For Rodvien

I got to know Lisa Rodvien while helping bring musical theater to our middle school. Her breadth of experience, tenacity and ability to work with others to create solutions and motivate excellence in others is impressive.

I came late to politics. I voted. I’d research candidates’ websites. But I assumed elected representatives did the right thing for the community. I stayed in my little bubble of ignorance.

That bubble burst when I realized that Anne Arundel County teachers were working to rule due to draconian budgeting. I started attending Board of Education meetings. I kept running into Lisa.

More often than not, she’d stay past general testimony to speak on many issues in support of our students. She had been doing this all along, advocating for many policies necessary and beneficial to county students, like keeping an important bus route.

If there is anything flawed in the way our Circuit Court judges are approved, it’s the requirement of having to be on a ballot to be retained for the next 15 years.


Severna Park

Peroutka’s record

For the fourth year of Michael Peroutka’s term on the County Council, he has failed to support the county budget, initially proposed by our county executive and ultimately approved by the County Council.

His vote against the budget is not surprising and is not the basis for this letter. He has a consistent history of claiming constitutional violations as a motivating factor in not approving a single county budget in the four years he has served. We could argue his constitutional interpretations here, but, again, that is not the reason for this letter.

If contents of the budget were unconstitutional in his opinion, I could respect that. Though I may not agree, I try to respect.

The issue I take with our councilman is the attempt to deceive voters in an election year about what he has said, and what he has actually done.

Mr. Peroutka has sent multiple mailers to his voters in recent weeks. He claims to support property tax cuts, income tax cuts, school resource officers, bike paths, school safety additions and increased spending on school infrastructure. The problem with his statements is that all of these cost money or are included in the annual county budget.

Mr. Peroutka has never voted for the county budget.

Words are meaningless if they aren’t supported by actions. Voters need to be aware that everything Mr. Peroutka claims to support is a contradiction of his voting record. Does he assume voters will not do their research? Shameful. We can do better.



Editor’s note: The writer is a Republican candidate for County Council in District 5.

For Axe

It’s the year of the woman in politics. Yet, as a woman, I intend to vote for a man. In some races I’m still undecided, but one race where I have no doubt is for delegate in District 30A. I’ll be voting for Aron Axe.

I’ve been asked by multiple women why I’d campaign and vote for a man this year. I fully support women feeling empowered to run for office. I also believe we need more diversity in politics — diversity of thought, race, age, gender, sexuality.

However, I do not support voting for diversity for the sake of diversity. Every person I vote for must earn my vote. I will never vote for a woman just because we’re both women.

The year of the woman is not only about empowering more women to run for office; it’s about empowering all women to cast informed votes and influence the election of qualified individuals to represent us.

Why will I vote for Aron? I agree with his views: building our community, protecting the environment, creating affordable health care, supporting public schools. But what impresses me most is how he leads. Aron intentionally surrounds himself with people who have a variety of knowledge, experiences and ideas. At our weekly meetings, everyone provides their perspective. Aron listens, then makes decisions.

Based on how I’ve seen Aron lead our team, I agree with Speaker Michael E. Busch that Aron would be a “great asset to the Maryland General Assembly.”



Sheriff’s race

Regarding the column by Miya Hunter-Willis discussing our sheriff’s race (The Sunday Capital, June 10):

Her concern that candidate Damon Ostis would somehow not be interested enough to “dedicate” himself to the work of the Sheriff’s Office because he is a highly decorated retired Homeland Security special agent is absolutely wrong.

I have known Damon for over 17 of the 20 years he has lived in our county. He has coached and mentored my son and countless other youths, assisted in both local and national missions work and is a long-standing community leader. Anything I have ever seen Damon pursue, he has done so with excellence.

Damon doesn’t need this job. He has applied to the voters because he wants this job, as it has always been his calling to serve. There is a huge difference, which Hunter-Willis, unfortunately, missed. Damon lives and breathes safety and concern for others.

Even when he was visiting my church one Sunday morning, he had me move my seat so I was in a safer place in case of an emergency. My son can call Damon anytime for any reason, and I know he will drop what he was doing and be there for him. He’s a candidate who will keep our children safe.

Hunter-Willis’ comment has done Damon and the voters a disservice. I encourage all who read this to consider supporting Damon in his effort to become the next sheriff of Anne Arundel County.



Cain, education

The only thing in Valerie Pringle’s letter to the editor on Alice Cain (The Capital, June 8) I agree with is that actions do speak louder than words.

Cain is a proven champion for public education. Her actions over her 30-year career show someone dedicated to improving public education for all students, with a focus on those most in need. To find any basis to suggest otherwise reflects cherry-picking the facts to paint a false narrative — exactly what many of us hate about politics.

To suggest that Cain somehow supports a right-wing education agenda is laughable. She worked for decades for Democratic icons and public education champions like Marian Wright Edelman, George Miller and Paul Simon. She currently leads a nonprofit organization that partners with public school teachers in high-poverty schools to improve results for students.

On the Annapolis Education Commission, Cain has been a strong advocate for our local public schools, testifying multiple times before the school board, City Council and County Council.

This kind of misrepresentation is not just unfair to Cain. It is unfair to us all as we sort through the information presented to us and decide for whom to vote.

Alice Cain’s commitment to public education is clear, as is her overall competence, poise and civility. I trust her to represent me on the many issues that come before the House of Delegates and will vote for her.



Unfair exclusion

Working as an election official this year, I see how early voting has allowed Maryland voters to cast their primary election votes in a low-key, less crowded manner. In the nonpartisan election for Anne Arundel County school board for Districts 1, 4, 5 and 7, all voters may cast their ballots this year, including the more than 21.6 percent of county voters who are unaffiliated with one of the two leading parties.

On the negative side, I was appalled to realize that these same voters are completely prohibited from voting in a highly significant nonpartisan election: the election in which Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judge Mark Crooks seeks to maintain his appointment. Fortunately, I was able to re-register with a party in time to participate in this primary and vote to retain Judge Crooks.

Given that well over 80,000 of our county voters are neither Democrats nor Republicans, it is disturbing that this election could easily be determined in a primary election in which so many are excluded from participating.

If Circuit Court judges are going to be subject to facing retention elections, then such elections should truly be nonpartisan and all voters must be permitted to cast their ballots in the primaries.



Raps Gilleland

When Broadneck Park was being developed, Terry Gilleland was in the House of Delegates and he tried to stop it.

He was using a local Republican Party issue to try and embarrass the Democrats in power at the time. Why did he think a Linthicum and Glen Burnie delegate should be the hatchetman for party politics in Broadneck?

It is the same self-serving reason he thinks he should be on the Board of Education. He has a job in a peripheral education field and he is looking to scratch out assistance for his own personal gain by pursuing political office. This was his reasoning for trying to block a public park in an area 20 miles outside his area of representation then; he is a political stooge now.

Find somebody who cares about your children and not somebody gaming the system for himself.



Holt’s lessons

I have been following the District 30 state Senate race with interest and was surprised to read about Chrissy Holt talking about the lessons learned in 2016.

One can only assume she was referring to the bitterly contested primary race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. It is disappointing to hear a candidate for local office attempt to use past party divisions as a ploy to gain political advantage.

We did indeed learn a lesson in 2016: When Democrats don’t vote, Republicans like Donald Trump and Larry Hogan win. What I’d like Mrs. Holt to explain is why she chose not to vote in the 2014 general election, the 2016 primary and general 2016 general elections and the 2017 primary election. All of this information is publicly available through the Board of Elections.

Lessons indeed.



… urge the members of the Legislature to conclude such a bargain … ;s high court ruling. The Legislature had anticipated the possibility during … commission — roundly ignored by the Legislature — is an overhaul of the … of its collection. If the Legislature can do that over the …

Osei Kokote is the son of a Ghanaian diplomat, and has just arrived at his fourth school in six years. He’s also the only black boy in the suburban Washington DC school. The difficult first day is made easier by Osei becoming friends with Dee, the most popular girl in the school. But one of their fellow 11-year-olds, Ian, can’t stand to see this inter-racial friendship blossom and sets out to destroy it. One of Vintage’s ongoing reimaginings of Shakespeare, New Boy riffs off Othello, setting it on a single day in the 1970s and making Ian the Iago of the piece. It doesn’t settle as well into its new form as some of the previous Shakespeare-inspired books in the series have. Chevalier conveys well the plight of being an outsider, but the children often speak and rationalise like adults, which can be distracting. Maybe the themes of Othello are too heavy a burden for such young characters.


Jon Sopel (BBC, £9.99)

As the BBC’s North America Editor, Jon Sopel thought he knew the United States. Until the 2016 Presidential campaign, that is, when the USA began to feel new and strange to him. One major problem Sopel feels that the British have with Americans is that our shared language makes them seem more like us than they actually are. If the USA spoke Japanese or Urdu, it would be easier for us to grasp that America has been shaped by its own unique history and accept the vast differences. He tries to get his head around it in chapters with titles like “Anger”, “Race”, “God”, “Guns” and “Chaos”, but whatever the subject all roads lead back to Trump eventually. Sopel is reasonably engaging and informative, but there’s little here that an afternoon’s Googling wouldn’t cover in greater depth, and it’s hard to escape the feeling that there’s a funnier and more penetrating book inside it trying to break out.


Weike Wang (Text Publishing, £8.99)

The unnamed narrator of this novel is a Chemistry post-grad whose boyfriend has just proposed. He’s confident she’ll accept, but something is making her hesitate. While her boyfriend sails a smooth, straight path through life, she is more “like a gas particle moving around in space”. Under constant pressure from her hard-working Chinese parents to achieve excellence at all times, she feels inadequate, suspects she’s lost her passion for her subject and can see her standards slipping. Dramatically, she drops everything to spend the next couple of years applying her scientific brain to the subject of the human heart in a bid to understand what she really wants from life. Harvard graduate Wang, besides being scientifically literate, is quirky and wryly funny, sketching out every scene with only as many words as are needed; and the themes of indecision, underachievement and basing one’s self-worth on one’s career will strike a chord with many readers, not just the younger ones.