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Overturn the veto
Capital - 6/27/2020
Overturn the veto
Maryland was one of the first states to pass a bill banning the pesticide chlorpyrifos. After almost 20 years of assessment, scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared chlorpyrifos is unsafe at any detectable level.
The brain-harming pesticide is linked to autism, learning disabilities, and cancer. Chlorpyrifos is also toxic to birds, interferes with their migration, and threatens endangered and at-risk species. The EPA proposed to ban it in 2015, but this decision was overturned by the current administration just weeks after taking office.
After three sessions of the Maryland General Assembly trying to enact this needed protection, the state chlorpyrifos ban passed both the House of Delegates and the Senate by a wide margin in the 2020 session. Much to everyone's surprise, Gov. Larry Hogan vetoed the ban, claiming recent regulations enacted by the Maryland Department of Agriculture made the legislation superfluous.
However, a regulation without a law behind it does not provide the certainty of law. Regulations can be changed by the MDA at any time, or with a change of administration. Given that MDA has historically opposed banning this toxic chemical, we need the assurance of law. Only a law can make the ban permanent.
We hope Maryland's residents will join us in supporting an override of the governor's veto, whether this occurs at a special session of the General Assembly or with the 2021 session.
Anne Arundel Bird Club
KURT R. SCHWARZ
Howard County Bird Club
Maryland Ornithological Society
Bay Bridge traffic
It is great to hear that the state is considering time-of-day tolling to reduce congestion on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
Here is another idea: Encourage Ocean City rentals to shift from Saturday to Saturday to "any day" weekly rentals. Today, most rentals in Ocean City have checkout Saturday at 10 a.m. and check-in Saturday at 3 p.m. This puts thousands of cars on the roads on Saturday.
If weekly rentals started on one of the other six days per week, we would spread the traffic across seven days and we could reduce traffic to one-seventh of the volume today. Of course, this will likely lead to lost rental income due to days not rented in between weekly rentals (i.e., Sat-to Sat followed by a Tue-Tue week leaves three days not rented).
To encourage "any day" weekly rentals the state could offer a property or income tax credit equal to the lost income. Of course, well thought out rules will be needed like only days not rented in between two full weeks rented would qualify for a credit. The tax credit could be justified based on reduce bridge and road capacity, reduced emissions, and convenience for motorist.
This idea could be implemented for 2021, have an immediate impact on congestion, and help to defer bridge and road construction for many years.
for NFL players
America is not all bad. To disrespect the flag by not standing during the National Anthem gives the impression that one believes America is all bad and has no redeeming value.
That said, yes, there are social issues that need to be addressed.
Those players who wish to make a statement about these issues could, if they wish, kneel for a moment before the Anthem is played to show support for those issues. The TV cameras would be there to record their actions.
When the Anthem is played they could stand to show support for that part of America which is good.
This would make clear that the players see issues that need to be addressed but that they can honor America for that part which is good and for the blessings America has brought to all of us.
To force the players to remain in the locker room while the Anthem is played leaves a bad taste and gives the impression that team owners see no redeeming value in America and that they have little regard for the social issues that need to be addressed.
I believe this suggested procedure would bring honor to America and at the same time allow the players to exercise their right to redress their issues.
THOMAS J. WHELAN
Editor's Note: Thomas J. Whelan's father was Tom Whelan, a professional football player who spent three years in the American Professional Football Association, the forerunner to the National Football League.
I have served Anne Arundel County Schools as a teacher, principal and school board member for almost 50 years. This January, I was asked to serve as the temporary principal at Fort Smallwood Elementary. I was excited to have this opportunity to be with students again. However, this proved to be the most challenging time of my entire career in education.
The purpose of this letter is to highly commend Dr. George Arlotto and his amazing staff for all that they did to help school communities transition to e-learning in such a short period of time. I know that the transition was not perfect and many families faced challenges with this new learning model. However, Arlotto and his team provided the guidance and resources to help school leaders address the myriad of challenges. The teachers were truly unbelievable as they virtually worked with students and families. I enjoyed the virtual sessions and interacting with staff during this time. The parents and teachers teamed to provide an education to their children. IEP meetings for special needs students were conducted virtually with staff and parents interacting to plan for student needs.
I know that this new learning model was not perfect. Nothing takes the place of student and teacher interactions. The value of social and emotional interactions at school is certainly important.
However, this pandemic made us rethink education.
It is commendable that Arlotto and his team have developed a parent survey to ascertain the opinions of parents and guardians regarding reopening schools. I hope our school community will take the time to thoughtfully complete this survey.
Many school systems did not have the expertise or ability to make this transition successfully.
I was able to witness firsthand how well Arlotto and his team helped Anne Arundel County Public Schools make this quick and radical transformation.
The residents of Anne Arundel County are very fortunate to have Dr. Arlotto and his team.
Editor's Note: Patricia Nalley was a teacher for 31 years and served on the Board of Education from 2007 to 2017.