From: Janna Jarvis
I was really impressed when I read "Wake Up, Harper's Choice" in the Oct. 20 issue.
As an alumna of Harper's Choice and of its gifted and talented program, tri-ed, I was happy to read about the success of its morning television show.
As a staff member of a high school newspaper, I think it is important for students to be interested and involved in journalism as soon as possible. I feel it is a very worthwhile project and I wish all the students involved with journalismprograms such as Harper's Choice television well.
(Janna Jarvis is a junior at Centennial High School.)
DO SOMEONE A FAVOR
From: Jennifer Hargett
Until recently, I haven't given much thought to things going on outside of my daily life.
I haven't really looked around and noticed what's going on in our world. I've been so preoccupied with my life. I haven't thought about how other people are doing. A lot of Americans are becoming like me, totally preoccupied with ourselves and not caring about others.
As I was walking down the street one day, I saw a woman in her 70s mowing and raking the lawn. Nothing's wrong with this, as I am fully aware that our elders are fully capable of taking care of themselves. What got to me was when I saw her own grandchild playing football with his friends and not even paying attention to his tired grandmother.
When was the last time you took the time to help a friend by doing a favor for him or her? I bet most of you would say something like, "I don't know."
My point is that we, American citizens, can sometimes be too caught up in our own lives to worry about others. Everyone, at one time or another, needs help. I think if we tried not to be as self-centered as some of us are now, we'll be rewarded with the fact that we actually did something good for a friend or a person.
It would make myday if I were hugged or thanked for doing something good for someone. It would probably make your day, too.
(Jennifer Hargett is a freshman at Centennial High School.)
RESIDENTS BALK AT PLAN
From: Richard and Susan Randt
An unfortunate situation hasarisen which has once again fanned the flames of friction between Columbians and other Howard countians.
Last month, it was discovered, almost by accident, that the Columbia Association had a plan to move its current vehicle maintenance facility from behind the Banneker fire station to a recently undeveloped site wedged between Route 108 and Edgar Road. Its entrance would be off Edgar Road, the same road used by 235 families as the sole entrance to their community, Columbia Hills.
At a meeting of Columbia Hills residents and other interested parties on Oct. 22, CA briefed its plan and a representative of Howard County Planning and Zoning presented a synopsis of the progression of events and milestones already accomplished.
It turned out that the approval for the use of the piece of land in question was given back in February of this year, on a rather routine basis, without benefit of notification to adjacent residents.
It seems that everything met the letter of the law, including the non-notification, because of a quirk in the definition of "open space" (credited vs. non-credited), which no one at the meeting seemed to have ever heard of.
However, now that the plan has become public knowledge, there are several hundred rather angry citizens facing the prospect of having a garage and a parking lot and all the attendant detriments placed at their front door.
When asked the hypothetical question, "If the same plan were submitted by a commercial enterprise for implementation on the same piece of land, would it receive serious consideration?" the answer from the Planning and Zoning person was an unhesitating "Certainly not!"
I paraphrase the Bard: "A garage is a garage is a garage." What makes CA sacrosanct? Do they get everything they ask for?
The truth is that they received the site form HRD, cost-free. Therefore, that apparently makes it the best possible location! It would seem that the proposed site is far from being centrally located, a prime consideration for the type of operation being conducted. Why can't HRD direct its generosity elsewhere? No one believes that there is only one suitable site in all of Columbia.
Let the message be loud and clear: The Columbia Hills residents do not want, do not need, and will not tolerate the proposed facility.
It is patently inappropriate despite the technicalities of the law. We sincerely hope that HRD, CA and appropriate county officials can get their heads together and formulate an alternative plan with significantly less impact on theadjacent residents.
KEEP CA SITE IN COLUMBIA
From: Adrian Gravelle
Can you believe that the Columbia Association cannot find 4 1/2 acres anywhere in Columbia to build a new maintenance facility? Instead, it has selected a site betweenRoute 108 and Edgar Road outside of Columbia.