Empower Our Students To Understand, Engage
I am writing to express my unwavering support for intellectual freedom, the right to access diverse educational materials, and a staunch opposition to any efforts that limit the exploration of ideas. As a concerned community member and parent of children in the WCPS system, I believe our educational institutions must foster an environment that encourages critical thinking, open discourse and the free exchange of ideas.
Recent developments have brought to light concerns about initiatives such as Moms for Liberty, patriot education, and instances of book removal from our libraries, which threaten the principles upon which our educational system stands. We must safeguard the fundamental right of students to explore a wide range of perspectives, even those that may be deemed controversial or challenging.
We must equip our students with the skills necessary to navigate a complex and diverse world. By embracing a curriculum that reflects a variety of viewpoints, we empower students to think critically, form their own opinions, and engage in meaningful discussions that contribute to their intellectual growth.
I urge the Board of Education to stand firm in its commitment to intellectual freedom, ensuring our schools remain bastions of knowledge and enlightenment. Let us collectively reject all attempts to stifle this freedom, understanding that a well-rounded education is firmly built on exposure to a broad spectrum of ideas.
We must actively champion the values of tolerance, diversity, and intellectual curiosity. By doing so, we not only enrich the educational experience for our students but also uphold the principles that form the bedrock of a democratic and enlightened society.
Furthermore, a person holding a position on the school board without having children in the school system raises concerns about potential ulterior motives and should prompt a critical examination of the true intentions. It is imperative to question what drives their interest in shaping educational policies and decisions, as the absence of a personal connection to the schools may lead one to wonder whether their motives align with the genuine welfare and development of the students, or if there exists an alternative agenda that warrants scrutiny.
Praise For Letter Writers
Bravo to Jan Adamchak and M Scott Chismar for their letters to the editor in the Dec.15, 2023 issue.
It seems to me that people who try to control others do this because their own life is out of control.
Live and let live. Stop the hate.
Concerns Raised Over Power Plant Closure
I’m sure glad I don’t have to rely on the mainstream media for all my news. I recently learned through other media that the Brandon Shores coal fired power plant outside of Baltimore is scheduled to shut down and close in 2025. I guess that wouldn’t be a problem if the needed improvements to the power grid were going to be completed by then. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
The power grid operator — PJM Interconnection – which coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in all or parts of 13 states and District of Columbia, serving 65 million customers – said the shutdown of the Brandon Shores plant will disrupt the reliability of the region’s grid, as the grid operator would need to divert electricity generated elsewhere, but transmission upgrades in Maryland aren’t expected to be finished until 2028. That “region” includes Baltimore and the immediate surrounding areas. How long before it affects the rest of the state? Asking for a friend.
The decision to close Brandon Shores and two other plants was the result of a 2020 agreement between the plant operator, Talen Energy, and the Sierra Club, which aims to avoid future litigation or permit disputes related to coal at Talen’s “transitioning sites”. Hmmm – do what we want and we won’t sue.
Both PJM and Talen have confirmed they are currently engaged in negotiation with the Sierra Club and Maryland state officials to find a solution. “We are always mindful of regional electric system reliability and how it relates to electricity consumers in Maryland”, said Maryland Public Service Commission spokesperson Tori Leonard in a statement. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is now involved and has greenlighted PJM’s nearly 800-million-dollar emergency plan for transmission upgrades to blunt the Brandon Shores closures. The FERC Commissioner said on Nov. 8 the shutdown could cause “severe voltage collapse in Baltimore and the surrounding zones, including Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania,” adding such a scenario would be “potentially catastrophic”.
I think this might be a good time to write to Governor Moore and Senators Cardin and Van Hollen to voice our concerns. We should also let our Congressional representatives and state senators and delegates know about any concerns we have.
Biden Supporting A Scam
Buyer Beware. As if the OC offshore wind turbines were not enough energy assault on us Worcester County citizens, here comes Sunnova Energy Solar panels, the Chinese tech solar scam who preys on the lower income class and elderly. As explained on Fox News, and falsely pushed as a great investment on propagandist CNN, for $60,000+ one can own a cheaply made solar roof for his mobile home, run by the CEO and former Enron official, John Berger. Sunnova is given an “F grade” by the Better Business Bureau for deceptive sales practices, preying on the vulnerable and product unreliability.
But, this is a scam widely approved by President Joe Biden who awarded Sunnova a $3B federal government deal to push his green (not green at all) energy. When one’s electric bill is $45/month, for an extra $176/month over a contracted 25 years, he can partake in this solar scam, while Sunnova scoops up the tax credit. Who cares when the elderly, on a fixed income, lose their retirement savings? Biden’s clean & green energy is hard (hardly) at work for the better of our environment.
These scams need to end promptly. They’re sick, don’t work and suck tax dollars in the wrong direction. Say no to cheap solar energy scams. And say a loud “no” to offshore wind turbines, too. They’re all a scam.
Small Business Success Critical
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) recently launched The Season of Small Business, a campaign designed to encourage shopping at small businesses throughout the holiday season. All sources reported another successful Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25) in the books, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The holiday season, as a whole, is essential to the success of local, independently owned small businesses that rely on increased consumer spending to achieve their annual revenue goals.
Small businesses are a crucial part of local economies and communities. In Maryland, there are over 634,000 small businesses that account for 99.5% of all businesses in the state and employ roughly half of the state’s workforce. To put this in perspective, for every $100 you spend at a locally owned small business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy. We all win big when we shop local & shop small.
‘Tis the season to be thankful and enjoy quality time and precious moments with family and friends. It’s also an excellent opportunity to show appreciation for locally owned small businesses who add so much to our communities and support them by shopping and dining “small” throughout the holiday season and into the new year.
For more information about the SBA’s Season of Small Business campaign, visit www.sba.gov/SeasonOfSmallBusiness. If you’re an entrepreneur, the SBA has programs that can help you start and grow your small business, including access to capital, free one-on-one counseling, free or low-cost training, and government contracting assistance. Learn more at sba.gov.
Best wishes for joyous and healthy holidays.
Stephen D. Umberger
(The writer is the district director of SBA Baltimore.)