Full coverage: Mayor Pugh's 'Healthy Holly' books, UMMS board deals

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The Baltimore Sun

Thanks again for sharing the memories of our dad

The children of James Riley McCrumb wanted to thank all the friends and family who attended the Celebration of Life service on Sept. 27.

It was warming to see how many lives our father touched. It wasn't always easy being one of 1,000 kids vs. one of 3, yet knowing that we have so many brothers and sisters is comforting.

Our father was a simple man who found his calling early. He lived and breathed Mount Hebron High School. He led by example. We have no doubt that he was smiling that day. Thanks again for sharing the memories.

Mariet McCrumb Hamlet James Riley McCrumb Jr. (aka Brusty) Jeannine McCrumb

Turf Valley proposal backed with enthusiasm

Jonathan Pitts' article, "'Major' Zoning Change Sought" fails to capture the enthusiasm we feel about the prospect of the Town Square at Turf Valley, proposed by Greenberg-Gibbons Commercial (GGC). This commercial developer has received significant recognition for its success with the "town center" concept in Maryland and elsewhere. Recently the developer opened the Annapolis Towne Centre at Parole. We feel that the Turf Valley developer, Mangione Family Enterprises should be commended for strengthening the Turf Valley PGCC with this exciting concept.

The proposed town center would provide a quality food store as well as a place to "gather" within walking or biking distance for most of our community, thereby improving our environment and contributing to our good health.

Council Bill 58-2008 is under consideration because, for the town center concept to succeed, there must be a significantly sized anchor food store. We have seen for ourselves the failure of village centers in Columbia because of the nature of the anchor food stores. GGC's presentations to members of our community, which described the developer's town squares and its plans for Turf Valley were met with strong interest and enthusiasm.

There is early reference in the article to Responsible Growth in Our Neighborhood (REGION), with an indication that Marc Norman is co-chair. Our development, the Legends of Turf Valley, knows about REGION because we were involved in its formation more than five years ago.

However, it should be noted that the Legends divorced itself from REGION and established our own Legends' steering committee, which tracks the development process related to the Planned Golf Course Community (PGCC). We want to make sure that our owners will receive objective information related to the needs of our community.

We are asked if REGION still functions, other than "name-only"? Who are its members? Does it have announced meetings with a quorum so positions can be announced, based on discussion and votes?

Don Sadler, Helen Carey, Legends Steering Committee

A reallocation of space to provide 'anchor store'

As vice president of the Homeowners board of directors of the Legends, a community within the Turf Valley complex, I enthusiastically support this proposal, which has already gained the unanimous support of the county's Planning Board.

It should be noted that this is not a "major" change, as it does not increase the total square footage of the commercial space that has had zoning approval for years. It is strictly a reallocation of this space to provide a needed "anchor store." This is a vital and necessary component of the planned town center that will be a unique addition for the residents within Turf Valley and the surrounding area. The vote of the Planning Board reflects my belief that we will all benefit from such a town center, as compared to continuing the proliferation of strip malls that dominate the area.

Additionally, the projection that this store will be a more upscale facility will offer residents in the area a significant new choice in grocery shopping. Economic history shows that such competition will lead to improvements in the existing area stores. The shopping public will benefit by being given the opportunity to decide which store to patronize.

Mangione Family Enterprise and Greenberg-Gibbons took the extra step to give a comprehensive presentation to our community on this proposal and it received our near- unanimous and enthusiastic support. This was a continuation of the history that we have had in working cooperatively with the developer in addressing concerns we have regarding the issues related to the proposed expansion of Turf Valley.

Vincent Cucuzzella, Ellicott City

No school redistricting for the 2009-2010 year

The Board of Education of Howard County has received a number of e-mails recently regarding redistricting in reaction to the feasibility study presented to the Board of Education on June 12. Redistricting is the process through which the Board of Education balances enrollments by adjusting boundaries to move students out of schools that are, or are at risk of being, over-enrolled and into under-enrolled schools.

The following information is provided to address concerns that exist regarding the process. There will be no redistricting for the 2009-2010 school year. The school board has not redistricted any students for the past two school years. As discussed in the June 2008 feasibility study, current enrollment projections suggest the possibility that redistricting will be required for 2010-2011.

The process has never been more transparent. The study is a planning tool and is available on the Howard County public school system Web site ( www.hcpss.org/boundarylines/). Its purpose is to provide the board with an annual snapshot of enrollment and analyze where enrollment pressures are expected to occur and offer possible solutions. The scenarios in the 2008 study are examples of how plans that moved low, medium and high numbers of students satisfied board policy.

There are no plans before the board for consideration at this time nor is there any board- favored plan nor will there be until fall 2009. Before making any decision to move students, the board seeks input from the community in the development of plans, and an extensive public process ensures that everyone can participate effectively in the process.

The board is not redistricting 11,000 students. Redistricting of this magnitude as described in Scenario 3 would be contrary to the board's goal to limit the number of students moved in each redistricting. As noted by Superintendent Sydney Cousin in the board meeting of Oct. 2: "We want to limit redistricting to moving the fewest number of students, the fewest number of times." Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Board of Education at boe@hcpss.org or Joel A. Gallihue, manager of school planning for the Howard County public school system, at 410-313-7184

Frank J. Aquino, Chairman, Board of Education of Howard County

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
57°