Letters to the Editor 12/6

December 06, 2000

Letters to the Editor 12/6

Democrat's actions are shameful

To the editor:

It is highly offensive to me to have this paper lend any credence to the four Florida county election boards' recounting of ballots. These four boards are all Democrats with one lone Republican on one of the boards.

The Gore campaign requested a third recount in only four for votes to steal an election. Florida has been counted twice, three times, four times and even five times in some counties, and each time absentee ballots were thrown out across Florida based on a five-page memorandum from a Democrat lawyer telling election boards how to challenge military ballots, in direct contradiction of federal law.

Where is this paper's outrage on the throwing of ballots from young men and women of America's armed forces who place their lives on the line every day for our freedom? Shame on you.


E.J. Hamilton


Small price to pay for lives

To the editor:

An Oct. 4 writer said the computerized background check for guns amounted to "A high price for failure."

Assuming that the Firearms Coalition is correct and society has spent $300 million operating background checks, then $300 million is still an unbeatable bargain if the checks have saved even one life.

Ironically, the Baltimore Sun also reported Oct. 4 that under a law signed by Governor Bush, Texas issued concealed gun permits to more than 400 ineligible people who had prior convictions - including 71 felons - and his spokesman blamed federal officials for the background check failures.

Given these developments, it seems that $300 million is not only cheap, but that the program is underfunded and we do indeed need to allocate even more funds to computerized background checks.

An additional note that was never seen in The Morning Herald or The Baltimore Sun: The Daily Mail reported on Nov. 16 (page C6) that restraining orders aren't preventing illegal gun buys because staffing shortages are preventing police from accurately entering protective orders in our own statewide computer system.

And what solution did the governor propose? Almost $1 million worth of grants to 24 police departments for additional staffing to process protective orders in the statewide computers.

I rest my case.

Douglas Scott Arey


Schools need more innovation

To the editor:

Two issues the new Board of Education will have to deal with are attitude and thinking "outside the box" among the Board of Education's administrative staff. I have attempted over the past several years to assist in obtaining grant money for the Smithsburg school system through a program sponsored by Toyota, in both math and science.

These programs must have a teacher as the project leader. They are modest in terms of amount ($10,000), but very competitive. However, both focus on innovative ways to improve the way math and science are taught to our children.

It is a frustrating process trying to find a teacher who is interested in this program. Either they are too busy or have an "unease" in trying to push something that is not "in the curriculum."

At one point, I was accused of pushing my agenda in a project. Now, I will admit I have some ideas that I would love to see explored in the school system, and I wrote some of these ideas out in the Toyota format. But this was mainly to show what an application would look like and provide a template for the teacher (which I explained in the paperwork). Ultimately, teachers are the leaders in the process and it would have to be their ideas.

Outside funding from programs similar to Toyota's will never be utilized within our school system with the current attitude of "damn innovation, full speed ahead" and the treatment of individuals who suggest changing the curriculum.

Having said that, the school system's grant writer (Vanessa Moore) was very informative and was key in putting together a proposal and submitting it last year. The environment within the school system should actively search for outside funding, nurture new ideas and appropriately evaluate them.

Stephen E. Popper


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