NEW COURTHOUSE IS WORTH BUILDING

THE BALTIMORE SUN

From: James P. Nolan

President, Anne Arundel Bar Association

Now that the office of county executive has officially changed hands, residents of Anne Arundel County are anxious to see what leadership Bob Neall will bring as county executive. As president of the Anne Arundel Bar Association, there is a major project which I hope will come to fruition --the construction of the new Calvert Street Courthouse.

In October, the board of trustees of the Bar Association was presented with theconcept of the Calvert Street Courthouse by County Attorney Stephen Beard. After the presentation by Mr. Beard, it was clear to all of usthat a great deal of careful and precise planning has gone into thisproject under the guiding hands of former County Executive O. James Lighthizer, Mr. Beard, and many other individuals who have played contributing roles.

We see the proposed Calvert Street Courthouse as the solution to many of the problems that now plague the current Circuit Courthouse on Church Circle. The proposed building would be constructed on Calvert Street at the Whitmore Parking Garage, totaling 66,400 square feet, housing 12 larger, "state-of-the-art" courtrooms. The courthouse would be much more accessible to the public because it would be connected to the parking garage. According to the plan, the clerk's office and all court services would be located in the current Arundel Center. The two buildings would be connected by an underground pedestrian tunnel.

The bottom line of this exciting project is taxpayer savings. The former plan called for the renovation of the current Circuit Courthouse on Church Circle with an addition, costing approximately $32.1 million. The new plan for Calvert Street is estimated at $23.3 million, saving taxpayers $8.8 million.

Any citizen who has had reason to visit the current courthouse knows that the facility, though it served us well, is now extremely outdated. From an efficiency point of view, the building simply does not have enough space or facilities to permit the performance of court duties adequately.The public and courthouse employees need and deserve updated and efficient facilities.

At the October meeting of the board of trusteesof the Anne Arundel Bar Association, a resolution was unanimously passed supporting the proposed Calvert Street Courthouse project. Previously, by a unanimous vote, the judges of the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County took the same action. Our association of 650 attorneys from throughout Anne Arundel County applaud the efforts of former County Executive O. James Lighthizer, County Attorney Stephen Beard and the many other individuals who have come together to develop this innovative concept for a new courthouse. We feel that this necessary project will greatly benefit the citizens of Anne Arundel County by enhancing the legal system as a whole. It will also provide a point of pride for all Anne Arundel County residents. We urge Mr. Neall and the Anne Arundel County Council to make it a reality without further delay.

IN SCHOOLS, NO MORE BUSINESS AS USUAL

From: Lewis F. Holmes

Glen Burnie

The question of paying custodians for community programs has highlighted the problems we have with a school administration gone astray. I have been dedicated to youth programs in this county. I know in order to do good things you have to be fiscally responsible. For the schools to saddle community recreation programswith paying custodians $30 an hour to maintain their programs for the children borders on ridiculous. If school administrators are on site, nobody from custodial services is needed. This alone states the need for local communities to wrest control of our schools away from a cockeyed administration on Riva Road.

There should be a network ofcommunity people given the latchkey responsibility for securing the schools. Also, the volunteers running the youth programs should cleanup after themselves, and when a group of kids are running up and down a basketball floor they don't need a lot of heat. They generate their own. I know if you ask the average taxpayer whether they agree with paying a custodian $30 (an hour), I know what they would tell you.

The people of Anne Arundel County should wake up and appeal to their elected leaders to change our way of doing business in Anne Arundel County. Test scores of our students proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that we have a problem. We don't have enough community input for our schools to be successful. I believe that fiscally responsible regional smaller school boards would be the answer.

SPAN SEES THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS FULFILLED

From: Barbara Bikenheuer

Director, Severna Park Assistance Network

On behalf of the Severna Park Assistance Network, its board, its volunteers and its clients, I wouldlike to take this opportunity to say thank you to all those people who so generously supported SPAN this past year and particularly during this holiday season.

Although I have been reading many articles that have said giving has been down this year, we a SPAN have found just the opposite to be true.

The outpouring of food, toys and monetary donations from our neighbors in and around the Severna Park community was overwhelming. Organizations and businesses called to sponsor individual families for Christmas. Private citizens came to our door with bags of food, boxes of toys and monetary donations so that we were able to supply Christmas baskets to the needy in our area.

The true meaning of Christmas was surely evident in those final days before Christmas arrived. The concern on the part of our donors for those less fortunate was heartwarming and moved many of us involved at SPAN to tears. As our clients received their baskets of "goodies," they too were moved and expressed their deepest appreciation to all of you. Some of their children may not have had a Christmas at all if it had not been for your generosity.

We wish for each of you a New Year filled with God's richest blessings and we hope that your holiday was made more joyous knowing that you helped make someone else's holiday possible.

GROUP MAKES A PLEA FOR PLEAS TO HUSSEIN

From: Jean Tate

Chesapeake Woman's Club

The Chesapeake Woman's Club of Pasadena met on Dec. 27, 1990, to approve and encourage participation in the writing of individual letters to Saddam Hussein urging him to abide by the U.N. resolutions to end the conflict in the Middle East. We are participating along with more than 8,500 GFWC memberclubs in a massive letter-writing campaign led by the national organization.

The campaign, known as the (General Federation of Women'sClubs) GFWC International Petition from Women and Children, had its kickoff in Washington at a press conference on Dec. 20. In her opening statement at the conference, GFWC International president Phyllis Dudenhoffer said, "We hope to achieve with letters and persuasion whatguns and threats have thus far failed to do. Many women's groups have joined GFWC in the effort, and more are signing daily."

"It is GFWC's belief that a letter campaign that allows people to deal with the frustrations they are feeling has a good chance of being successful." "We hope that the power of our plea, derived from millions of letters from women and children around the world, will translate into millions of unused body bags."

GFWC is the world's oldest and largest non-denominational, non-partisan women's volunteer service organization. It has more than 8,500 clubs and approximately 350,000 members active in communities across the USA and 10 million members world wide in more than 40 countries.

The 13-year-old Chesapeake Woman's Club with 40 members is seeking to enlist the aid of area churches and clubs in this letter writing campaign.

The members of the Chesapeake Woman's Club of Pasadena urge all concerned citizens of Anne Arundel County to write Saddam Hussein and urge him to abide by the U.N. resolution on ending the conflict in the Middle East. The following sample letter may be used but feel free to put it in your own words:

H.E. President Saddam Hussein

Box 400 JAF Building

New York, NY 10116-0400

Dear President Saddam Hussein,

Please grant this appeal from the women and children of the world. You have in your hands the power to save us from grief and despair. I urge you to accede to the United Nations resolutions on ending the Mideast conflict. Then, more importantly, join with the United Nations and lead us into worldwidedisarmament.

Respectfully,

(your name)

Thank you for participating in this endeavor.

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