Racism Not Part Of Retreat Fight
I was shocked (and I must admit somewhat outraged) to read Rev. Steward H. Frazier Jr.'s letter to the editor Sept. 19 edition. It seemed to reflect a trend that when one's point of view loses, for whatever reason, charges of racism are thrown about when all else fails.
Attorney Stephen Bounds is well known in Howard County, not only for his intellect and professional skills, but also for his sensitivity. Mr. Bounds brings dignity and gentility to a much-maligned profession. He is known as an exemplary husband and father, a man who cares much for and gives much to Howard County, and he is highly respected by all who know him as a man of the highest integrity. . . .
If anyone is "color blind," it is Stephen Bounds, and I am deeply saddened by the charges represented in Rev. Frazier's letter.
Earl T. Crown III
Fear Over Retreat
The controversy regarding a Daisy retreat center for care-givers of children with AIDS leaves one wondering what the opposition really opposes.
. . . The proposed center meets the land use requirements of the Howard County code. There will be no more than eight adults using the center at a given time, there will be use of only one van for transport, and there is an approved length of time for each retreat.
Care-givers of children with chronic and terminal illnesses experience unique pressures as the result of the intensity of their work. Certainly, the value of providing an opportunity for stress management cannot be denied. . . .
As residents of Howard County, we are embarrassed by the apparent discrimination and exclusivity which seem to be the real barriers to allowing this retreat. As a peace treaty is signed in the Middle East, how is it that our community continues to struggle with fear and ignorance?
Nancy W. Levy
Daniel J. Levy
I was interested in your recent editorial on "Howard County's Growing Jewish Presence" (Sept. 16). One of the best kept secrets is the Jewish community in Prince George's County. Convenient to both Baltimore and Washington, our Jewish community has more than held its own. Oseh Shalom in Laurel has built a brand new building and at least two other congregations out of the six in the county, including my congregation, Temple Solel, are in the process of expansion.
Moreover, we are very proud of the cooperative efforts that take place in our community. With the help of the county executive's office, we have developed an active Sister City program with Rishon LeTzion in Israel. Their youth orchestra just performed here in August. And for the last two years, we have joined together to sponsor a successful Jewish Festival in Prince George's County. A Scholar in Residence program and a well-attended Yom HaShoah service are other examples of our active Jewish community. Those interested in moving to an active and committed Jewish community that is learning to work together would find a pleasant home here, and they would be welcomed openly.
Rabbi Michael L. Kramer
Throughout the winter of 1992, residents of the North Saint John's Lane area attended zoning hearings protesting the proposed Wal-Mart rezoning on Route 40.
The residents, many of whom have lived in the area for over 30 years, protested because they were fed up with the increased traffic congestion, noise and just plain ugly land uses that have characterized the Route 40 corridor over the years. We attempted to discuss these concerns in a meeting with our councilman, Darrell Drown, but were informed that all conversations he may hold on comprehensive rezoning constituted testimony and had to be completed in a public forum.
Imagine our surprise to learn, entirely through the media, that a "compromise" had been reached on the Wal-Mart rezoning. The term "compromise" certainly implies that all sides were consulted on the issue. We wonder who exactly was consulted on the Wal-Mart issue. And how exactly were these contacts made without violating, not just the spirit, but the letter of the law governing comprehensive rezoning?
Through media reports we also learn that "new traffic studies" are available that indicate the traffic is not a problem at this site. Every resident who must wait through an additional cycle of the traffic lights on Route 40 just to reach their home each evening knows that there is a "problem." Every established local business that is effectively denied access because Route 40 is simply too busy to accommodate the turns into their facility know that there is a "problem." Every child that has no safe walking or bike-riding route to school or to the library knows that there is a "problem." . . .
The Comprehensive Plan that the current comprehensive re-zoning purports to implement included a revision for a study to examine the potential development and re-development possibilities in the Route 40 corridor. Our neighborhood strongly supports such a study, and had hoped it would be in place to guide the development of this prime piece of undeveloped land in Ellicott City. Is it not possible that the Planned Office Research designation is still the best use of the property? Will the Sam's Club store even be a revenue enhancement for the county when balanced against the expenses generated by the additional apartment house zoning? And where are these children going to attend school? St. John's Lane Elementary currently has five portables, and the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance has been interpreted so that even this is not over-crowded enough to stop development in the area.
The residents of the North Saint Johns Area are appalled that this re-zoning has occurred without input from the community. . . . We wonder what is really required in Howard County today to become an active participant in the "compromises" that effect our lives.
Ann Jones Koch
The writer is president of the North Saint John's Community Association.