suggested trying private testing laboratories, including Strasburger and Siegel of Hanover in Anne Arundel County. Not only did this lab agree to help with the testing, but they made at least four people on their staff, especially lab technician Edna Hu, available for several hours of work with Khalil after closing time during a weekday and again on a Saturday. Khalil was given the royal treatment in terms of access their facilities and testing procedures.
After one staff person, Alan Parker, had just spent many minutes patiently explaining the bacterial reproduction process on a whiteboard, I asked him for the name of the CEO so I could write a letter of thanks, only to discover that I was already talking to one of the co-owners of the company.
That a private sector company could so embrace a stranger calling cold, literally "off the street" and out of state, and somehow find the time to help has been an eye-opening experience. I can't help but wonder if the private sector generally could help make up for what public institutions are increasingly unable or unwilling to do.
Strasburger and Siegel is a gem and Hanover should be extremely proud to have a company of its caliber which is also interested in helping children pursue and understand topics in science. (At the science fair, Khalil's project won first place in its
category and second place overall).