ROCK CREEK WRONG NEEDS TO BE RIGHTED

THE BALTIMORE SUN

FROM: DARLENE SCHEPLENG

PASADENA

AS A PART OF OUR NORTH COUNTY CREEK COMMISSION ACTIVITIES, LINDA DOOLEY AND

I BACK IN 1985 WERE INSPECTING THE CONSTRUCTION OF RAYNOR BOULEVARD. WE

DISCOVERED AN AREA OF OUR WOODS THAT WAS COMPLETELY COVERED WITH SAND. WE

SOUGHT TO FIND THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM.

WE DISCOVERED A STREAM, IN EXCESS OF 1,000 FEET IN LENGTH, WHICH WAS TOTALLY

BURIED UNDER THOUSANDS OF TONS OF SAND. THE CAUSE WAS A BLOW-OUT OF AN ENTIRE

HILLSIDE FROM A STORM DRAIN ON A CONSTRUCTION SITE. AN AVALANCHE OF SAND

DESTROYED THE STREAM AND IN PLACES ONLY TREE TOPS WERE SHOWING.

WE NOTIFIED THE COUNTY INSPECTOR. SOON WORKERS WITH SHOVELS ANDWHEELBARROWS

WERE REMOVING A PORTION OF THE SAND. FOR SIX YEARS WE HAVE CONTENDED THE JOB

MUST BE FINISHED, MANUALLY REMOVING THE DEPOSITS, AT THE DEVELOPER'S EXPENSE.

ALONG CAME THE ROCK CREEK RETROFITS STUDY BY DAMES AND MOORE IN 1989. THEY

PROPOSED PLACING A SERIES OF CHECK DAMS ACROSS THIS FEEDER STREAM TO HALT THE

MOVEMENT OF THE SESEDIMENT DEPOSITS.

WE HAD SEVERAL MEETINGS AT THE LIBRARY, PUBLIC WORKS AND IN THE FIELD WITH

REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE COUNTY, STATE, AND DAMES AND MOORE.

WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN ADAMANTLY OPPOSED TO THESE DAMS. FIRST,BECAUSE OUR FRESHWATER FLOW WOULD BE FURTHER DECREASED. THE ORIGINAL ROCK CREEK STUDY, ALSO

BY DAMES AND MOORE, SAID AMAJOR CAUSE OF ROCK CREEK'S DECLINE WAS A LACK OF FRESH WATER.HOW STRANGE THAT THE SAME ENGINEERS WOULD PROPOSE IN ANOTHER STUDY,

A MEANS TO FURTHER DECREASE THAT FLOW, THROUGH THESE CHECK DAMS.

SECONDLY, WE WANTED THE DEPOSITS REMOVED BY HAND. LASTLY, WE WANTED THE WORK

TO BE ACCOMPLISHED AT THE EXPENSE OF THE DEVELOPER, NOT THE TAXPAYERS.

OUR MEETINGS WERE FOLLOWED BY SEVERAL LETTERS TO ALL INVOLVED,OUTLINING OUR

POSITION.

WE WERE TOLD BY THE COUNTY, STATE AND DAMES AND MOORE THAT WORK WOULD NOT PROCEED IF WE DIDN'T WANT IT TO. THE ONLY WORK WE AGREED TO IN OUR STREAM AREA WAS AT RAYNOR BOULEVARD WHERE SEDIMENT DEPOSITS WERE TO BE REMOVED FOLLOWED BY

A PLANTING OF WETLAND VEGETATION. THE OTHER AREA TO BE VEGETATED WITH

WETLAND PLANTS WAS IN A STREAM NEAR HOG NECK ROAD.

IN OCTOBER, ONE OF OUR MEMBERS APPROACHED THE STATE AS TO THE STATUS OF THE

RETROFIT PROJECT. SHE WAS INFORMED THAT THE STATE DROPPED OUT OF THE PROJECT DUE TO STRONG CITIZEN OPPOSITION. IN NOVEMBER THE COUNTY TOLD US THE ISSUE WAS

DEAD.

IN JANUARY WE COULD SEE BUILDERS IN THIS AREA. I ASKED FOR A TOUR OF THE WORK BEING DONE. I WAS PUT OFF MANY WEEKS. WHEN WE FINALLY TOURED THE SITE, THE

DAM WAS COMPLETED, WITHOUT OUR KNOWLEDGE OR APPROVAL.

WE HAVE NOW BEEN INFORMED THAT TWO MORE DAMS WILL BE BUILT. ALSO OUR STREAM

WILL BE TURNED INTO A POND. THE PRESENT DAM MEASURES 153 FEET LONG BY 6 FEET

ACROSS.

WE ARE NOW DEMANDING:

1) A MEETING WITH COUNTY EXECUTIVE NEALL;

2) AN ACCOUNTABILITY AS TO WHY THE PROJECT PROCEEDED AND BY WHOSE AUTHORITY

OVER OUR STRONG OBJECTIONS;

3) WHY TAXPAYER MONEY IN THE FORM OF A $40,000 EPA GRANT WAS USED TO CLEAR

UP A PROBLEM CAUSED BY A DEVELOPER;

4) REMOVAL OF THE WALL;

5) A HALT TO FUTURE WORK, CONSTRUCTION OF MORE WALLS AND THE PONDING OF OUR

STREAM;

6) AN INVESTIGATION INTO THIS MATTER.

IN THE 13 YEARS THAT ROCK CREEK HAS SUFFERED ABUSE BY SEWAGE SPILLS, STORM WATER RUNOFF, AND SEDIMENT POLLUTION, THIS IS BY FAR THE BIGGEST ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER. IT WAS DONE DELIBERATELY ANDWILLFULLY OVER THE STRONG OBJECTIONS OF

THE PEOPLE.

MANY QUESTIONS NEED TO BE ANSWERED. I IMPLORE ALL OUR RESIDENTS AND ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES TO JOIN US IN RIGHTING THIS WRONG PERPETRATED ON ROCK CREEK AND

LOOKING FOR ANSWERS ABOUT SCHOOL POLICIES

From: Debra Denford

Glen Burnie

Editor's note: The letter is addressed to Sen. Michael J. Wagner,D-32, and County Executive Robert R. Neall.

I am so confused and I don't understand how the county and the state governments work. I hope you can help me. I just came from a PTA meeting at George Cromwell Elementary School. I've been on the executive board there for four years.

I understand (former County Executive O. James) Lighthizer spent $86,000 on an "autobiography" of himself -- how did that get approved? Is there any action we can take to recover some of that money? Is it true Gov. (William Donald) Schaefer created a job for this man?

I don't understand why there is no money for snow and ice removal on our elementary school parking lot. My children almost broke their necks on the ice. I don't understand why we've had four real bad roof leaks for over a year in classrooms and hallways.

There is no money for a bus to take the sixth-graders (whoever is attending Brooklyn) to tour the school -- the board has always paid this -- yet I see two-color, two-sided book marks and bus rule cards which are to be inserted with report cards. I work for a printer -- that's expensive.What a waste.

Another topic came up (at the meeting). A new test,the Maryland School Performance Program will require each county to give its own test to children because supposedly this test cannot bestandardized. Yet, the state is supposed to give a standardized testin the future. Also, I was told that this written test will not be graded until the summer, and they will have to pay these teachers overtime to grade them. These tests measure reasoning. How will that tellif our children need help in math or English? They have spent a fortune preparing these tests, printing, videos, instruction -- it makes no sense.

A good part of our school are Korean/Asian students we are teaching English. How are they supposed to take a reading/essay test? How can you score a math test by essay? When you go into the working world, are you going to add up in writing an essay while your customers are waiting?

The sample questions read to us are nothing but a matter of opinion. How are teachers, an estimate of 200 or 300, going to grade this? Is it just another expensive idea that will be trashed in five years?

What action can taxpayers and PTA's take? I understand that if schools gripe or don't go along, our wonderful governor simply says, "Fine, you're on your own. Don't ask for any state money!"

Please help us; tell us what to do, please.

HISTORY TEACHES US AN ABORTION LESSON

From: Harry S. Valentine

Annapolis

Allow me to try put the abortion question into history and spiritual context. In Genesis, the Bible says man was created in God's image. The soul of each newly formed person is indelibly stamped with aspects of God's character, and each of us has a destiny to fulfill according to God's plan. Some of us don't do a very good job of fulfilling that destiny, but at least we have the opportunity. The aborted personnever even has the chance to fulfill his or her destiny.

Civilizations have been performing abortions, or sacrificing children, for years, and they have suffered for it. Among these were ancient Israel, Carthage, ancient Greece, and the Aztecs. Though some of the nations survive today, the cultures that practiced these sacrifices lay on thewaste pile of history. The United States may have achieved the highest level of technology in history, perhaps we are the most free in terms of personal rights, but legalizing and practicing abortion has put us into the same class as those earlier civilizations. This countryis slightly over 200 years old and some say the downward spiral has already begun.

If we don't want to meeta similar fate, this nationmust learn the lessons of history. We in Maryland can do our part before the legislature passes wat is said to be the most liberal abortion law in the nation. If we don't, the Bible also says we will beheldaccountable by God for the lives that are lost, and will come under God's judgment. If we have enough sense to recognize what this means we will do our part to wee that our leaders do not heap us this tragic waste pile.

MINORS WITH FALSE ID NEED TO BE PUNISHED

From: Nick Kallis

Annapolis

Representatives of the Annapolis Hospitality Association will be offering testimony in support of a bill that would establish strict penalties for minors caught using false identification to obtain alcoholic beverages in Maryland. The bill, SB 410, introduced by Sen. Mike Wagner of Glen Burnie, will be heard by the Senate's panel on Judicial Proceedings on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Our association welcomes the opportunity to testify in favor of this legislation that our individual businesses have supported for many years. It is time that individuals who by false pretense or otherwise illegally obtain alcoholic beverages be penalized for the criminal conduct. Restaurant owners are punished severely for serving the occasional minorwho deceives them with counterfeit identification, yet the minor escapes penalty.

The Hospitality Association strongly supports prohibitions against selling alcohol to minors because it is in the best interests of the public, minors, and the businesses. There isn't one Annapolis bar or restaurant that will knowingly serve minors to increase business. In fact, minors illegally consuming alcohol are bad for business because they adversely affect an establishment's mature, higher spending dinner clientele.

The Annapolis Hospitality Association wants the message to go out to the many young people who come to Annapolis that our busy restaurants and bars are not easy marks for this kind of conduct. We believe that everyone who visits and enjoys ourbeautiful city has the responsibility to obey our laws and to avoid adversely affecting our residential and business communities.

In addition to this particular measure before the General Assembly, the Annapolis Hospitality Association also will be proposing local legislation to eliminate past problems associated with downtown Annapolis.

We are going to exert our best efforts to accomplish Mayor Hopkins'objective to create a downtown environment that protects the character and integrity of our residential and business community. There is not one member of our association that is not adamantly opposed to a party or carnival atmosphere in the downtown area. Increased police presence, curfews, stricter open container laws, a designation of the harbor area as a public park, and a comprehensive parking program aresome of the legislative initiatives we intend to promote.

We havebeen blessed with a city of great natural and historic beauty. The Annapolis Hospitality Association intends to work with residential organizations, business groups, and civic leaders to keep Annapolis a beautiful place in which to live and work.

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