Pushing for choice in board selection
The Sun reported erroneously that I have "been pushing for nearly two decades for an elected school board" ("A lesson in school rule," Jan. 29).
Legislation I sponsored in different years in the state legislature would have allowed the Anne Arundel County executive to select school board members with confirmation by the County Council, or provided for a countywide referendum on several school board selection options, including appointment by the county executive and an elected board.
The legislation I helped draft two years ago, and continue to support in the General Assembly, would allow Anne Arundel County voters to retain or reject school board members nominated by a commission and appointed by the governor.
This provision would be similar to the process the state uses to select appellate judges.
This legislative compromise passed the House of Delegates the last two years, and I hope it will pass both the House and the Senate this year.
John R. Leopold
The writer is county executive of Anne Arundel County.
President's 'resolve' closer to arrogance
The Sun's analysis of President Bush's State of the Union address was titled "Despite woes, Bush shows resolve" (Jan. 24).
I have only one question: What resolve has the president displayed?
It looks more like arrogance and stupidity to me.
The president just doesn't get it. The people of the United States have sent the president and Congress a clear message to bring our troops home.
What part of that message didn't Mr. Bush get?
Excuses for inequity offer little comfort
I'm sure the vast majority of Marylanders earning a fraction of an average CEO's salary found little comfort in the rationales for income disparities offered by Thomas Sowell in "'Greed' isn't behind CEOs' large salaries" (Opinion * Commentary, Jan. 25).
Americans struggling to provide for their families want to know why they aren't earning a livable wage, not why CEOs earn exorbitant salaries.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, in 2005, corporate CEOs earned, on average, 262 times as much as the average worker; in 1978, CEOs earned 35 times more than the average worker.
As people work longer and harder for lower wages and disappearing benefits, while salaries for CEOs multiply yearly, America is failing to live up to its reputation as a generous nation.
The writer is a vice president of the Service Employees International Union.
SEC must monitor CEO compensation
Thomas Sowell's column "'Greed' isn't behind CEO's large salaries" (Opinion * Commentary, Jan. 25) suggested that most people have no right to question the large salaries of CEOs because the reasons for those salaries are probably beyond the comprehension of the average American.
But if the minimum wage had increased as quickly as CEO pay has since 1990, it would today be $15.76 per hour, rather than $5.15 per hour.
When people make such astronomical sums of money and there are such great income disparities in our country, it is important to make sure that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sets new standards for how CEO salaries are reported and how exactly CEO pay is set.
Outraged at illegals who use up services
Gustavo Torres, the executive director of CASA for Maryland, says it is "outrageous" that the Latino community is being singled out by recent raids against illegal immigrants ("Immigration raid," Jan. 24).
Well, I am outraged, too. I am incensed that many in the Latino community seem to feel that illegal immigrants can enter this country and stay here with the same privileges and benefits the rest of us have worked so hard to attain.
The last time I looked, coming into the United States illegally was considered a crime.
My husband is a legal alien, having come to this country from Great Britain in 1981. You cannot imagine the amount of paperwork involved in getting him to this country.
We spent over a year, with the help of my congressional representative at the time, getting the documentation required for him to enter this country legally.
Mr. Torres has the audacity to complain that the Latino community is being singled out.
Yes, perhaps it is - because the majority of illegals entering this country are coming from Spanish-speaking countries.
Where does Mr. Torres think the money is coming from to pay for the many Latinos who are here illegally but are using our schools, hospitals and other benefits?
I have always been proud to be an American.
But today I am ashamed of how the political system is failing us in the majority and allowing the minority to dictate to the rest of us that we should allow amnesty for these illegals and let them stay here with all the rights and privileges of a citizen of the United States.
Elizabeth R. Cody
Banning trans fats a burden to bakery
I was afraid it wouldn't take long for someone in our legislature to jump on the trans fat bandwagon and propose a bill banning the use of hydrogenated shortenings ("Delegate goes after trans fats," Jan. 25).
I manage my family's bakery, which has been in business since 1927. Many of the recipes we use originated with my grandfather.
Years ago, we abandoned most of the saturated fats we used in favor of vegetable shortenings, which, at the time, were thought to be a healthier alternative. Now we find that this is not the case.
It is no great chore to change from shortenings to oil for frying purposes, and I am happy to do so.
In some of our recipes, however, oils cannot be used in place of solid fats.
To completely eliminate hydrogenated shortenings would force us to either return to saturated fats or seriously alter the quality of our baked goods.
While I am dedicated to providing my customers with the healthiest product possible, an outright ban on hydrogenated shortenings would seriously affect my family's operation.
Sharon H. Hooper
Empathy for weak is our true measure
I shouldn't be surprised to see and hear criticism about the outpouring of grief over the loss of Barbaro this week ("Barbaro's injury highlighted problems, medical advances," Jan. 30).
However, in this violent world we live in, I find comfort in knowing there are humans still among us who care for any life.
I have no concern about the economics related to Barbaro's veterinary care - each of us would determine the value of any animal in our care when faced with such a tragedy.
I would simply remind critics who have said this is "just a horse" that a society is measured by the level of compassion it demonstrates for the lesser beings among us.