Letters to the editor

April 24, 2005

Don't be soft on illegals

To the editor:

I cannot help but respond to Tim Beachy's recent letter (April 17) stating that he was "outraged, nauseated and saddened to see my tax dollars being spent to arrest, handcuff and deport some of the decent, hardworking, taxpaying citizens of our community" after an area restaurant was raided by federal agents because illegal aliens were (allegedly) working there.

No one will argue that most illegal aliens are decent and hardworking - but citizens? The last time I checked the laws, a citizen is someone who is born here, or who enters the country by legal means and engages in the prescribed requirements.

Illegal aliens are not citizens, and to describe them as such is an affront to any native born or naturalized citizen. He implies that illegal immigration is a benefit to society - but is it? An article in Monday's Herald Mail said there are between 25,000 and 100,000 illegals in Maryland, and about 10.3 million across the country.


This creates demands for a population equal to everyone living in the State of Michigan. While local laws vary, how many multi-million dollar schools have had to be built with our tax dollars to educate the children? What are the costs in social services?

While most are law abiding, if just 1 percent of these 10.3 million people are criminals, that means 103,000 criminals are running loose among us who should not be, or are being supported at our expense as guests of the criminal justice system. Concerned about low wages? Take 25,000 people out of Maryland's employment pool and no one in Maryland will have an excuse for being unemployed, and incomes will increase as employers compete harder for your services.

While no reasonable person opposes the addition of foreign-born persons to our country, it must be done legally. Until then, those of us who oppose our open border with Mexico will be demonized as "anti-immigrant" and "anti-Hispanic" - that is until the next 9/11 is pulled off by terrorists who entered the country via Mexico.

Stephen R. Bockmiller


Munson saves San Mar funds

To the editor:

I read with interest your lead article in Sunday's edition reflecting upon the accomplishments of our delegation's project funding efforts. The most noteworthy of the entire session had to do with a $432,000 grant by the Ehrlich administration to San Mar Children's Home, and it went totally unreported.

San Mar exists today to provide structure, nurturance and opportunity to children and youth in need that they may be enabled to become productive members of society tomorrow. It has received national recognition for its execution and completion of its mission. The State of Maryland and Gov. Robert Ehrlich recognized the success of San Mar to the extent of providing a grant of $432,000 to expand the facility.

What made this grant so remarkable was how it came about. The House Appropriations Committee immediately deleted the $432,000 from the Capital Budget. The budget minus the $432,000 then went to the Senate where Sen. Don Munson, a member of the Budget and Tax Committee was able to restore the funding. The budget bill then went back to the House Appropriations Committee, which still would not agree to the Senate position to provide the funding.

Complicated I know, but true, so bear with me.

The issue then went to a conference committee of House and Senate members for final resolution. Sen. Munson was a Senate member of that committee and was able to prevail and consequently keep the funding for San Mar in the final version of the capital budget.

The fact that Sen. Munson was able to restore the funding the first time was remarkable. But to be able to prevail in the conference committee is almost unbelievable. In order to do this, Sen. Munson had to be strong-willed, tenacious, unrelenting and correct in his position.

This accomplishment was very extraordinary and Sen. Munson should be applauded for his untiring effort on San Mar's behalf.

Paul Muldowney


Benedum made money for rink

To the editor:

As a coach, Erin Benedum has taught her students skills, self-confidence, determination and respect for others. Benedum has always tried to protect all skaters. She has stepped up to the plate when wrongs have been made against the skaters. She has done this even when it was not agreeable to management. She stands alone many times to defend, not only her students, but other students.

When unsafe practices are being ignored she will step in and stop them. This is one of the reasons some think she is unfair. If a skater does not have the skills developed to perform an element, she does not allow them to do it. If a skater is skating aggressively and endangering other skaters, she stops them and addresses it. Maybe this makes people uncomfortable, but I would rather be uncomfortable than have a child taken out in an ambulance for an injury.

The Washington County Sports Foundation and the city council's liaison, Penny Nigh, denied guest coach privileges based on what - the fact that Benedum only has 30 students instead of 130, according to Ms. Pottol's remarks to the Herald? What about the other coaches at the rink, how many students do they have? What have they done to bring in more students, and why are they not terminated? Benedum has more students than all the other coaches combined, so for Ms. Pottol to say the 30 don't count, who are they going to turn to who will bring in more students?

The city pays $114,000 a year to the rink, and an additional $6,000 for operating costs. Benedum's students bring in over $3,000 a month in ice fees alone. Based on last year's payments, her students brought in over $40,000 in ice fees, not counting the revenue from camps, clinics and exhibitions. If you need revenue, you keep the ones who are paying the bills.

Rodney and Debra Shepherd

Martinsburg, W.Va.

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