Bomb threats must not be tolerated
On behalf of the parents of Bodkin Elementary PTA, I would like to commend our principal, Rocco Ferretti, his teachers and staff for their outstanding efforts in securing the safety of more than 630 elementary school students and building occoupants during a bomb threat on May 1, within an hour after an incident at adjacent Chesapeake High.
Mr. Ferretti and his faculty orchestrated the orderly evacuation of students from the school to Our Lady of the Chesapeake Catholic Church, where buses picked up students to return them safely home.
The Bodkin administration responded with efficiency to the threat. We acknowledge and greatly appreciate the well-directed emergency management.
It is outrageous that our schools and communities continue to be terrorized by such abhorrent threats.
The majority is once again victimized by a minority.
How much longer will we continue to tolerate these threats? Parents and communities must work together to put a stop to such behavior.
If, in fact, these terrorist acts are being perpetrated by young people, then parents must take immediate, strong measures to monitor and control their children's behavior as well as know their whereabouts.
Penalties for such behavior should be severe and young people charged as adults.
Perhaps it is time to make a public spectacle of those proven guilty to send a clear message that such threats will not be tolerated.
Bodkin PTA is offering a substantial reward leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of any person(s) involved in the May 1 bomb threat.
L Contact Bodkin PTA with any information concerning the case.
L The writer is president of the Bodkin Elementary School PTA.
Dynamometer foes are a democratic force
I read in a recent article a quote from Dru Schmidt-Perkins of Clean Water Action, Inc. regarding the vehicle emissions inspection program.
Ms. Schmidt-Perkins referred to the passage in the last legislative session of a bill that would make the dynamometer test voluntary as "talk-radio legislating."
As a legislator who has met with, talked to and been contacted by hundreds of constituents in oppostion to this test, I take great offense to her comment.
At nearly every community meeting or event I attend, my constituents complain about the imposition of the dynamometer test and encourage me to continue to fight it. There was not a single day during the 1997 legislative session that I did not receive at least one letter or phone call from a concerned resident of the 31st Legislative District in opposition to this test.
I have been active in the fight against the mandatory dynamometer because of the feedback I have received from the people I was elected to represent, not because I have been listening to talk radio.
Talk radio, like any other media outlet, provides information to the public about the issues we consider in Annapolis and how the decisions we make affect their lives.
No one told the dynamometer's opponents what to think. They listened to the facts from many sources and made up their own minds. I made my decision accordingly, representing the voice of my constituents, not that of talk radio.
Ms. Schmidt-Perkins needs reminding that this is how a representative democracy is supposed to work.
'Del. Victoria L. Schade
Honor society is more than popularity
I am writing in regards to an editorial in The Sun in Anne Arundel on April 30, entitled "Dishonorable Society."
I was appalled at the portrayal of the North County High School National Honor Society. It portrayed the society as a popularity contest. The North County chapter has helped the community in various ways, from soup kitchens to car washes.
I myself was just recently inducted and do not feel that I was accepted because I am popular. I have maintained a 3.64 grade point average and participate in various activities in school and community.
I understand your view, but I feel as if I was classified as a part of something "dishonorable."
I have worked hard to build my character, leadership, service and scholarship throughout my high school career.
I am not trying to bring attention to the school, community or myself, but I wanted to tell The Sun how I feel.
Keith L. Jeffcoat
Taking cheap shots at Carl Snowden
It is ridiculous to portray someone of such character as Annapolis Alderman Carl Snowden in the way that The Sun has.
Actually, it looks like a major character flaw in your newspaper.
You are showing the whole world how smallminded the business of news writing can be.
When my grandmother died this year, leaving unpaid electric bills, I called Mr. Snowden to help my grandfather keep his electricity on. Mr. Snowden quickly directed me to assistance appropriate for helping senior citizens with overdue electric bills.
Do you really think a man of such sincerity and knowledge should be criticized so harshly?
With this type of criticism, what goes around comes around.
The well-connected get welfare, too
While the subject of welfare reform is a subject for legitimate debate, the public seems to ignore the need for a reform of corporate welfare for the well-connected.
Two examples of local corporate welfare abuse stand out.
The proposed John Paterakis "Grand Hotel" would not be the first real estate white elephant in Baltimore to be eventually bailed out by the taxpayers.
It is possible that this venture will proceed as a result of the largesse shown by Mr. Paterakis to many political leaders in our state.
Has anyone determined the recipients of his contributions?
Is there a possibility that this hotel might become more financially viable as a "Casino Royale"?
Legitimate doubts have been raised as to the economic value of this venture. These voices should be heeded.
Government subsidies for the Fair Chance Job Center also reveal the value of the right political connections.
We see government leases granted at above-market rates, nepotism, cronyism and other sordid aspects of politics-as-usual.
While the purported goal of the job center sounds noble, the real rewards appear to accrue to a special few.
We should concentrate more on establishing a truly level playing field for all citizens rather than continually stacking the deck in favor of the insiders. The subsidies and bailouts to the favored few merely insulate those who make bad decisions from the effects of the marketplace.
rthur W. Downs
Turning folks away from Bay Bridge walk
I always enjoy the Bay Bridge Walk, but this year I almost missed it thanks to the Maryland Transportation Authority police.
When three friends and I arrived at the Navy-Marine Corps stadium at 12: 30 p.m., an MdTA officer told us that the walk was already closed because the parking lot was full.
I pointed out the many empty spaces, which had been used by early walkers who had already come and gone, but the officer wouldn't relent. So we tried another entrance and got the same )) response. The fact that cars were exiting past the officer made no difference. We still were refused entrance because the lot was "full."
Neither officer mentioned the Anne Arundel Community College
lot. If we didn't happen to know about it, we would have missed the walk.
Fortunately for us, we tried it and were able to get a parking space. When we finally got to the bridge, an MdTA officer told us we had only 10 minutes to get our lunch and start walking. He was going to close off the bridge entrance because the parking lots were "full."
My friend and I enjoyed our walk and plan to do it again next year. It is a pity that hundreds, maybe thousands, of others could not join us because they were needlessly turned away by the MdTA police.
Pub Date: 5/11/97