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Concert pavilion would be a plus for...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Concert pavilion would be a plus for South Carroll

After reading some of the semi-hysterical responses it has drawn, (Letters to the editor, Dec. 1), I'm a little confused: Is Cellar Door Productions proposing to put a concert pavilion in the Sykesville Springfield Hospital complex or a Supermax prison?

The horrific picture that letter-writer Kathleen L. Homeman paints is a "hide the women and children" scenario of mass riots, rampant drug use and miles and miles of traffic gridlock, eventually exploding into an Armageddon-like street revolution, and presumably, the end of the civilized world as she envisions it.

I've been to many concerts at Merriweather Post Pavilion over the years, and I have attended a couple at the Cellar Door Productions-run Nissan Pavilion, near Manassas, Va. If those sort of nightmarish scenes have been enacted there, I am certainly not aware of them. And I certainly have not seen any mass uprising on the part of the good citizens of Columbia or Manassas to rid their communities of these music venues. Let's face it: Considering what a concert ticket costs these days, you're not exactly pulling in the riff-raff. For those who have not been there, the Nissan Pavilion is a particularly lovely and exceedingly well-run facility. Last summer, I attended the "Further" concert there, where several former members of the Grateful Dead performed with their bands. I must say, I was expecting the sort of apocalyptic scenes that Ms. Homeman envisions. I was shocked by how polite, well-behaved and relatively subdued nearly everyone I saw was. I did not hear so much as a raised voice.

Certainly there was traffic gridlock before and after the concert. But when I used to live adjacent to University of Maryland at College Park, I faced the same kind of interminable stop and go on U.S. 1 after a basketball or football game. I just learned to avoid certain roads at certain hours.

Ultimately, I have to disagree with folks such as Ms. Homeman and Sykesville Mayor Jonathan Herman (who I greatly admire ). I think a concert pavilion would be a feather in South Carroll's cap, just as I believe the proposed new post office at Route 32 and Bennett Road would be a major asset to our community, despite all the myopic local opposition.

It seems like mostly everyone is agreed that Carroll County needs to attract business to bolster its tax base. But as anyone involved in this pursuit knows by now, just about every rural county in Maryland and Northern Virginia has come to the same conclusion and has its eye on the same prize. It is a buyer's market. Before the NIMBYs chase away yet another enterprise that would generate something like a million dollars in tax annually, they better make sure they have got another business waiting in the wings.

The bottom line is that South Carroll is going to continue to grow. But it will end up being in a worse mess than it already is if local residents persist in standing in the way of every change that might bring a manageable and cohesive structure to this growth.

Bob Allen

Eldersburg

Disparaging the U.S. military

Who is Llewelleyn Rockwell Jr. ("Vice follows the flag," Opinion * Commentary, Dec. 3), and what has the U.S. military done to deserve his wrath? His broad condemnation of all things military at best show he lacks facts, and at worst mark him as a dangerously uninformed bigot.

Like any large organization, the members of the armed forces engage in negative and even criminal behavior on occasion. Yet the armed forces seek to keep their own houses in order and purge recidivists. Moderation and responsibility are the fundamental corporate approach to alcohol use. And universal random urinalysis detects drug abusers and reduces this to a level that would be welcomed by the at-large population.

Has the introduction of a regional merchant shipping and air transport hub at Subic Bay to replace the former U.S. installations there removed bars and prostitution as ancillary industries in Olongapo city? Mr. Rockwell should visit and report his findings.

Mr. Rockwell cites the sale of adult magazines (to adults, I might add) in the exchange system as "the world's largest source of pornography." It would then follow that the similar sale of Time, Newsweek and the Journal of Foreign Affairs creates the world's largest outlet for mainstream news-reporting. Both arguments are, of course, ludicrous.

It is a shame that Mr. Rockwell is able to count the number of bars outside of Fort Benning. What he can't so easily calculate there -- and nearly everywhere else U.S. forces serve -- are the many hours of volunteer work provided by service members to their domestic and international communities in support of a wide range of outreach programs. All performed by the very same "social misfits and deviants" he declares are attracted to the military.

We are fortunate to live in a time that requires a diminished presence overseas to support our foreign policy and protect our allies. But before we bring everyone home, Mr. Rockwell should poll the citizens of Tuzla, Kuwait City and Seoul (for starters) for their feelings about a U.S. exodus.

Shame on Mr. Rockwell, and shame on The Sun.

Dean Horvath

Eldersburg

2 letter writers make case for charter government

You will never find a business taking a chance by moving their operations into a war zone. A war zone is unstable, and business has enough problems with competition, labor and money problems that they don't need an additional problem of a political situation that will cause problems to their daily operations.

Carroll County is presently politically unstable, a problem to business; the problem to business is that no one person is in charge and responsible. Political uncertainty is a threat to the operations and financial stability of business.

What has changed in the county, why the apprehension for business to move to Carroll? The problem is the county's legislative delegation. The county lost much when Richard Matthews and Richard Dixon left the delegation. They knew the responsibility and duty the delegation had to the citizens of Carroll County through the commissioners.

I always referred to Matthews and Dixon as the M-D boys. They knew their job in Annapolis was to help citizens in Carroll County by helping the commissioners with legislation the commissioners needed to successfully run the county.

When the M-D boys and their leadership left, the void was filled with some who are not helping the commissioners serve the citizens. Worse, they are doing everything possible to take away what little authority the commissioners have. Commissioner form of government and commissioners are served by a good delegation. That is not the case now in our county.

Business must have one person or one government in charge. Any other arrangement is bad. The existing challenge by the delegation to run the county is causing political uncertainty that potential businesses can't deal with or don't want to deal with.

Either the delegation resumes its rightful role as the conduit in Annapolis for the good of the citizens, or the citizens must change to a charter form of government that can stop the disruptive interference by the delegation into the daily workings of the county.

Joseph Hooper Mettle

Eldersburg

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There has been a lot of talk in Carroll County recently concerning charter government. It is obvious that the majority of the delegation and commissioners oppose going from the present system to charter. And since almost all of our elected officials are Republicans, it seems to some that if you are a Republican, you must be an opponent of charter.

That's ridiculous, and insulting to registered Republicans in this county. I am a Republican, and I strongly favor charter over the mess we have now. My Republican beliefs justify this support.

First, Republicans believe that the best government is the one closest to the people. The further removed government is from the citizens, the more inefficient and unresponsive it is.

Thus, the state government is better than the federal government, and the county is better than the state. Even the delegation espouses this. Yet it still thinks local laws should not be enacted in Carroll County, but should be voted on by senators and delegates from Baltimore City or Montgomery County. These senators and delegates are not voted on by voters in Carroll County. Second, Republicans believe in checks and balances. Opponents of charter tell us the delegation acts as a check and balance on the commissioners.

It operates as a check, but I don't see the balance. The commissioners have no power to stop or really even influence anything the delegation might want to do. That's not a separation of powers, as in the Constitution. Charter would give the county an executive with veto power, checked and balanced by an independent County Council -- just like the Founding Fathers envisioned.

There are other reasons to support charter, but the two I mentioned are good enough for this Republican.

Frank H. Rammes

Finksburg

Pub Date: 12/15/96

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