Punitive Cable Rates

Readers write

January 26, 1992

From: Mariann Hein

Ellicott City

When the cable TV rates recently increased again, I called and made arrangements to have my basic service downgraded to the limited service. I was told I'd have to pay the technician $25 that day.

Just as the technician stated, he informed me that if I downgraded, I could no longer use the remote control to change channels. Neither could I record one program on my VCR while watching another, thus denyingyou one of the prime feature of your remote and your VCR.

In other words, if you want to pay them less, they'll "punish you."

ISSUE ANNUAL PERMITS

From: Tom O'Brien

Ellicott City

Glen Mar residents will easily recall the travesty that happened to them when NV Land destroyed mature trees and what the residents considered a stream at the edge of their properties last year.

It was allowed due to a grandfather clause.

A similar situation has occurred at the southern end of the development known as Montgomery Meadows.

NV Land started construction of a storm water management facility in the wetlands of Deep Run Creek with permits issued by the county in 1989. Maturetrees were destroyed and the habitat damaged.

This time a permit had expired and the necessary federal permits were not obtained.

Iam extremely perturbed by the licensing and permit regulations that allow this kind of calamity to happen. I feel that permits should be approved on a yearly basis. If a permit has expired, then a new one would be dependent upon compliance with current regulations.

SUBSIDIZEEDUCATION

From: Sofia Zuberi

Columbia

Money seems to be more important to (County Executive Charles I.) Ecker than education.

Higher taxes would be a dread, but can't he see that (Gov.) Schaefer's made it quite clear the choice is higher taxes or education cuts?

As a Howard County high school student, my learning has been affected drastically by the cuts already made.

It's difficult to pay attention in a 50-degree classroom. The teachers' consistent bad moods don't help either. The thought of my classes becoming any larger, because of the threat of teacher layoffs, is scary.

Even though I don't pay state taxes, I wouldn't mind paying more sales taxes rather than receiving a poor education.

(Sofia Zuberi is a sophomore at Centennial High School.)

AVOIDING ECO-DAMAGE

From: Valerie McGuire

Ellicott City

I have been fighting the alignment of Route 100 because it will severely impact the ecosystem of Deep Run Creek. It is one of the few creeks untouched by development. So imagine my surprisewhen I saw graders and bulldozers actually pushing dirt in the wetlands of the creek.

Imagine my horror when I saw this equipment crossing the creek to the opposite bank. Back and forth these metal monstrosities moved, clanging and roaring as they continued to destroy thewetlands upstream from the community of Hunt Country Estates.

This degradation of the land is not permitted by today's standards. However, I have been told that in 1989, the plans were approved by the appropriate state and county agencies for the storm water management facility of Montgomery Meadows.

Further inquiries revealed a lack ofresponsibility on the part of the county and the developer. One permit had expired and one permit was never obtained from a federal agency.

This is ridiculous. First of all, permits should be issued for one year only. To my way of thinking, a developer should not apply for a permit until he is ready to begin the work the permit is issued for.

If the work has not started within the year, then the developer should reapply using the current standards established for the

current year.

And, second, the agencies should have a system whereby they can communicate with each other to ensure that all permits arein hand before approval is given to begin work.

In this way, future development can better serve the needs of the county, and the county can better serve the current laws and regulations as well as the concerns of its citizens.

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