A life lesson on the banks of...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

A life lesson on the banks of the Severn

It was hot May 20, as thousands of us sat along the Severn River, the U. S. Naval Academy and Annapolis. The masses of people were gathered to watch the spectacular precision and control demonstrated by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels pilots of the F/A-18 Hornets.

There were individuals, parents with small children, groups of schoolchildren and many family groups, including babies. We were all there for hours before the scheduled start time of 2 p.m. As usual, the excitement level tends to build when "showtime" nears. And the Blue Angels would appear in the skies over the Chesapeake Bay at precisely 2, right?

Wrong. At 2: 04, no Blue Angels. At 2: 15, no Blue Angels. A comment was heard that "some idiot is probably flying in his private plane in the no-fly zone" against all orders.

Well, lo and behold, that was close to the real reason the Blue Angels and their magnificent flying machines could not begin on schedule.

Brendan Sullivan decided that the lines drawn for the restricted zone along the Severn River shoreline during the air show did not apply to him and he would have his party on his property even though it was on the wrong side of the line designated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Academy Superintendent Adm. Charles R. Larson went beyond the call of duty and graciously offered a Navy YP boat to bring the Sullivan party across the river to academy grounds.

Mr. Sullivan apparently finally decided to be the gentleman that I am sure he is and allow the show to begin. Thank you, sir, for being so considerate of the masses who also had plans for the day. Thank you, John Michalski, for complying from the beginning.

Things change. Restrictions change. That's life, gentlemen.

ary Ann Brandt

Annapolis

West County deserves fairer slice of budget

For more than three years, I have been critical of this county administration and County Council chairman for retreating rather than advancing on the major issues facing west Anne Arundel and the 4th Councilmanic District. These issues have included the downgrade of Kimbrough Community Hospital, loss of Gambrills Dairy Farm, stagnation of Odenton Town Center, West County regional library and West County High School.

Now, six months before the election, we have these county officials announcing with great fanfare what we have in the 1999 budget.

The writer's first reaction was to pat himself on the back and say "never before has a challenger had such a big impact on what his future constituents get." The writer is less presumptuous, however, upon reading the fine print.

The substance in the new budget is nominal and vague for West County. For example, with respect to the high school, there is a small amount for "planning."

We are not told where it will be, amid rumor that it will not go to West County.

To the extent that there is anything in the '99 budget for West County, it must be accepted with a sad commentary: West County is funded on an election-year cycle. Now we must face another three-year dry spell.

That's not good enough. West County deserves to be treated fairly every year, not every fourth year.

Bill D. Burlison

Odenton

The writer is a candidate for the Anne Arundel County Council's 4th District seat.

O's management behind hard times

At the beginning of the season when ill times befell our boys of summer, Ray Miller said "it's too early to be concerned."

Now, his assessment of the situation is something short of panic, and maybe a little beyond concern. Mr. Miller may have been an above-par pitching coach, but as a manager and motivator of men, he fails miserably. Maybe the boys would show a little more effort if the outcome of the game depended on whether they received a paycheck.

Are you listening, Peter Angelos? Because of your towering ego and self-centeredness, you let a proven manager and proven winner leave town.

Other than being a weatherman, where else could one get a job, haul in the big bucks and make such a poor showing?

W. Jones

Pasadena

Interestingly, supporters of track live elsewhere

I keep seeing letters for the proposed track. All the letters say how much money this will give the county, how quiet and clean it will be. However, none of these people must be from the nearby communities.

They haven't sat in the backup on Fort Smallwood Road on weekdays and weekends, or waited in the backups from the drawbridges. One recent Friday, one of us sat for 52 minutes going from Kingsway Drive in Orchard Beach to Ed Raynor Boulevard, about four miles. We have severe traffic problems now, and we are going to make it worse?

There are two drawbridges, one on each end of Fort Smallwood, which will not and cannot be modified.

The job issue is a non-issue because anything built there would create jobs, and more full-time and year-round jobs than a track. All the letters talk of how clean the track is, pollution-wise, and how strict NASCAR is on their cars. First, this may not be a NASCAR facility. And of the 15,000 to 20,000 spectators' cars, pollution isn't a worry?

I have been to races. I've heard the rumblings in Roanoke 20 miles from Martinsville. Why are most NASCAR tracks from 20 to 50 miles from population areas? Anyone from the county will remember the Dorsey track. It was loud, and it was running only 15 to 20 cars a race that were only half as powerful. If there is no noise problem, if the project goes forward, there should be sound stations in Brockington and Orchard Beach.

Besides noise, pollution and traffic problems is the way the project was shoved down residents' throats in 34 days, including the sneaky introduction by Anne Arundel County Councilman Thomas Redmond in the unusual "conditional" way to avoid hearings.

The Brockington community, built a year ago, has gotten the shaft the worst. Welcome to the county. You picked out an area you wanted to live in and built a home, then a year later a $100 million project is shoved down your throat. What about the big lie that the project would use 100 percent private money? As soon as the zoning vote, track officers were positioning for brownfields status. That's another $20 million in tax money no one had a say in.

The way this project was forced on residents is an outrage. This is similar to the Redskins stadium, which was nearly forced on Laurel residents. Luckily, the state saved them from local government.

We hope we will get that same representation here because we can't get it from our local officials.

Sam and Karen Smith

Sandy and Ken Hastings

Pasadena

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It is the year 2001. Randy Wreckmore speeds along Interstate 97 to the new East-West interchange. He turns east on East-West, now Route 10 West, aka "the Triple-R" (Redmonds Raceway Road).

Randy tools along the Council District 5 section of East-West, mostly completed before 1998. Crossing Woodland Road, he shoots along the Council District 2 section, completed in 1998. Crossing Jumpers Hole Road, he zips along the Council District 3 section, completed in 2000. He zooms across the new Ritchie bridge (complete with cloverleaf) and directly onto Route 10.

The District 3 section had been originally planned -- and Councilman Thomas Redmond voted at least twice for this -- to go straight to the Pasadena Road-Ritchie light so that East-West, parallel to Benfield Road, could relieve Severna Park of some of the Benfield Road gridlock.

No such luck. Mr. Redmond conspired with Carolyn Roeding, her Greater Pasadena Council and the disgruntled Brittingham homeowners to move the Ritchie connection north to the Route 10 light.

Because of a newly discovered likelihood of "traffic impact" on Pasadena Road, they got the County Council to "delay" the original plan from the FY 1999 budget to the 2000 budget.

Curiously, Mr. Redmond and Ms. Roeding don't care about the raceway's impact on Fort Smallwood Road.

By 2002, many homes along East-West will have been razed to make it an interstate in width. But Randy Wreckmore doesn't care. He doesn't live in Millersville, Severna Park or Pasadena. He doesn't care what communities get wrecked to get him speedily to Tom's raceway. And he doesn't use the Triple-R on weekends.

A. Hoage

Severna Park

Pub Date: 6/07/98

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