Festival Was Success

Readers writes

March 15, 1992

From: Sylvia Anderson

Library Media

County public schools

As organizer of the Bates Middle School African Festival, I would like to thank you for your coverage. Our students had an exciting, educational day learning and experiencing African culture by attending various stations.

These stations included: cooking and tasting, storytelling, arts and crafts, and music and dance.

Our students and staff enjoyed a memorable day which promoted respect, appreciation, and sensitivity to our multi-cultural backgrounds.

Again, thank you for your coverage. It was especially niceto see the genuine interest and enthusiasm that the photographer, Algerina Perna, exhibited while covering the event.

EVANS LET US DOWN

From: Edie Segree

Arnold

Councilwoman Diane Evans' comments at a recent Lower Broadneck Federation meeting were a real kick in theface to the people of the Broadneck Peninsula.

I am referring to her ready "acceptance" of County Executive Robert Neall's decision toleave the funds for planning an addition to Broadneck High School inescrow because construction money might not be forthcoming. (Keep inmind, the planning money is already there; it just can't be spent unless moved to a different account.)

This is the opposite approach of our previous Councilwoman Carole Baker, who actively fought for the inclusion of planning money in the fiscal year 1991 budget.

Carole's reasons were simple:

* Even without the addition of ninth-grade students, the numbers of students who currently were in the Broadneck attendance area justified the expansion;

* The children who had attended elementary schools in trailers would end up attending highschool in trailers, too, if there was no addition.

This clearly was not justified. Carole Baker won her fight and the planning money was included in the supplemental budget and passed by the County Council.

We all know times are rough. But it's going to be tough on theBroadneck community, too, when in 1993 its high school becomes the only one in the state without a ninth grade.

Where is our councilwoman when we need her? Instead of fighting to keep our planning money in for what it was designated, Diane Evans is caving in to the countyexecutive.

If we do not begin planning soon, costs of construction and new regulations will delay the needed addition even further. Asit is, even if planning were to begin this fiscal year, the additionwould not open until 1996.

The people of the Broadneck Peninsula helped elect Diane Evans. Now it is time for her to show she truly represents them and their interests.

RETHINK DETENTION SITE

From: Sebastian S. Valenti

President

Point Pleasant Shoreland Improvement Association

Several members of our community called your officeexpressing concerns about the proposed detention center and the proposed site on Ordnance Depot Road. We have been advised you responded with a form letter, so advising your constituents of your reasons foryour decision to go with the Ordnance Depot site.

In response to your letter, we, the members of the Point Pleasant Shoreland community, would like to make you aware of our concerns and fears.

We are aware the county has outgrown the facility on Jennifer

Road. The previous administration was aware of the problems and has "put the ball in your court," so to speak.

(Former County Executive O. James) Lighthizer was astute enough to understand the placement of a detention center any place but Jennifer Road would create an outcry from thepublic, especially if they saw the placement as retaliatory or unnecessary. He had planned on a multilevel detention center on the present site or the sites adjacent to that site.

This was not only a sound political decision, but there is nothing wrong with a multistoriedjail for the safe housing of prisoners. The Baltimore County Jail and the Maryland Reception Diagnostic and Classification Center have been proven ideal facilities for short-term offenders. The acreage on Jennifer Road will accommodate these needs and all prisoner housing will be centralized.

As for state funding being available, we are sure you can get state funding based on plans made under the previous administration.

It is our belief that you have been left with an impossible task. The decision to build in North County took a great deal of courage on your part when you were asked to accept the recommendations of your advisers and staff. It is our belief that your staff is asking you to sacrifice your esteem in order to get what they consider a state-of-the-art prison.

There are many reasons why North County residents don't want a prison facility in the very populated corridor. The reasons may be sound or they may just be the concerns of citizens who feel our government has lost the sensitivity for its people.

We are sure you are aware that North County has fought smokestacks, landfills, polluted creeks, petroleum depots, coal docks, asphalt plants, junk yards and any other polluting idea under the sun. We would like to be considered for parks, swimming pools, amphitheaters and such, but we have heard no voice from Annapolis along these lines. Furnace Creek would make a fine backdrop for an amphitheater.

Wehave been told that this detention center is a "done deal." It is our hope that you will have an open mind on this matter and hear the many voices who want an honorable end to what has been called an impossible situation.

Editor's note: This letter was addressed to Anne Arundel County Executive Robert Neall.

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