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February 14, 2006

Random Thoughts in No Particular Order

John P. Snyder

My beloved Pittsburgh Steelers have won the Super Bowl, and to me, all is right with the world; except, of course, for a few minor irritations and annoyances.

Here is a quick review.


Last week the Department of Labor released its monthly employment statistics which showed the unemployment rate dipped to 4.8%, and that in January the economy added 180,000 new jobs, mostly in the construction and medical fields.

They also readjusted upwards November and December hirings. Good news, right? Well, yes and no, according to Mt. St. Mary's Economics professor Frank Zarnowski. WFMD, for some reason, includes his reaction to their newscasts when the report comes out. The good professor lamented the slower rise of real income than he expected. He was fond of predicting a "jobless recovery" not long ago. The economy is humming right along, despite what naywayers have to say.


I have had a few conversations with newly-minted residents of the Villages of Urbana. They all complain about the traffic jams that occur each day. Most point out that they have lived there "a year and a half," well before the new arrivals have shown up. This seniority does not make them responsible for traffic problems, according to them. Now they are upset because Allegheny Power is putting up overhead power lines in their area.

In a few years there will be 17,000 residents of Urbana. What new methods of delivering power were they expecting?


In Georgia, Gov. Sonny Purdue signed legislation that requires a driver's license or a state provided picture ID in order to vote. Predictably, Georgia Democrats were incensed, calling it a heavy burden on the poor, the elderly and the disenfranchised. Not to mention the dead, who routinely vote Democrat in Georgia and elsewhere. Comparisons to poll taxes, Jim Crow laws and lynchings were thrown out, but to no avail.

Similar legislation is being offered in other states, including Pennsylvania. The screaming and yelling from nervous Democrats will continue. Can you imagine the response if that was introduced in Maryland? You could hear the whining in Annapolis all the way to Frostburg.


While the incumbent, State Del. Galen R. Clagett (D., 3-A), was either fetching Speaker of the House Michael Busch (D., Anne Arundel) slippers and pipe, or drawing Rep. Kumar Barve (D., Montgomery) bathwater, former school board president Linda Naylor, who has announced her candidacy for the House of Delegates, was out knocking on doors and introducing herself to the electorate. Linda is focused and resolute, but most of all inline with the values of District 3-A voters. I don't think anyone is going to out work her this election season.


My twin sons, who go to Governor Thomas Johnson High, have always marveled at the array of students that wander the halls at the county's largest school. They have learned at an early age that it takes all kinds to make the world go around. They shrugged when one of their classmates was caught counterfeiting $10 bills. There weren't surprised that members of the Young Socialists Club tried to bar military recruiters from campus. To them, when 2,400 teenagers gather in one place everyday, anything is liable to happen.

That's why they enjoy TJ so much.


The new name for the new mid-county high school is Oakdale High. I believe it was the name of Archie, Veronica and Jughead's high school in the comics.

Why not honor a great American by bestowing his name on the new facility?

Ronald Reagan High School sounds terrific. How about it, school board?

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