Letters to the editor 3/13

March 13, 2003

Md. Constitution does guarantee public schools

To the editor:

In the letter entitled, "Constitution doesn't guarantee us public schools," a Feb. 27 writer said "free public education isn't enunciated as a right in the Constitution of the United States of America."

Section I of Article VIII of the Constitution of Maryland says in its entirety, "The General Assembly, at its First Session after the adoption of this constitution, shall by Law establish throughout the State a thorough and efficient System of Free Public Schools; and shall provide by taxation, or otherwise, for their maintenance."

It would appear that some letter writers haven't been educated in Maryland history.

Douglas Scott Arey
MCIH 130196 A-1-A-20

Great coverage of Black History Month

To the editor:

May I say thank you to The Herald-Mail Company for its coverage of, and contributions to, Black History Month?

Quite a few people contacted me to say how much they appreciated several of the articles, and if they forgot to tell you, thanks also on their behalf.


Two of your reporters also stand in need of my special praise - Andrea Rowland and Laura Ernde. Each was very professional, prompt, cordial and organized. Those qualities were overshadowed, however, by an interested tenacity to get the story out. The result was two excellent stories, Rowland's on black cemeteries, and Ernde's on the Medal of Honor moving to Baltimore.

Ladies, I salute you, if that is the proper thing for a border state gentleman to do.

Don Brown

Small liquor stores help the community

To the editor:

I wish to respond to Tom Firey who, in his letter published in The Herald-Mail Feb. 11, stated that the Washington County Delegations' proposed legislation to curtail "out of state" chain stores from obtaining liquor licenses in our county is a restraint of free enterprise.

This much is true, but if SB 616 and HB 990 are passed by the legislature, you will see an end to small neighborhood stores which are convenient, close, and quite competitive. It will put many local people out of work, and it will force you to drive across town to the "super store" where, after the small, locally owned store has been forced out of business, it will be free to charge whatever the traffic will bear.

All liquor licenses have an individual licensee responsible for any violations, even if it is a corporation. This would not be the case if chain stores are allowed to obtain licenses.

The three-tier system, which has been very successful in Maryland for many years, allows for the manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer to operate in as large or small a capacity as they deem feasible.

All aspects of the business are controlled by the Maryland Comptroller's office. They have investigators, collectors of taxes and inspectors to be sure that all areas are legitimate. Locally owned stores allow home grown entrepreneurs to be involved in their community, through their church, Little League, PTA, Service Club, United Way, etc.

If the chain store is allowed to obtain a license to sell beer, wine, and liquor, with their huge buying power, the locally owned store could not compete. This has been done in the metropolitan areas to the disappointment of many.

Consequently, when your Little League needs a coach, your local charitable organization needs a volunteer, your church needs a Sunday school teacher, tell them to call "super store" corporate headquarters for the help they require.

Kudos to the Washington County delegation for their support of the locally owned retail businesses, their constituents, their grass root supporters, their fellow citizens of Washington County.

C. Richard Miller

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