From: Hugh Burgess
C. Stuart Knudsen
Fred K. Schoenbrodt
The Democratic councilmanic redistricting map (The Gray/Knowles Plan) was made available to the public on Friday, Sept. 13. This map, which has the most likelihoodof final passage, dilutes the voting power of the district and refashions it to the liking of the Gray and Knowles and all other Democratleaders who have disdain for the voting patterns of our district.
How do they propose to do this?
According to legal precedent, theEllicott City (2nd) district needs to lose a minimum of 3,300 residents. To accomplish this, the developers of the Gray/Knowles map have designed the district wherein we lose 16,343 people and pick up another 11,545 from another district.
This means everything west of Plumtree Branch including Dorsey Hall, Gray Rock Farm, Font Hill, Burleigh Manor, Centennial, Gwynn Acres, etc. will be lost to our district.At the same time, the Elkridge district has been destroyed by the loss of all four of its precents, which would be included with us.
The Gray/Knowles Plan would subvert the common purpose and homogeneityof the district and is nothing more than a blatant attempt to dismember and splinter the Ellicott City district and dilute its political cohesion and effectiveness.
It goes without saying that the simplest and fairest way for the district to be reapportioned is for it to lose 3-4 (a precinct adjacent to Turf Valley, population 40) and precinct 5-16 (Allview Golf Course, apartments and condominiums south of Route 108 -- population 1,839). If this map as proposed by some of the Democrat leadership prevails, Elkridge Gerry of Gerrymander will have been replaced by the Gray/Knowles-mander in Howard County.
Of the three plans under consideration by the council at this time, the Ecker Plan is the only plan that maintains the integrity and basic framework of the second district. If you agree with this common-sense view of redistricting the 2nd election district (Ellicott City), talk it over with your neighbors and call Vernon Gray or Darrel Drown (preferably both) at 313-2001 and leave a message with each of their aides. Let these people know that the 2nd District is not asleep.
Please call before the council work session on Sept. 24.
SHAGGY DOG STORY
From: James M. Holway
During a recent trip back to Howard County from Vermont, we passed a hand-drawn sign marked "Fresh Corn" at a bend in a rural country road near Brandon, Vt.
Mywife and I exchanged quick ESP messages, and I turned off the paved road onto a secondary dirt road back toward the hills. This had been a bad year for corn in Maryland, and we longed for some fresh, sweet golden Bantam corn.
I was about to give up when we spotted a second hand-made sign announcing fresh corn at the entrance to a local farm. We pulled in behind the farm house. There did not seem to be anyone around the farm yard or within shouting distance, so we walked up to a table on the lawn and read the note: "Tell Sandy how many ears ofcorn you want and leave 25 cents each."
Shortly, a pretty, sandy-haired golden retriever, appeared on the back porch of the farm housewith an ear of corn in his jaws, tail wagging and all the friendly signs in evidence.
As luck would have it, we said, "Hello, Sandy," and the dog immediately came down into the yard to give us the ear ofcorn. This routine was repeated six times as I patted Sandy each time with a friendly hand. We left $1.50 in the box on the table and waved to Sandy.
As we drove away, Sandy stood on the back porch of the farm house with another ear of corn in his jaws, just in case we changed our minds.
The corn was fresh, juicy and sweet. In Vermont, everybody on the farm has to do their share of the chores.
CAPTION: Sandy delivers a fresh ear of corn to customers ata farm near Brandon, Vt. The canine courier ferries as manyindividual ears as ordered while patrons drop 25 cents per ear into a box on a table.
THOMAS URGES RECYCLING
From: Delegate Virginia M. Thomas, D-13A
As a sponsor of the statewidelegislation that requires local jurisdictions to recycle solid waste, I am pleased to support the new Howard County integrated refuse andrecycling service that will start Oct. 1.
This plan puts into action an efficient and easy-to-use recycling program that many county residents have requested.
Although there was some initial opposition to this once-a-week service, I am pleased that the county executive, the Bureau of Environmental Service, the Long Reach, Oakland Mills,and Owen Brown village boards, and area residents were able to reachagreement about the implementation of this program.
To recycling advocates and to those new to curbside recycling, I would like to clarify what this service will provide.
* One refuse pickup per week of up to six containers, 40 pounds of refuse per container.
* One recycling pickup per week of unlimited quantities of cans, glass and plastic bottles, newspapers, cardboard, junk mail, phone books, office and mixed papers.
* Post-holiday pickup.
* Voluntary program;no penalty for non-compliance.
Several years ago, recycling was considered a novel concept. As the tonnage of recycled material increases due to mandated recycling, we see numerous benefits: efficient use of environmental resources, reduced costs for refuse service, innovations in business and industry to use and produce recycled products.
I encourage all those in the designated service area to become active recycling participants. You will providing for your future by recycling the past.
GOP AND DEVELOPERS
From: Lloyd Knowles
One of your readers complained about my remarks concerning the maps defining proposed new councilmanic districts.
I told your reporter that it was very important not to allow the Republicans an opportunity to turn the county over to the developers. Your reader calledit an "outrageous lie." How can it be a lie? That's how I feel. Me thinks he protesteth too much.
No need for your correspondent to get defensive about the Republicans' chumminess with the development community. Builders and developers have a legitimate agenda. But many Republican office holders don't recognize that local government also has a legitimate mandate -- to make sure the public interest is servedwhile the developers are fulfilling theirs.
If the Republicans think that my premise is faulty, let's look at that.
The most prominent longtime local Republican, Councilman Charles Feaga, told me not so long ago that he didn't believe in the concept of zoning. He said that government had no right to tell a property owner how he could develop his land. Feaga's record during his five years on the council/zoning board strongly reinforces an intensified pace of development, especially in the rural west.
Looking further, County Executive Charles I. Ecker takes credit for speeding up approval of developer's requests. He's already making plans to further weaken and dilute the relatively mild development standards recently enacted in the General Plan. And just watch what he'll be sending down as the new comprehensive zoning map.
All this just shows what a problem the Democrats have when even many Republicans don't know what the leaders in their own party stand for.
NO TAX INCREASE NEEDED
From: Francis H. Collins
I am among a large group of people in this county and state who are tired of newspapers backing negative causes such as this tirade that there must be large tax increases.
Nothing could be more harmful than a tax increase now. One only has to look backto last year when we were hit with more taxes and we are still sinking. You only need to read a high school economics book to find out itwill not work.
Locally, our three Democrats on the council want to hire a highly paid out-of-town lawyer. We should solve these problems in-house; they are paid by us to do this. If they can't do the jobwe are paying them for, they should they should step down. More waste, more studies, more programs. It has to stop somewhere.
And now a word about one-sided reporting which I feel gives the money-wastersa platform to waste from.
You are constantly quoting a Mr. Taylor. You seem to want to pass him off as an expert on all matters of land use. He may have fooled you but not the voters.
Your paper had several stories on the destruction of his political ads at the Howard County Fair. At the same time, Mr. Feaga's signs were destroyed at least one dozen times. Not once did you report this in your paper. People remember this kind of reporting.
IN DEFENSE OF STRAIGHT
From: Marsha Reeder
The letter two weeks ago from BrendaCollinson regarding the certification of Straight Inc. ("Certify Straight first," Howard County Sun, Aug. 2) made some very valid points.If certification were necessary, it certainly should have been done before the facility opened in Howard County.
What Ms. Collinson and others could not possibly know is that the administration of Straight did apply for Maryland licensing and were told no further license was needed because they are accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizers.
Miss Collinson's letter mentioned "letting Straight 'play' with the lives of some very confused, addicted people." The latest news report mentioned brain-washing.
Iwant to assure you that Straight is not playing. I do not know the technical definition of brain-washing, but if their program is called brain-washing, the word "positive" should be inserted. What has been washed away is the negative self-destructing actions. They have been replaced with positive self-image, and the ability to confront problems and deal with them constructively.