Senior housing: It takes two to compromiseIn attempting to...

LETTERS

April 14, 1996

Senior housing: It takes two to compromise

In attempting to provide balance, your April 2 editorial, "The need for elderly housing," would have better served readers if it described the positive efforts of local developers.

Yes, there is a tremendous need for elderly housing in Howard County, a fact that is well-documented. However, your admonition that developers should "strive to work with the surrounding community" does not acknowledge that we, the developers of one of those communities, offered on numerous occasions to meet with the neighbors. What does a developer do when the residents refuse to meet? We design a project that buffers all surrounding properties with 80- to 100-foot set backs; we plan only one- and two-story units closest to neighboring properties, and we screen deliveries and trash from any outside view. Two-thirds of the site is undisturbed, traffic will be less than that generated by single-family homes and property values will be unaffected.

. Earl Armiger

Ellicott City

The writer is president of the Orchard Development Corp.

New River Hill schedule hurts music

The Sun was right on target in its editorial of Feb. 23, "Frills they're not," addressing music and arts as easy targets for school budget-cutters. Maintaining funding for music and arts would appear to be an action of support for these programs by the county. However, another action being taken by the Howard County Department of Education is reducing the opportunities students will have to participate in music programs.

The new River Hill High School in Clarksville will house a technology magnet program in addition to the regular high school academic curriculum. This technology program will be open to students from all schools in the western part of the county. The technology curriculum contains classes that are scheduled in a four-by-four semester block format. However, all students at River Hill will have to follow this format.

The four-by-four semester block schedule, which is being implemented at River Hill over the objection of many parents and students, provides four classes of approximately 90 minutes each day. This schedule enables a student to complete a course within one semester instead of two, as a student would do in a seven-period day or in an alternating day schedule. The student takes the same classes each day of the week and can accumulate 32 credits during four years.

The two high schools being divided up to form River Hill are Atholton and Glenelg. Currently, both of these schools are on an alternating day schedule where students attend the same three classes every other day and a fourth class every day to complete a subject in two semesters. Under this schedule, 28 credits can be earned during four years.

While the four-by-four semester block schedule may offer students the opportunity for more electives or to graduate in less than four years, this schedule actually penalizes students who want to pursue musical and artistic interests.

The current alternating day schedule provides the opportunity for these students to attend both band and choral classes throughout the entire school year. This provides the continuity necessary for a student to become proficient in music, thereby enhancing the school's program. The four-by-four semester block schedule does not provide this opportunity.

It is safe to say that many of the parents who chose to raise their children in Howard County did so because of the opportunities ** offered in the schools. The parents and students of Atholton and Glenelg have invested significant time, effort and money to help create two of the best music programs in the region.

The students of Atholton and Glenelg deserve to have the musical and artistic opportunities currently available to them continue.

Stephen E. Frank

Clarksville

The writer is a member of the Atholton High School Music Boosters and a parent of a student being redistricted to River Hill High School.

Ron Brown's unfailing optimism

The Howard County Democratic Central Committee would like to express our sorrow and pain at the loss of our former national chairman, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. Those of us who knew him were always struck by his strong sense of pride in his party and his unfailing optimism.

This was a man who thoroughly enjoyed life and the political setting that was his choice. Ron Brown always tackled every problem with a surety of purpose and a willingness to see each job to the end. The loss of Secretary Brown and the other patriots on his plane will be deeply felt. Our prayers go to the families of all the victims.

Carole Fisher

Columbia

The writer is chairwoman of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee.

All council members need to cut costs and lead by example, Drown says

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