Letters to the Editor - Dec. 16

December 16, 2011

Shine blue lights to honor law enforcement

To the editor:

Law enforcement families, agencies, towns and friends of law enforcement are urged, again this year, to decorate or place blue lights in memory and respect for all law enforcement peace officers, present and those who have passed on.

By placing blue lights in a window of your home, business or police agency, you show respect and support for those officers who have made the supreme sacrifice and also honor those officers who walk the violent streets of our nation and communities.

Project Blue Light began in 1988 when Mrs. Dolly Craig wrote to Concerns of Police Survivors that she would be putting two blue lights in her living room window in memory of her daughter and her husband, Officer Daniel Gleason, EOW: June 5, 1986.  Dolly is now deceased, but her legacy lives on in millions of blue lights at Christmas.

The color blue is symbolic of peace, and by displaying your blue lights you are sending a dual message: that you support America's peacekeepers and you hope the coming year will be a year of peace, kindness and cooperation.

Karen Highbarger

Charter school reform bill needs close examination

To the editor:

Currently, the Pennsylvania General Assembly is considering House Bill 1348 on charter school reform. Our local legislators need to closely examine this bill. If this bill is passed, it will allow any school board, board of control or school reform commission to “convert” any existing public school to a charter school.

As a result, all 501 school districts in Pennsylvania could become completely run by private companies with absolutely no local control or input from the constituents who utilize the service. Instead of local tax dollars going to educate our children, those tax dollars would be used to increase company profits.

Here in the midstate, our legislators pride themselves on the ideals of the Grand Old Party — local control, accountability and competition. Yet, if they vote in support of HB 1348 they will support a bill that, in fact, forces their constituents to give up their rights to local control, cedes accountability to taxpayers and eliminates competition.

One begins to wonder if the representatives in this area are capable of adhering to their ideals. At this point, if they go along with Gov. Corbett’s proposal, they will support a new spending plan, take away accountability to taxpayers and leave their constituents to wonder what will be left of their local schools.

Erica Burg
Shippensburg, Pa.

Front license plates are helpful to police

To the editor:

This is in answer to H.A. “Hank” Hesse’s question about the necessity for a front license plate on registered motor vehicles since Pennsylvania, West Virginia and some other states don’t require one.

Picture yourself a uniformed officer pursuing a crime in progress. You are in such a position that you could read the front license plate of a suspect vehicle but not the back one and could communicate this information to others on the case. Maybe you are an undercover detective collecting information surreptitiously and you can read a front license plate without exposing yourself, but not a rear one. The question is not why Maryland requires a front license plate, but why Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states do not.

I believe the sad excuse for issuing one plate is because it is less expensive to do so. I wonder if it is less expensive when unsolved criminal cases due to lack of evidence are factored in.

Anne P. Wright

Gasoline tax increase would spell disaster for many

To the editor:

Any proposed gasoline tax increase is uncalled for and will create an unnecessary burden on the citizens of Maryland, who are already overtaxed as this state is one of the highest tax-paying states in the country. The proposed 15-cents-a-gallon tax increase will spell disaster for the citizens of this state who depend on their automobile to get to their jobs.

Any gasoline tax increase will cause only undue hardships and contribute to upcoming inflation in the State of Maryland. Such an unwise move will cause a higher unemployment rate, as well and hurt small businesses trying to survive in this bleak economy.

Under no circumstances should the gasoline tax be increased, even as much as one cent. Enough is enough already in this tax-and-spend state.

Gov. O’Malley’s reason to fix the roads and infrastructure is a very poor excuse for this proposal.

Al Eisner
Silver Spring, Md.

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