Voices From The Readers – March 24, 2023

Voices From The Readers – March 24, 2023

Our Children, Our Rights 


You may have read recently that the Worcester County Commissioners oppose state legislation that would, without parental consent, allow for questionable curriculum regarding social and sexual education for all grades starting with kindergarten.  This legislation is yet another effort to remove from our County local control. Further, and more egregiously, it demonstrates a perverse influence by many in the Maryland Legislature over parents on how best to rear children. Such condescension is alarming and it is wrong. Parents know what is best for their children. And, elected Boards of Education know what is best for their communities.

Our county should not be victimized by state legislators who espouse dependency on the state over self-reliance of the family and who celebrate, promulgate and legislate wrong-headed ideas about how best to educate our children.

Education priorities should not obsess over whether little Johnny and little Janie are white or black or Asian or Hispanic or all of the above. They should not focus on making them feel guilty about being white or black or Asian or Hispanic or all of the above. Nor should they concentrate on or encourage how little Johnny and little Janie identifies him or herself.

Such thinking may be fashionable in the high couture circles of self-righteous state legislators but I prefer my fashion off the rack, not off the wall.

Education priorities should ensure that little Johnny and little Janie are respectful, tolerant, productive, successful, disciplined, confident individuals, equipped to take on the challenges of their generation and of future generations.

Worcester County taxpayers pay more than taxpayers in any other state jurisdiction to educate each child in the public school system, close to $20,000 per student. County taxpayers fund about 84% of the Worcester County school system budget. For generations, County government has prioritized education, accepting its obligation to provide students with an optimum learning experience. It will continue to do so.

However, we are not obligated to suffer gladly the interference of misguided Annapolis legislators who, by their actions and comments, pander to a far-fetched ideology that mocks loving parents who want instilled in their children the values of family, community and decency.  When you read about state efforts to hijack the prerogatives of our local school board, when you believe parental and taxpayers rights are being suffocated, raise your voices in discontent, write our state delegation, and, if you are a parent, remain engaged in your child’s education. Because if you don’t, who will?

As a community, as a society, we have no greater responsibility than to teach our children well.

Chip Bertino

Ocean Pines

(The writer is the president of the Worcester County Commissioners.)


Defending A Charade


Given Mr. Taylor’s kind offer for information, I will start with a couple requests intended to publicly confirm what I was given by Mr. Andes in 2012 regarding the county. What was the cost per student in 1970? What percent of students were accepted at four-year colleges in 1970? What is the cost per student today and what percent of graduating seniors are accepted at four-year colleges today? Mr. Andes had given me the costs, and I had calculated a 300% increase per student after inflation, why? And the percent of acceptances to four-year colleges had gown down, why? The reason I don’t use standardized tests like SAT’s, is because National Education Administration (NEA) has been complicit in “dumbing these down,” three times last century and once after 2000.

I prefer the international PISA test in which we have failed in every category except expense.

The startling statistics you refer to have been getting worse despite your inappropriate “health education” that you say “has been a hallmark of education for decades”. Don’t you think the decline of morals and family values are directly correlated to your “age-appropriate information on sexual health”?

Mr. Taylor please don’t straddle the fence between Wokeness and Christian values by misusing good Judeo-Christian words. “Equity” and “inclusion” lead to privilege. They are all Woke terms that are destroying our traditional beliefs. While “empathy” is a good Judeo-Christian concept, please don’t throw them all in the same salad.

I am a product of the public school system in Fairfax County, Va., a similar system to Worcester County. Both were and are in the upper quintile for expenditures per child in the nation.

In fourth grade I had a tremendous teacher, Mrs. Moore. When I was dozing during class, Mrs. Moore would sneak up and snap her yard stick on the back of my desk chair. In fourth grade I could not read, and Mrs. Moore had a special class for me. Mrs. Moore took her time to put me in detention at least once a week. I used to stay afterschool and write something on the blackboard 100 times that started with “I will not . . .”. One day I struck out at kickball and said softly “shit.” Well Mrs. Moore heard me and grabbed me by the earlobe and dragged me to the principal’s office where there was a bathroom, saying along the way. “I am going to wash that filthy little mouth out.” And boy did she. When she stuck the bar of soap in my mouth and held it with her hand, I thought I couldn’t breathe. I thought I would die. All the time pulling on my earlobe to keep control. Mrs. Moore was a great teacher.

Later I had Ms. Spindle, my ninth grade English teacher, who was mortified every time I tried to write in the English language. My papers always looked like a red ink battlefield. She would make me write and rewrite over and over again. I was blessed with good teachers in High School, Colonel Mare in Government, Mr. Gerhardt in Mathematics and Admiral Tackney, our substitute in Physics, who said he had something to do with the design of the Bay Bridge. In High School I was president of my class and graduated with eight Varsity letters.

During the Vietnam error, I attended William and Mary, left my senior year and was drafted, flunked my physical. I later went to work as a narcotics officer for Lee Ward in Ocean City and was subsequently deputized in the county working with Ed Horner and Frank Mazzone, in Baltimore. But I wasn’t quite through with school and teachers.

I returned to school at nights at George Mason University in Northern Virginia at age 28, working during the day and paying my own way. I had studied psychology and social sciences at William and Mary. I studied economics at GMU. I was blessed with some great teachers, Howard Block, from Princeton and the department head Dr. Snavely; as well as renowned. adjunct professors who were in the Reagan Administration, Steve Entin, Paul Craig Roberts and Arthur Laffer, and finally Tulloch and Buchannan in the PHD program. All my teachers based on merit had very significant impacts on my life. Today’s teachers have strayed from reading, writing math and history and started to take over family responsibilities to the detriment of the family and worsening the social decline.

I would strongly recommend that the school system workforce, the teachers, be hired solely on merit and not be “a reflection of the students it serves”. The teachers should be models for the students period, like Mrs. Moore was for me. Further I would recommend that all teachers be offered merit pay based solely on their academic performance, and that guidance counselors and administrators be told to either teach or get a different job. Please return the responsibility of teaching and control to the classroom teacher.

Also, a word to the Commissioners tell the state thanks but no thanks, keep your money and get out of our education. The productivity and savings will be huge.

Tony Christ


Wind Farm Letter Response


As a lifelong shore resident with family ties to the eastern shore for the last 300 years, I understand the importance of preserving the natural beauty of Ocean City. However, I must refute the letter by Dinah Warfield misconstruing offshore wind and its impact,

It is important to note that Off-Shore Wind energy is a crucial component of transitioning towards a cleaner, more sustainable energy system that can help mitigate the effects of climate change. It will also bring many good paying jobs and industry back to our region.

When it comes to affecting the view wind turbines will not be a major impact on the viewshed of Ocean City. Even on the clearest days, the turbines will appear as the size of a thumbnail off in the distance. meaning 99% of people will never be able to see these turbines.

When it comes to damaging the view of Ocean City, other man-made structures such as banner planes, advertising boats, high-rise buildings, and power lines are already present in the area. In comparison, wind turbines are relatively unobtrusive and are designed to blend in with the natural surroundings.

Regarding the issue of whale deaths, it is important to note that there is currently no conclusive evidence linking them to offshore wind turbines. Many studies have shown that wind turbines do not pose a significant threat to marine life and are in fact less harmful than traditional fossil fuel sources.

Open communication and public discourse are essential for any large-scale project such as the proposed wind turbine farms. However, it is important to note that changes to the project plan may be necessary to accommodate new information and research findings. These changes should not necessarily be viewed as broken promises, but rather as an indication that the project is being developed in a responsible and adaptive manner.

While I respect the concerns raised by the property owner in Ocean City, I believe that the benefits of clean, renewable wind energy outweigh the potential drawbacks. We must take a long-term view and prioritize the health of our planet over short-term concerns based on misleading information and unfounded fear. By working together and engaging in open communication, we can ensure that the proposed wind turbine farms are developed in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Jared Schablein


(The writer is the chair of Lower Shore Progressive Caucus.)