Letters to the Editor - June 10

June 10, 2011

Letter writer misses point of referendum initiative

To the editor:

On June 5, The Herald-Mail published a letter from Ira S. Lourie critical of Del. Neil Parrott’s efforts to get a referendum on the ballot in 2012 on whether illegal aliens should receive in-state tuition rates for Maryland colleges.

Lourie suggests Parrott is not being truthful, but I suggest Lourie needs to examine the facts more carefully.

Lourie wants readers to believe that those illegal aliens who will receive taxpayer-supported tuition rates are themselves paying taxes. If the parents, or the working student, are here illegally, how are they working?

Apparently, Del. Parrott’s critic has not read the bill carefully. Last week, an employee of Identity (a Gaithersburg, Md., nonprofit group that works with Hispanic youths and lobbied for the law) confronted signature collectors in Boonsboro with literature on her group’s letterhead. The bill says the parent or student must file a tax return, but as Identity informs its clients and would-be college students, “Taxes can be filed for previous years, even if no income was earned.”  

Via the Earned Income Tax Credit, those who don’t make enough to pay taxes may file a return and get a refund even if they didn’t make enough money to owe state or federal taxes.

With this referendum initiative, I believe Parrott has tapped into a huge undercurrent of anger in Maryland about our wide-open borders and our inability to cut our budgets both at the federal and state level, and that is why this petition campaign is resonating. The petition drive is one small way for citizens to be heard. If the drive is successful, voters of Maryland will decide the issue in 2012, and that is how it should be.

Ann Corcoran

Working with students showed strengths of parents

To the editor:

In American society in 2011, parents struggle with having enough time daily to be a parent. With most parents, kids come first, so sacrifices are made. This is to be commended.

Being in a household where there are kids requires good organizational skills. Most parents go about their duties without realizing the level to which they are organized. Homework, extracurricular activities, transportation, meals, shopping — the list goes on — are daily activities in most all households with kids.

I was a parent of elementary-aged children approximately 25 years ago. My discussions with parents now confirms what I was fairly sure of, and that is the influences from all segments of society are much greater now than 25 years ago. Those influences are not going to go away, so parents become traffic cops in determining how much those influences will be a part of their children’s lives.

I had the privilege of volunteering for three months with second-graders at a local elementary school this winter. For the most part, I observed well-mannered students who were eager to learn.  

It is my pleasure to know many parents and students through my association with various organizations. I am fortunate to be able to say all of them are committed families that are growing every day.

Meredith Fouche

Thanks to all who helped fallen Marine get monument

To the editor:

On May 25, a monument was erected in honor of Pvt. Luke Quinn, the only Marine killed during the storming of the engine house where John Brown and his men were captured. It will be 152 years since John Brown made the raid on Harpers Ferry and there was never a plaque or a monument recognizing Quinn.

When we decided to have this monument erected, I contacted the Harpers Ferry mayor, who mentioned it to the park superintendent, who suggested we put the monument where Quinn was killed. The request was turned down by the U.S. Department of the Interior. We also got no response to requests made of the Harpers Ferry town council. But Richard Shaffer, a resident of Harpers Ferry, told us we could put the monument on his property on Potomac Street. So, thanks to his generosity, that is where we placed the monument.

In October, we will honor Quinn, who for 152 years was neglected. The Harpers Ferry-Bolivar District Veterans will be doing the honor, and hoping different Marine groups of the area will be there, as well as all other military organizations of the Tri-State area.

Last, we want to give our thanks to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Superintendent Rebecca Harriet, Harpers Ferry Mayor Jim Addy, Steve Ashton of Hammaker Memorials, and the donors without whom the monument would not have been possible. They are American Legion Post 71, VFW Post 3522, Harpers Ferry-Bolivar Veterans, Town of Harpers Ferry-Loyal Order of Moose 948, Charles Town Races & Slots, Harpers Ferry Alumni Association, Hank and Coleen Happy, Frank and Marilyn Surdu, Guy and Eleanor Chicchirichi, Judy Stokes, Chris and Sandy Stokes, Dave and Frances Longerbeam, Col. R.M. Johnson, Nancy C. Myers, Gen. Joseph Osterman, Bryan and Lynn Applegate, James and Alden Addy, Jim and Betty Shrewsberry, Bob and Jane Murto, Albert Ainsworth, Les and Betty Deneen, Van Applegate and Paul Ranalli.

James L. “Dixie” Wiltshire
Charles Town, W.Va.

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