High school is needed
From: Sanchitha Jayaram
The article on the western high school in today's Howard County Sun ["Citizens implore state to review school site selection," May 20] sparked my interest. The article concerned Shirley Geis' and other citizens' disapproval of the location of the school. It seems as though their reasons prove legitimate if they agree on keeping the school in the same general area.
One would assume that the location of the school would lead to relief of Centennial High School's student population. Students, staff and parents should all welcome this change and should look forward to the arrival of the new school. Frankly, Burleigh Manor Middle School looks just as large, if not larger, than its neighboring high school, Centennial.
Nevertheless, it will obviously have many fewer students than Centennial will when the middle school opens. In fact, the 1992 graduating senior class has many fewer students than does the incoming Class of 1996.
It is not that people do not welcome a large high school population; it is only that they start thinking about it when they physically cannot fit through the math hallway.
If Centennial were a bigger school, it would not matter; however, the fact is that Centennial is not.
Therefore, we welcome another high school. If, indeed, the location of the school is changed, we sincerely hope that it does not affect the rezoning of Centennial High neighborhoods.
(Sanchitha Jayaram is a junior at Centennial High School.)
Safety on school buses
From: Dale Ashwell
On Friday, May 8, at approximately 8:35 a.m., one of our school buses (No. 245) was traveling north on Route 32. The bus driver pulled the bus into the deceleration lane, preparing to make a right onto Route 99.
Another vehicle headed west on Route 99 was trying to make a left turn onto Route 32. When the car pulled onto Route 32, a van was also traveling on Route 32 going north behind the school bus. The van hit the small car broadside. Personal injury was involved.
Charlene D. Johns, the driver of No. 245 contacted the bus company on her two-way radio.
Immediately 911 was informed of where the accident took place. When Charlene D. Johns had been told that help was on the way, she and her assistant, Shelly Ramsey, went to try to administer aid to the victims.
Due to Charlene D. Johns' quick reactions, 911 was notified and emergency aid was at the scene of the accident in less than five minutes.
Ashwell's Bus Service Inc. would like the communities to know that county bus drivers are professional and that we care about the safety of the public and the children that we transport every day.
PD (The writer is the owner and operator of Ashwell's Bus Service.)
Short notice for Waverly
From: Jean I. Quattlebaum
Doesn't it figure? The Howard County Zoning Board (aka County Council) has given the community six days' notice of the continuation of the Waverly Woods II hearings.
That's right, on Wednesday, May 27, at 8 p.m., in the middle of a holiday week, they have decided to go for round 3. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? First, they gave us the first day back to school, then they threatened us with Christmas week, and now this. Looks a little slanted to me.
The odd thing is that just about two weeks ago, someone in the zoning office (you know who you are) told me that the board's schedule was so busy that they would be surprised to see us get started before the first of July! Amazing how quickly things change.
Please understand that it's not that we aren't ready -- it's just that most professionals plan their schedules a little more than a week in advance.
Perils of the sun
From: Alexia Gaudio
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, it is summer every year. Thousands of people go to the beach to get the tan they want to go back home with. Ever since there has been a hole in the ozone layer, though, most people are aware of the consequences of receiving too many ultraviolet rays.
Most people just take their sun block, put it on, and jump into the ocean. Sometimes putting on sun block is not enough, though. Nobody knows what enough is yet, but some experts say sitting in the sun for hours at a time isn't very good. Some sunbathers realize that isn't good enough for the skin.
They realize what the consequences are. Skin cancer, diseases and other maladies occur when sitting outside for too long.
I am not one to go to the beach for a long time. I realize what could happen to my body if I were to sit in the sun for too long. I don't want to die at a very young age, and I wouldn't want anybody else to die young either. I hear my friends wishing to be at the beach once school gets out, and I hope they are careful enough not to get sick.
I wish all of my friends a fun-filled yet safe summer.
I= (Alexia Gaudio is a sophomore at Centennial High School.)
Danger on Trotter Road
From: Norman E. Tyson
Highway safety needs to be a concern to more of our neighbors. It is a concern to many of us who live on Trotter Road. Those who think that the concern is overstated have not considered the situation.
At the present speed limit, 30 miles per hour, a car will travel 44 feet in a second. It does not take much of a distraction to draw the driver's attention from the road for a second or more. A sneeze, time to adjust a radio or tape player are a few of the distractions.
Many homes along Trotter Road have driveways with views limited by road curves, by woodland along the road and by hills. There are many situations in which a car traveling 30 mph comes into view and is upon the resident's driveway within a second or two.
Several situations have contributed to our concern.
Some of the Route 32 eastbound traffic takes a left turn in Clarksville and goes south on Trotter Road to the continuation of Route 32 east of town. This is done to avoid delay at the three traffic lights in Clarksville.
Some Route 108 southbound traffic cuts through Trotter Road and Hall Shop Road as drivers head for Sandy Spring or Olney, where they meet other major roads.
Now that Pheasant Ridge and River Hill are being developed, there is much construction traffic on the road that is soon to feel the impact of the many new homes being built here. These new residents want the fastest and easiest route from their new homes to their place of employment.
The drivers are all urged to try to save time, and it is common to see cars passing by that are very obviously exceeding 30 mph. Cars come into view and pass the hidden driveways within a second.
We need a solution. How can we restore the safety of our country road?
With the continuing development, it is apparent that we will never again enjoy the tranquillity of the road, but let's not ignore the problem until we have a serious accident.