Smoke-Free ShoppingOn Dec. 18, I ventured out with my...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 30, 1994

Smoke-Free Shopping

On Dec. 18, I ventured out with my checkbook to buy my Christmas presents. I first went to a mall in Bowie which was nearly devoid of shoppers but filled with tobacco smoke. After about five minutes in the mall, without buying a single gift, I returned to my car and drove to the Annapolis Mall where there was wall-to-wall shoppers but no tobacco smoke.

. . . In the past few weeks, several of my acquaintances said they also drove out of Prince George's County to do their shopping in a smoke-free environment.

Although I believe in supporting our local merchants, . . . I intend to do my shopping in Anne Arundel County until our Prince George's County merchants decide to eliminate carcinogens from the air in their malls.

John O'Hara

Bowie

Gary on Jail?

In a Sun article Dec. 8, John Gary, announcing his candidacy for Anne Arundel County executive, stated that he is opposed to the Jennifer Road jail expansion. . . . This statement by Mr. Gary has confused me about his position concerning the jail because last Oct. 13, I attended a meeting of United We Stand America at which John Gary was the guest speaker. I specifically asked him what was his opinion on the jail expansion. Mr. Gary at that time said that the expansion was necessary. He said that Phase 1 "must be done" and that Phase 2 "may be needed."

Mr. Gary, please end my confusion. Are you really against the Jennifer Road jail expansion or are you just posturing, knowing that many voting citizens are against this project? . . . And did you throw in that little disclaimer about going along with whatever the County Council decides just so the voters won't blame you when you do go ahead with the jail expansion? Please end my confusion.

Pam Asa

Severna Park

Why Not Skins? Here's Why Not

Letters like those written by H. Walter Townshend (Jan. 9) are a pleasure to read. The enthusiasm and civic pride jump off the page, and the reader is left with a sense of optimism and positive outlook . . . However, I have a few comments concerning issues that he failed to highlight, regarding my appreciation for the Central Maryland region and desire to preserve its value.

My wife and I came to Laurel about seven years ago. We liked Laurel so much that when it came time to move to a larger home as our family grew, we moved just a few miles east to the edge of town in Anne Arundel County. That was before Jack Kent Cooke announced his plan to build his stadium at Laurel Raceway.

Many people caught up in the frenzy of this proposal fail to realize that Laurel Raceway is situated near large tracts of residences and businesses serviced by one- and two-lane roads that are already at capacity. Mr. Cooke's people have promised to make use of the "spider web" layout of local roads and, where necessary, make use of the road shoulders and reprogram lights to allow quicker access to and from the stadium. In other words, to keep residential traffic from interfering with stadium traffic, thousands of people who live in Laurel, including my family, will become prisoners in their homes.

. . . Aside from the eyesore and general nuisance of living near a monstrosity like that, what will happen on event days when someone needs police or an ambulance, or a parent can't rush their child to the hospital?

Another misconception regards the dubious financial benefits to the state. . . . What is really disturbing about this whole process is that residents of Anne Arundel County, who have the most to lose, are in a political limbo. . . .

In fact, the biggest support for the stadium comes from lawmakers in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, jurisdictions which don't have to live with the traffic, trash, noise, crime, etc. . . .

Every resident of the state will be underwriting this mess for years to come, especially those in Anne Arundel County, which will provide police and fire protection to the area. State and county taxes will also pay for the decay of the local roads, and everyone in the region will pay for the damage done to the Patuxent River and Oxbow Nature Reserve (just a few hundred yards from the proposed site) from the trash and runoff of the stadium and its more than 20,000 oil-soaked parking spaces. . . .

We in western Anne Arundel County are . . . at the mercy of interloping businesses that can buy large tracts of land, regardless of original zoning, and be put at risk of having our way of life changed for the worse with minimal support from our elected officials. People throughout the state need to ask themselves one question: "Is my community next?"

Mark Brusberg

Laurel

____________

Don't move the Washington Redskins to Laurel. Try Rose Haven at the southern tip of Anne Arundel County and call the team the Rose Haven Reds. Repeat it: Rose Haven Reds.

Say it aloud, it resonates. Roll it around in your mouth, it feels good. And it is so politically correct. The symbol of the Rose Haven Reds would be a rooster -- the Old English Black-breasted Red Game Rooster would probably be best, considering our history. A very feisty bird.

The location would be perfect. A mere 30 minutes from Capitol Hill and next to the biggest marina on the East Coast. A potential airport is nearby, and 500 undeveloped acres are available. . . .

Anne Arundel County wants to close its landfills and build a big incinerator. Let Laurel have the incinerator and let Rose Haven have the Redskins. . . .

Tom Gill

Rose Haven

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