The Baltimore Sun

Parking remedies need support

Kudos to Annapolis City Council member Dick Israel for championing constructive measures to temper residential parking problems in the inner West Street corridor.

If only Mayor Ellen O. Moyer and the Planning Department supported his efforts. Instead, they blindly approve projects such as the capital mixed-use development that rely upon antiquated, insufficient parking space requirements that worsen congestion around our home.

The city fought us tooth and nail for years over a proposed 8-foot by 16-foot brick parking pad next to our residence. It appears that much larger projects, with considerable negative impacts on residential quality of life, have no problem obtaining approval as long as they dangle sufficient dollars before the noses of city leadership.

Kevin Miller Indianapolis

School funding is a click away

There is a new way of raising money for Anne Arundel County Public Schools that is easy to everybody in the public and does not cost a thing. This way is by a new search engine called www.GoodSearch.com.

GoodSearch.com is like all the other search engines on the Internet except for one big difference: Good Search donates 50 percent of its revenue to charities and schools designated by the users. All the money donated comes from the advertisers, not from the users or organizations.

Since Yahoo powers GoodSearch.com, the results are going to be proven ones. The only thing visitors to the Web site have to do is type in the name of the charity or the school where they want their proceeds to go.

After typing in the name and verifying the organization, they can search the Internet as usual and generate approximately $.01 a search for the school.

If we are able to just get 100 people to search on the Web site twice a day for a year for Anne Arundel County Schools the estimated revenue for that year would be $730. If we can get a 1,000 people to do two searches a day, that would give the county an extra $7,300 for the next coming school year to use for supplies or whatever else was needed.

The county schools that are involved in this program are: Bodkin, Cape St. Claire, Hillsmere, Jacobsville, Pasadena, Ridgeway, Rippling Woods, Rolling Knolls, Shady Side and Van Bokkelen elementary schools; Corkran and Old Mill North middle schools and Arundel and Old Mill high schools.

Dennis Meadows Laurel

Domestic abuse victims need help

From July 2005 through June 2006 domestic violence in Maryland claimed 63 lives. Eight of those deaths occurred in Anne Arundel County.

In early February a memorial service, sponsored by the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, was held in Annapolis for those eight victims.

Victims of domestic violence need every protection the law can give.

I strongly support two bills -- SB 199 and SB 505. These proposals extend the duration of protective orders from 12 to 24 months and reduce the burden of proof to obtain a protective order.

A tragic aspect of domestic violence is that most goes unreported because of the fear and intimidation tactics batterers use. A Department of Justice report states only 20 percent of female violence victims contact an outside agency for help. Only 4 percent of those murdered by their partners had sought help from domestic violence services.

These data have inspired a new strategy to help victims before the worst happens. That strategy, called lethality assessment, consists of questions asked by police and counselors to determine if a domestic violence victim's life is in jeopardy.

Typical questions are: Has the abuser ever used a weapon against you? Has the abuser threatened to kill you? Depending on the answers, victims are referred immediately to a counselor and informed that their life is in danger.

This strategy is already being used in our county and is expected to be used statewide by 2008.

Department of Justice figures show in 2004, 1,159 females and 385 males were murdered by intimate partners. Women who are separated report higher rates of intimate partner violence than women who are single, divorced or married.

Through education, enactment of strong laws and innovative programs, we can reduce domestic violence.

James E. DeGrange Sr. Glen Burnie

The writer is a state senator from the 32nd district.

Car rental tax is the right idea

I sure hope everyone is paying attention to what is about to happen to their money.

First of all, watch the local education funding drop and the local "piggyback" tax go up.

Thanks to new agreements bargained by the strongarm labor unions, we can look forward to more money being taken from the taxpayers to fund programs to come. Schools are in need of remodeling, expansion and new education resources.

Yet they have to make request to local churches to help do their jobs. In North County, Abundant Life Church and Heritage Community Church and others are doing great works to increase the morale of students, teachers and other faculty where county shortfall budgets needs can't be met.

I say go after the pleasure and business car renters. They use our roads in the county, fly over our homes, and go straight to Baltimore and Washington. Sure, they hang out at City Dock in Annapolis for the boat shows in October and Naval Academy graduation in May. Granted, they spend money at the newest and greatest mall around.

But dollar for dollar, I'll wager any day more travel money gets spent in the surrounding areas than in our county.

The new county executive has got a hard job ahead, but I say proceed full steam ahead, Mr. Leopold. Creative thinking got you in the office. Hopefully it will keep the tax and spenders out of my wallet. Go for $10 a car.

David J Cole North Linthicum

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