CAMPAIGN SIGNS BLOOM, THEN DIE FAST
Like the much-anticipated floral event in "The Cactus Flower," campaign signs bloom only once every few years, briefly decorating roadsides and lawns. And then they're gone.
Fall fashion colors in campaign signery included Beltram blue, Drown yellow, Rappaport pink, Bobo red, white and blue, Ecker aqua and French red.
The ultimate destination for many of the signs seems likely to be the county landfill, although landfill workers can't confirm that their province is the last stop for old campaign signs.
"We really don't know what happens to them, unless people put them in their residential trash," said Robin Parks, weighmaster at the landfill.
She said the residential trash brought in by commercial haulers goes directly to the rear of the landfill, where it is covered immediately after being dumped.
"Nobody really pays any attention" to the contents," Parks said.
Recycling is not an option. By the time original wood fibers work their way down from high-grade paper to campaign signs, they have pretty well reached the end of the recycled paper line, said Linda A. Fields, county government recycling manager.
"The fibers get shorter and shorter with every recycling," Fields explained. Campaign signs are usually printed on paperboard, which has short, broken fibers that cannot easily be pressed to form another type of paper.
The signs can, of course, still be recycled another way -- stored around the house to await another election.
Some politicians decided to save what political materials they could. A spokeswoman for Republican Martin G. Madden, who captured a House of Delegates seat in District 13B, said the candidate planned to save his signs "if they're reusable."
Republican Darrel E. Drown, who defeated incumbent Angela M. Beltram in the County Council's second district, said he hadn't given much thought to what he would do with the approximately 400 signs he placed around the district.
SOURCE: Donna E. Boller APARTMENTS RENAMED TO UPGRADE THEIR IMAGE What's in a name?
Plenty, say residents of the newly named Stevens Forest Apartments in Columbia's Village of Oakland Mills.
Formerly known as Copperstone Circle, the apartments were renamed last month as part of an ongoing effort to improve the image of the complex, viewed for years as a trouble spot in Columbia.
Police cars have long been a familiar sight at the apartments as officers respond to residents' complaints of drug activity, disorderly conduct and domestic disputes.
Over the past year, residents and apartment management have worked closely with county police to clean up Copperstone, and some progress has been made, said property manager Patricia Goines.
To get tenants even more involved in the transformation, Copperstone management decided to have a "rename Copperstone contest" among residents.
"Basically, we were trying to change our image and the neighborhood and let the community know that we have been working very hard with the police department to change the reputation Copperstone has had for the last 19 years," said Goines, of the name-change contest.
The winning name, Stevens Forest Apartments, was submitted by two residents and adopted as the complex's official name on October 1.
Residents are pleased with their home's new name and continue to take steps to make sure that the name isn't the only thing that's changing at Stevens Forest Apartments.
Goines said that tenants have expressed interest in creating some programs for seniors at the complex. Residents have also started Saturday morning play groups for children.
SOURCE: Jackie Powder