Safe Water Versus GolfWhat is the difference between a...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 22, 1993

Safe Water Versus Golf

What is the difference between a need and a luxury? In Howard County, it is a safe water supply versus a golf course.

How can a responsible government conclude that Marriottsville residents must pay for water lines and hook-ups when their wells have been contaminated by a single county landfill which services all of Howard County, but the government will pay $6 million, more or less depending on amenities, for a golf course used by a relative few?

Yet these were the apparent conclusions reached on June 30 and July 6 respectively. Ethically and morally, this governmental stance is indefensible. . . . However, there is a win-win solution to this dilemma. According to Mr. Talkin, attorney for 100 Limited Partnership, his developer-client has requested the right to build the proposed golf course if the county fails to build it. Therefore, use the $6 million allocated for the golf course to pay for needed water lines and hook-ups in the Alpha Ridge area and let the developer finance, build and maintain the proposed public golf course. . . .

Jan Chastant

Marriottsville

Zealotry?

Why must this paper blast citizens of this county who are only trying to exercise their rights? Is it wrong to point out all the pros and cons in a given situation? Of course not . . .

The case in point is the July 13 editorial, "Misguided Zealotry." I recently attended the Clarksville meeting concerning the extension of water and sewer into that immediate area. If that meeting is any indication of Susan Gray's stance, then my impression is that Susan Gray does have her priorities straight.

Who can deny that we must all look out for the health and safety of our neighbors? Certainly, these two issues are top priorities for anyone's quality of life. However, Susan has pointed out the ramifications of public water and sewer in order for everyone to make an informed decision: It will result in zoning changes which will affect other factors in one's quality of life.

Perhaps the county can serve the citizens best by providing water service only, since the septic system is all right . . . Valerie McGuire

Ellicott City

Political Labels

After reading the article on the House vote on Medicaid funding for abortions, I was dismayed to see the political bias that often emerges in reports on abortion. The use of the words "conservative" to define abortion opponents . . . and "liberal" to define abortion supporters . . . seems to categorize people and further polarize the country. . . .

I am a white, female, Democrat who is against abortion on demand, the death penalty, banning gays in the military and the recent bombing of Iraq. If I were a representative in Congress voting on this abortion funding bill under which label would you have put me? . . .

It isn't necessary to define members as liberal, conservative, black, white, male or female. Adding such labels only distorts the public's view of our political leaders and unfairly categorizes them into something they might not want to be.

Carolyn Reischl Schwalbe

Columbia

It's Columbia's Call On Pools

Your July 26 editorial concerning the Columbia Association's pools is a disservice to the people of our village and our neighborhood, Kendall Ridge, and implies that the judgment of The Sun is superior to that of the residents of Columbia. It is, however, based on a peculiarly skewed view of one project, not on any fundamental knowledge of our community or its finances.

While the National Recreation and Parks Association can tabulate numbers and calculate quotas, the residents of Columbia are in the best position to decide whether or not their services are adequate and accessible. Even if the population had been doubled to reflect more accurately who may use our pools, since membership is not restricted to Columbians, simply quantifying people and pools is not enough. Columbia's services were intended to be available to everyone, not just those who can drive. The Sun is among the first to lament suburban dependence on cars and should understand the value of putting services . . . within reach of the people who need them.

Pool utilization has been a concern. The clearest statistic that usage studies produce is that Columbia's most used pools are its newest pools. They offer features such as beach entrances that make them more attractive and more accessible. They are also in very short supply in the older areas of Columbia, such as Long Reach. . . .

As far as subsidies are concerned, there is very little about Columbia that is not, in some aspect, subsidized by its residents, including day care, mowing, athletic facilities, arts festivals, community services, pools, pathways and a golf course. The Columbia Association determines what portion of the lien monies will subsidize each of the activities. Whether or not any are profitable is more a matter of how the lien is allocated than of any social or economic merit. . . .

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