No objections to range
From: David W. Feaga
I am writing with my concerns and views on the comments against the proposed gun range for the Hoods Mill Road area in Carroll County.
I live in Howard County, in Marriottsville, 1 1/2 miles (8,000 feet) from the Marriottsville gun range. Therefore, I feel I have a good view of the situation at hand.
First, about noise levels: I could not tell you the last time I noticed the shooting at the range. In fact, the trap range shoots in my direction and until 10 p.m. at times, and it goes unnoticed and holds no comparison to the train's whistle, which also goes unnoticed by the residents here.
Second, about the effect on wildlife: All you need to do is take an evening drive through Marriottsville and the roads near the gun range and talk to the residents in the area, and you will find that the wildlife is not just doing well, but the deer are actually becoming a problem both as a driving hazard and a destructive nuisance to crops and landscaping.
Even wild turkeys are now thriving in this area, where they did not exist previously.
Third, about accident hazards: A visit to the organized gun range
would show you that safety is No. 1 at those facilities. Organized ranges are a much safer alternative than trying to find an area to practice without proper backstops and safety zones.
Fourth, about property values: As a longtime resident of Marriottsville, I can only tell you that according to my tax assessment, the property values are not adversely affected by the gun range. Property values in Marriottsville have continued to rise, at the same or greater rate as the rest of Howard County.
In conclusion, I would just like to say, let's not try to influence our neighboring county's desire to provide an organized, safe place for shooting sports until we have looked at the performance records and actual effects of existing ranges around us.
Meeting on Route 100
From: Valerie McGuire
An open letter to C. Vernon Gray [Howard County Council chairman]:
Thank you for giving me the answer to the question concerning the coordination of permits at various federal, state, and county levels. Finally.
NB In my open letter to you, "Calling Vernon Gray," I should have
used the word "answer" rather than "reply" when I stated, "I was waiting four months for a reply to correspondence dated Jan. 31, 1992."
However, the bottom line is that you dropped the ball on this one. So your acknowledgment of being "remiss" in not sending me Mr. [Joseph] Rutter's answer to my question is duly noted.
Since your open letter to me highlighted my community's request for a meeting, I would like to take this opportunity to respond. The facts of the matter as I know them are:
* On Feb. 10, 1992, County Executive Charles Ecker kindly met with several community association members. Although we did not ask him to arrange a meeting with the council, we did inform him of our desire to do so.
* On Feb. 19, 1992, the chairman of the council was communicated to verbally by a member of my community regarding a meeting with the council about our concerns over Route 100. This occurred at the Route 100 alternate presentation held at the Maryland School for the Deaf. During this time frame, Councilman Charles Feaga was approached about having a meeting with our community.
* On May 14, 1992, the community association requested the delegation's assistance in helping us get a meeting with the council. On May 22, 1992, I contacted council offices to ask for, among other things, a community meeting with the council before SHA's public presentation in the fall.
* On June 4, 1992, I spoke to the executive secretary to the council, Hugh Forton, to request a meeting with the council before SHA's public presentation in the fall. On June 27, 1992, I sent you a letter asking once again for a meeting with the council before September.
* On July 7, 1992, I spoke to Legislative Assistant Joan Morgan about arranging a target date for a meeting with the council. On July 10, 1992, I wrote a letter to confirm my conversation with Ms. Morgan.
One would think with all this communication that we should be able to come to an understanding and set a date for a meeting to take place.
According to your open letter, "Update on Route 100," Sharon Rogers "honored" my request for a meeting with the council at a council work session. Regretfully, neither I nor the Hunt Country Estates Community Association received any notification about a meeting verbally or in writing. It is amazing that the council has the talent of writing memos yet not answering the mail or carrying through on a citizen's questions.
Councilman Gray, if you would like to take credit for a meeting that failed to materialize, then by all means do so. Personally, I'd rather see you take credit for making it a reality.
This is not a closed matter. It is our hope that we can still get a meeting date set before the public hearings on Route 100. In the meantime, perhaps you could answer two questions.
How many meetings has the council or a member of the council granted to SHA?
Do we need to make a contribution to a council member's political campaign in order to get a meeting?
I find it immensely amusing that I was able to communicate with you by finally writing to you through the Sun's editorial section.
Now that I have your undivided attention, Councilman Gray, should we continue our correspondence on a more personal level rather than through the editorial section of this newspaper?
I can assure you that I do answer my telephone calls, return call and answer my mail. I'll leave it up to you.