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Route 100 to join sprawl more than...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Route 100 to join sprawl more than shortcuts

Everyone interviewed in your Nov. 23 article, "Route 100 shortcut links area shortcuts," lauds the opening of a new road in Howard County.

The way I see it, the opening of this road means that sprawl growth will be connected to more sprawl, spawning more sprawl (officials call it "infrastructure"), creating more traffic and congestion.

Does anyone see a pattern? A few years ago, Interstate 795 was supposed to relieve pressure from local roads, mine being one of them, but the traffic congestion has only increased by nightmarish proportions, resulting in a "D" or "E" rating on affected intersections.

The Sun could have brought a lot more depth and accuracy to this article by drawing connections to the issue of roads, sprawl and other related issues that have such an impact on our lives. For example: What about the people who live along this new highway?

How will the resulting new infrastructure detract from neighboring town centers and Baltimore City?

How could the money have been used more effectively to promote public transportation and keep town centers viable?

Deirdre M. Smith

Lutherville

A recent Sun story about Route 100 went into detail about the serious situation with speeding on opening day. The story addressed the problem with speeds up to 72 miles per hour, well above the 55 mph limit.

The real problem is that we have speeding problems on every state, federal and local road in Howard County. The problem escalated when Gov. Parris N. Glendening raised the limit to 65 mph on interstates.

The speeding increased on every state and community road in Howard County.

The only solution is to roll back the limit to a maximum of 55 mph in Maryland (at least in the metropolitan areas). We will never have enough patrol cars to control the speeding.

James M. Holway

Ellicott City

PAC, not group endorsed Robey

In the Nov. 17 article under the headline "Robey's transition team has variety," it was stated: "He also selected the Rev. Robert A. F. Turner, president of the African-American Coalition of Howard County, which endorsed Robey."

The African American Coalition of Howard County did not and will not endorse any candidate for elected political office.

Mr. Robey was endorsed by African Americans in Howard County -- Political Action Committee.

The two organizations are separate entities.

Kenneth M. Jennings Jr.

Columbia

The writer is vice president of operations for the African American Coalition of Howard County.

A compromise for Clinton

I have a suggestion for a compromise in lieu of impeachment of President Clinton for his perjury, obstruction of justice, lying to the American people and sexual misdeeds:

1) President Clinton would agree to plead nolo contendere to a charge of felony perjury with a cap of no greater jail sentence than 18 months. This plea would be entered after he leaves office and since it would be a plea of nolo contendere he would not lose his civil rights under the Constitution, such as his right to vote and to have a foreign passport, which normally would be the case for a convicted felon.

2) He would give up his license to practice law in Arkansas in connection with the disbarment proceedings that are pending against him in that state.

3) He would seek a nonresidential treatment program for the sexually challenged and successfully complete this program.

4) A watchdog committee would be appointed to monitor the president's actions so that there would be no security breaches.

Based on his past conduct, he would not be entitled to a Top Secret Clearance and this would be a safeguard in that respect.

If the president agrees to the above conditions, the impeachment proceeding could be concluded, he could serve the balance of his term and he would not face criminal prosecution when his term is completed.

Donald B. W. Messenger

Laurel

Why Wilde Lake's test scores rose

Roger Plunkett became principal of Wilde Lake High School in July 1997. The Class of 1998 took the SATs, from September 1997 to March 1998. If Mr. Plunkett is given credit for their high scores, then perhaps Kaplan and Princeton Review should speak with him to find out what made his programs so influential in such a short time.

It's true, several initiatives that Mr. Plunkett installed the first year of his tenure were quite effective. I credit him with emphasizing academics and squashing disruptive behavior. However, the initiative to restrict supervised study options began after the Class of 1998 graduated.

I think Mr. Plunkett would be the first to agree that giving him sole credit for the high test scores at WLHS is an injustice to the entire Wilde Lake community.

The kudos should first go to the students of the Class of '98 for having the wisdom to step up to the opportunities presented to them; their parents, for instilling that wisdom and emphasizing the importance of academic excellence; the staffs at Longfellow, Swansfield, Bryant Woods, Northfield and Running Brook elementary schools for laying a strong academic foundation; the staffs at Harper's Choice, Wilde Lake and Dunloggin middle schools for their nurturing support and high expectations; their high school principal for three formative years, Bonnie Daniel, and her excellent staff who, believing that every student can achieve, thrived under her leadership in spite of two exhausting and disruptive moves.

And, finally, to Mr. Plunkett and his staff, for their insistence on self-discipline and responsibility. May they continue to fill the unique needs of a diverse and culturally rich community.

Suzie Weiss

Columbia

New lineup of cars,same dirty emissions

A rite of autumn is upon us: the introduction of the 1999 models of auto vehicles. While these new models look racier and slicker, they will emit the same amount of pollution as this past year.

According to a new report released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and the Clean Air Network, on more than three out of every four days this summer unhealthy levels of air pollution were recorded in the United States.

Between April and September, the report showed that Maryland alone had 40 unhealthy "smog days" and 194 violations of the new federal health standard for ozone pollution.

Although 1999 vehicles won't help reduce pollution, new vehicle emission standards for the 21st Century may.

This winter, the EPA will introduce new emission standards called "Tier 2," a program that will include harsher controls on mini-vans and sport utility vehicles, stricter diesel standards, sulfur reduction in gasoline and the widespread use of clean advanced technology cars and fuels.

Strong Tier 2 standards are critical to protect Americans and the planet from the health consequences of smog and fine particle pollution.

Martin Ruther

Columbia

Pub Date: 12/6/98

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