Why Year-Round Schooling is Bad
I am writing to express my opinion on year-round schools. I firmly believe that it is a terrible mistake.
First, all the schools would have to be air-conditioned, which would cost a lot of money. . . . Also, speaking as a student, I know that we are motivated in part by the fact that we look forward to summer vacation. . . . We go to pools and beaches, ballfields and snowball shops. Who wants to take that away from us by putting us in school?
The parents . . . would have to find day care for their younger children during awkward, staggered vacations while they work. . . . Jessie Reeder-Blom
The writer is a seventh grader at Bel Air Middle School.
Acts of Kindness
In response to JoAnne C. Broadwater's article [May 14], "The neighborly thing: Dream house is rebuilt," I would like to commend those who helped rebuild Michael and Trisha Covelly's house recently. This is a good example of a community coming together to help one another. I commend The Sun for including this good news in a world that seems to be falling apart.
This act of kindness on the part of the Covellys' neighbors shows that the answers to our problems are not found in Washington or Annapolis or even in Bel Air. What made this country great was not the effectiveness of its government, but the hearts of its people. The people of the area churches have shown Christ's love to this family. . . . What America needs is not more welfare, but more selfless acts of compassion for its fellow man.
William K. McKinney
I recently had the pleasure of going back to Prospect Mill Elementary School. I had volunteered there when my son attended second through fourth grades. I was surprised that the teachers still remembered me and that the principal, Dan Hamer, could still put a name to my son since it had been a couple of years.
However, what I was most impressed with was the children. . . . It was the norm to hear, "yes, ma'am, no, ma'am," "yes, please," "no, thank you." I had commented to numerous children how pleased I was with their manners. They would smile and say, "Thank you."
I specifically sought out Mr. Hamer to reiterate how impressed I was with his students. He thanked me and told me about the manners class that is taught to all the students at Prospect Mill. . . . I can't praise Mr. Hamer and Prospect Mill's students enough. I think other schools should follow this wonderful example.
Even with the regulations now in effect, drinking water in the year 2010 will be very hard to obtain. Carrots are being dangled in front of Congress by lobbyists representing corporations trying to repeal environmental laws. . . . I say to these congressional representatives, before you line your pocket with blood money, if you don't protect the hand that feeds you, "Mother Earth" and her resources, you will be the ones who place the "death sentence" on our children's children.
In recent weeks I have received communications from many Harford County residents who are concerned about buried munitions, areas of toxic contamination and stored chemical agents in and around Aberdeen Proving Ground's Edgewood area. . . . I easily empathize with these residents, as I am one of them. Our home is located within a mile of the Edgewood area of APG.
In this regard, I have assigned a research aide to concentrate exclusively on the APG environmental issues. We will study the environmental history as well as the current activities and all future plans. We will continue to attend meetings with APG officials, and I will take every opportunity to observe any specific technological procedures in action. Subsequently my office will prepare periodic reports for interested constituents, who may contact me at 676-3858. My district office is located in the lower level of the Elizabeth Building at 2005 Pulaski Highway in Edgewood.
. . . It is important to be involved in the process and to work together with officials to resolve these concerns in the safest manner possible. The professional men and women at APG/Edgewood are recognized the world over as leaders in the environmental clean-up technologies. They need your input.
Nancy C. Jacobs
The writer is a state delegate representing Legislative District 34.
. . . As a 16-year-old Fallston High student, I think it is interesting to note that most of your letters to the editor are generated from the older generation and few from the younger generation. To balance that, here is one teen-ager's perspective.
I grew up in a smoke-free household so maybe that is why I have the perspective I do. . . . I feel it is my right to have a nice meal in a public restaurant without watching others puff away, cough up their lungs and slowly kill themselves right in front of me. That is not the ideal dinner atmosphere because my dinner often tastes like the remains in the bottom of one giant ashtray. It seems that every time the guy next to me takes a puff . . . he blows it in my direction. . . .
I get a real kick out of the smoking and non-smoking sections in restaurants. Just because there is a sign hanging from the ceiling that reads "non-smoking," the smoke isn't going to come my way? Maybe I should have gone to Annapolis to educate my legislators: "Smoke can't read." . . .
On behalf of the students, staff and parents of North Harford Middle School, I would like to thank those individuals and businesses who have made financial contributions to assist the school community on the celebration of being named a "Maryland Blue Ribbon School of Excellence."
The following individuals and businesses are to be commended for their support and generosity which has enabled us to appropriately recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the school community: Ronnie's Beverage Warehouse; Douglas Patterson, Nationwide Insurance Co.; Gary Fike, State Farm Insurance Co.; Roger Ralph, Bel Air Athletic Club; William Humbert, Harford Mutual Insurance Co.; Tom Boyle, Scarborough and Associates; Joy Wilhelm and co-workers at Pylesville Post Office; Richard DePasquale, ADI Vending Co.; Andy Klein, Klein's Super Thrift.
Gerald E. Scarborough
The writer is principal of North Harford Middle School.