Keep our schools open on election days
Another election day with schools closed; administrators, faculty, students vacationing, while a dismal 25 percent of the registered voters voted. Why? Who can answer the question?
It is my opinion that election day would offer a wonderful opportunity for our community to observe education in progress. Let the voters walk through our schools, observe our children learning, teachers teaching. It can only serve to benefit all concerned.
Our children miss too many days of school. We have another election coming in November. Why not try keeping our schools open?
Jean Ragan Wroe
Cuba had reason to fire on planes
Time and again over a period of years, Cuban exiles have been warned not only by the Cuban government but also by our government that violations of Cuban territory must cease.
Although forewarned, planes piloted by Cuban exiles have been violating Cuban territory and the Castro regime has remained tolerant as few, if any, nations would have endured.
Recently, three planes left Florida for the shores of Cuba and two of the planes were shot down. The third plane returned to Florida.
Jose Basulto, the pilot of the third plane, acknowledged that there was a "remote" possibility that the downed planes might have violated Cuban air space.
Let us imagine that unidentified planes (during the Cold War that Castro is yet facing) were flying toward our shores.
Then, let us imagine that ceaseless threats had been made to destroy our government by those who directed those planes toward our shores.
There is no denying that planes flown by Cuban exiles have in the past inundated Cuba with tons of leaflets inciting its citizens to unite in an effort to overthrow the Castro regime.
In their desperation, in their failure over the years to mobilize the Cubans against Castro, who can vouch, who can affirm, that the three planes could not have unleashed deadly gases or other toxic substances as a warning that the Cubans must act soon or suffer more severely in the future?
Who of those now condemning Castro would then be prepared to accept the responsibility of thousands of Cuban deaths and casualties?
Leon Peace Ried
Fuel Fund donations
In the March 7 paper, there was an article by reporter Kevin McQuaid about BGE's pilot program to assist low-income customers in Baltimore City. As indicated in the article, the Fuel Fund of Central Maryland is a partner in this effort.
The article stated that BGE gives the Fuel Fund $1 million annually. This is not correct. BGE is a major sponsor of the Fuel Fund and supports it in many ways. The $1 million, however, is not a cash contribution to the fund. It is an allocation of credits which are used to match Fuel Fund and client dollars to help pay a client's utility bill.
These dollars are matched on a 1-for-2 basis and are quite valuable to our clients. They are not dollars which flow through the Fuel Fund treasury.
Ninety percent of our support comes from the public. The Fuel Fund welcomes support from individuals, corporations and foundations in efforts to keep families safe and warm in their homes.
Ellen F. Lockard
The writer is the Fuel Fund's executive director.
Thomas Understands the Middle East
After being subjected to the drivel of some staff writers, it is a pure delight to read syndicated columnist Cal Thomas' "Fate and faith in peace," March 8.
His analysis of the Middle East peace plan is exactly on the mark.
Mr. Thomas' insight into the mentality of the people he writes about, his fine-tuned intelligence and his comprehension of a complex situation are to be sincerely complimented and awarded accolades. He is a discerning writer who has a thorough knowledge of his subject and an understanding of the true nature of the Arabs and the Israelis.
Sonia Looban Greenspon
Employees should own more companies
Although I deplore the hate and intolerance that dominates Pat Buchanan's rhetoric, I am quite happy that he is running for president and highlighting the un-American excesses of corporate America.
Unfortunately, American business has done exactly what our country has told it to do maximize profits at all costs. In today's global economy, however, where business has more opportunities overseas than here in the United States, the disintegration of America's social fabric is one of those costs.
But the solution is not to further regulate corporate America or create trade barriers. We can increase corporate management's accountability to American employees and their communities without restricting the free enterprise system. If corporate America will not support democracy, we need to and can bring a little democracy into corporate America.
What I am talking about is employee ownership. Government, both at the federal and state levels, needs to provide more support to employee ownership, such as employee stock ownership plans. And not just any ESOP, but ESOPs where the majority of workers are owners and where the management is accountable to their employees.
Many people do not know that the existing, small federal incentives to encourage ESOPs were written by a very conservative Sen. Russell Long of Louisiana, who recognized that employee ownership would help to reduce the disparity in wealth between the very rich and the rest of us.
In 1974, when Senator Long wisely recognized this fact, this disparity was higher in the United States than it was in any other developed country. And since then, this disparity has grown significantly worse.
Since small federal tax incentives were implemented to encourage the creation of ESOPs, many studies have shown that employee-owned companies that practice participatory management are more productive than other companies.
So not only does employee ownership help to maintain a strong middle class, the keystone of our democratic society, but it also makes our country more competitive.
Unfortunately, the current Republican Congress is trying to end the incentives that were written by Senator Long. Employee ownership that is both broad-based and participatory will create significant public good for Americans and is a concept that all of us, from Pat Buchanan to Bill Clinton, can and should embrace.
I hope the facts that Pat Buchanan has highlighted about the lack of common goals between our corporations and our society will soon focus on viable solutions, especially employee ownership.
Pub Date: 3/19/96