So here we are at the beginning of a new year, trying to remember todate and sign things with 1992, and perhaps looking back to the yearjust gone by. What did we do right? What could we have done better? And what did we just plain screw up? Which led me to look at some of the issues I commented on over the past year.

I discussed items such as pizza wars in the county, where competition became fierce with all kinds of special deals, and the fact that we still have no BurgerKings in the county. Columbia hasn't gotten its own radio station yet, and Elkridge still doesn't have its own post office.

I remembered how my favorite gas station, Normandy Mobil, with its friendly and helpful owners, one day turned up vacant and no one seemed to know why. Fortunately, it has since reopened, though under new management.

There was the "Authors' Tea" I attended at St. John's Lane Elementary, where my son and his classmates in the first gradewrote and published their own books last spring. I also discussed the war in the Middle East and its effect on children. Remember the "video game" mentality some adults adopted, and how they cheered at death and destruction?

I voiced concerns over the recent student substance abuse statistics, showing high numbers of alcohol abuse. The growing number of hate crimes in the county disturbed me as well.

Other concerns were: the number of kids still not wearing bicycle helmets in spite of the law; those who can't follow simple instructions when recycling at MoRT; people who don't use everyday common safety sense; and the growing crime rate that has come with our growing population.

Also discussed was a distasteful situation that culminated in the dismissal of the Pruitt brothers after years of their playing Nazis in the sheriff's office.

Of course we can't forget Donald Reuwer and his massive plans for the Route 99/Marriottsville Road area, orthe Board of Education's lack of places to build an eastern elementary school except on county parkland.

On the political scene, I commented at the beginning of the year on how some of those elected in the 1990 county election perhaps didn't think they would win and had no real agenda. I still stand by those comments.

As the year closed, there were two letters in the final 1991 issue of the Howard CountySun that I agree with, and I couldn't have

said better.

Christine Rebbert said the price increases for the new year from Howard Cable TV doesn't give us much for our money. At least last year we got the Nashville Network with the price increase.

But this year, all we get for our extra buck is the Nostalgia Channel, and two more pay-per-view channels. Just read the lineup for the Nostalgia Channel in the cable magazine and you'll see what I mean.

The letter from David Pardoe,concerning the outcome of the trial of developer Nicholas Mangione for environmental violations, also made a lot of sense. Mangione was convicted and fined for breaking environmental laws, then given probation before judgment and his fine reduced 90 percent. This really sends a strong message to developers who break the law, doesn't it?

So much for 1991. And what can we expect for 1992? For better or worse, probably more of the same.

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