Letters to the Editor: Nov. 1

November 01, 2012

Travis Poole understands school issues

To the editor:

Of all the elections coming up next week, none is more important that the choices we make for the four open positions on the Washington County Board of Education. I have known and worked with Travis Poole for many years, and I strongly believe that he deserves your consideration and support for the Board of Education.

Travis’ outlook is fundamentally positive.  He believes that the Washington County Public Schools already deliver a first-rate education to the children of our community. The task of the school board, therefore, is not to fix a system that is broken but to make our children’s educational experiences even better in the coming years.

Travis thinks that responsibility for our children’s education lies not only with the school system, but also with the students themselves, their parents, and the community as a whole. That is why he wants our children’s educational experiences to extend beyond the classroom and to more deeply involve parents and others who can make a difference.

No one can deny that good school facilities are essential to a good education. But Travis recognizes that the quality of our teachers, educational materials, and the educational experiences they provide are more important to successful outcomes than the architectural quality of the buildings themselves.  He appreciates that our tax dollars for educational funding are not unlimited. That spending too much on brand-new bricks and mortar means that not enough will be left for teaching resources, educational materials and reasonable class sizes.

Improving reading proficiency is an important goal for our school system that all of the school board candidates share. Yet many business and professional people and other employers in the community believe that the writing abilities and verbal communication skills of our high school graduates also need significant improvement, in order to meet the heightened challenges that they will face in today’s work place. Travis is the one candidate who strongly emphasizes the need for our elected school board to make real progress to narrow this gap.

James W. Stone

President Obama cannot be trusted

To the editor:

An Obama supporter stated “Give me one good reason to vote for Romney.” The reason is simple. In his book “Dreams from My Father,” Obama describes his life as a high school student. He says that he “attended classes sparingly” and “spent the last two years of high school in a daze.” This was because he “drank beer heavily” and “tried drugs enthusiastically” including pot and cocaine. This leads to the question, how did he get into college? We are told Obama first attended Occidental College and then transferred to Columbia University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree. Both of these statements can’t be true. It is impossible to attend high school classes sparingly and be in a daze from drug use and have the GPA to be accepted to college. So he is either lying about the drug use or lying about college.

The next example is regarding a book he was promoting after graduating from Harvard law School. In 1991, Obama’s literary agent printed a booklet promoting over 80 aspiring authors. Included was a book idea by the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. A man named Barrack Obama who was “born in Kenya and raised in Indonesia and Hawaii.” Now of course we all know that Obama was born in Hawaii, so why did he lie about this when promoting his book?

The third example is from the Oct. 16 town-hall debate. He was questioned during this debate about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11 and asked why he was still stating that the cause of the attack was the anti-Islam video as late as Sept. 25, when it was known only days after the attack that it truly was a preplanned act of terror. Obama stated that he called the attack an act of terror during a rose garden briefing on Sept. 12. He did speak of acts of terror in this briefing, but only in generic terms. Several on his staff including Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Jay Carney continued to refer to the video for nearly two weeks after the attack, and Obama did so as well including during his time on “The View” on Sept. 25.

These examples are just a few of many that show Obama uses lies as needed to advance his agenda. The American public deserves better.

Gene Walkley

Give Bartlett credit for housing rebound

To the editor:

Like many states in the country, Maryland is just beginning to see a number of signs that the housing market is recovering. While there are many reasons for this, there is no denying that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett has worked tirelessly during the darkest days of the housing downturn to fight for homeowners.

He supported efforts to stimulate housing when home sales were plummeting and home values were in free fall.  Proposals like the homebuyer tax credit, increasing FHA loan limits, and the affordable housing tax credit helped many Maryland homeowners both purchase property and avoid foreclosure. He continues to support sensible underwriting rules that ensure rational lending, and is fighting hard against a federal regulation mandating 20 percent down payments for all home buyers — a proposal that would surely kill the market.

As a Realtor, I have seen first-hand the positive impact of his work, and I hope 6th District homeowners will appreciate on Nov. 6 how hard he fights for them.

Buzz Mackintosh
Frederick, Md.  

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