Something else that's left of DanielsThank you...


Something else that's left of Daniels

Thank you for the work of Sun staff writer Kate Shatzkin on remembering the town of Daniels ("Ghost town lives on in reunions," Sept. 12). Her story accurately portrayed the spirit of the people who called this town home for 132 years.

I must, however, take exception to her conclusion that all that's left of Daniels is the people. Had she visited the site of Daniels and looked to the top of "Standfast Hill," rising above the ruins of the mill, she would have been struck by the awesome splendor of Gary Memorial United Methodist Church. It has survived the floods, fire and exodus of its residential members when their homes were razed in the 1960s.

Gary Memorial Church was a gift to the town in 1879 and named after the Gary family, the owners at that time. Daniels comes alive not only at its summer reunion, but also each Sunday morning when former residents of Daniels and new young families who have moved to the area gather to worship on top of the hill.

Among them are Howard County Executive James N. Robey Jr. and his wife, Janet, who grew up in Daniels. It was, in fact, Mr. Robey's parents and sister who were "plucked off the roof (of the mill) by helicopter" when Agnes flooded the town in 1972. Ironically, two of our newest members are reporters for The Sun, whose infant son was baptized in the church last Christmas Eve.

On Oct. 10, Gary Memorial will celebrate its 120th anniversary at a special service at 11 a.m., at which time the history and present dynamic of the church will be celebrated, as well as the town of Daniels, both of which are determined to survive.

Luther Starnes, Ellicott City

The writer is minister of Gary Memorial United Methodist Church.

Fueling negativity towards police

Again, you have added fuel to the public's negative perception of law enforcement ("Man files suit against Howard police," Sept. 13).

Why you would dedicate space to a weak article based on half-truths is beyond my understanding. If the Howard County Police Department is declining to discuss the incident, maybe an article should be put on hold until a well-informed piece can be established. These officers are good people who have chosen careers in public safety because they believe they can make a difference in our community.

Darcy J. Bellido de Luna, Columbia Mall expansion is all about money

Re: Customers flock to new wing at Columbia Mall (while being serenaded by "When the Saints Go Marching In"), Sept. 19.

Our ancestors did not visualize people marching into a shopping mall in their singing rendition of "When The Saints Go Marching In." The flock of shoppers, coupled with Howard County Executive James N. Robey Jr.'s comment that, "I get excited just thinking about all the tax dollars," reinforces that it's all about money.

Lou Ann Prosack, Jessup

Seeing Columbia center as horse of different color

Regarding Erika Niedowski's articles last week concerning the Columbia Horse Center, I was astounded by the overall negative tone of the articles.

Having played an active role in the most recent round of meetings debating the release of funds to the center, the articles were written as if these meetings never occurred.

Ms. Niedowski rendered a chronological regurgitation of past problems with limited emphasis on positive aspects of what is being done to move forward constructively and productively.

This does a disservice to the members of the Columbia Council and members of the Horse Center who are sincere in their attempt to create a profitable, attractive Columbia asset.

One reason many Columbia residents ranked the center last in priority in a recent poll is because they did not know about the facility, or that it existed. The Sun should assume more responsibility to insure that published articles are researched in a comprehensive, unbiased manner. Journalism includes researching both sides of the equation, not just presenting one perspective.

Daniel P. Bednarik, Columbia

Re: Erika Niedowski's article on the costly, underused horse center in Howard County.

I have often thought that we should develop a tourist attraction in Howard County featuring horses -- sort of a Noah's Ark of horses, two of every kind of horse in the world. Also, this attraction could caretake and display some of the most famous retired TV/motion picture star horses and famous racing horses. This type of attraction would be frequented by school groups and families and could help subsidize the overhead for riding lessons and horse riding competitions at the Columbia Association's costly, underused horse center.

Perhaps, this tourist attraction could be developed on the old Smith Farm, since the previous owner adored horses and because of the ready access from major routes.

Catherine J. Klein, Columbia

More on Wilde Lake schools

Regarding choices of public schools, private schools, home schooling, why not let parents decide for their own children what they think is best? Also, is it at all conceivable that choices might be made independent of racism?

I recently moved to Columbia. I have chosen to home school my two children for many reasons. Because I have never before seen citizens publicly and personally attacked in the media over their lawful choices of schooling for their children, I feel somewhat frightened that my own stance might be attacked as well. After all, how are home schoolers and private schoolers different than these children being sent to a non-district school?

Pam Rogers, Columbia

I attend Wilde Lake Middle School. I am in the eighth-grade. My years at the school have been the best of my life. I feel very safe, educated and secure. People should not be talking bad about the school if they haven't experienced being here.

It would be a wise choice to send your student to Wilde Lake Middle because of all the different minorities; that's how it is in the real world. As a result of ethnic backgrounds at Wilde Lake, everyone here has a better understanding and respect for themselves and others. We are all prepared for the variety of people in our future life.

People who left are just going along with the reputation here, which is false. I don't recall any recent fights. And more than half of the time, parents are the ones who make the decision of what school they want their children to attend. All of my friends who have left to go to Lime Kiln wanted to stay at Wilde Lake Middle but their parents felt differently.

Everyone attending Wilde Lake Middle takes this issue very sensitively and we are offended. My school is as safe as any other.

Tessa Laidig, Columbia

Pub Date: 9/26/99

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