The Baltimore Sun

Holiday with kids is never too long

We have truly reached a new low in our society when a two-week holiday vacation from school is seen as a source of parental stress rather than joy and happiness ("Too-long-holiday blues," Jan. 3).

But, first, let's get the whole 14 days off thing straight. Eight of the days were holidays or weekend days. That leaves six "extra" days that the parents had to spend with their children.

As a parent of three school-age boys, I found many things to do over this wonderful break.

There was never a time when either I or my children wanted to get back to school. We enjoy our time together as a family and the chance to see friends we do not get to see as often when we are on our school schedule.

Baltimore and the surrounding counties have numerous museums, parks, nature centers and activities that can stimulate the mind and body much more than episodes of Hannah Montana or any video game ever can.

I challenge the parents mentioned in this article to give any of these a try the next time they have had "too much" time with their children.

In my opinion, there is never such a thing as too much time with your children.

They will not be children forever. Enjoy them while you can.

Dawn Tridone, Fallston

Public financing can't cure corruption

The Baltimore Sun's editorial "Paying and playing" (Jan. 6) highlights the corruption investigation of Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich and ends with a call for taxpayer-funded political campaigns. Where's the connection?

The editorial asserts, with no evidence, that such a scheme of welfare for politicians would decrease scandals in government.

Taxpayer-funded campaigns have been enacted in Maine and Arizona with high goals - ending corruption, curbing special-interest influence, electing more women to office and saving taxpayer dollars. But none of these goals has been achieved.

Allowing politicians to raid the public treasury to fill their campaign coffers is not the solution to corruption by officeholders.

Open and honest contracting combined with a vigilant press and attentive public are the real solutions to public corruption.

Sean Parnell, Alexandria, Va.

The writer is president of the Center for Competitive Politics.

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