Right call on Becky, but wrong on Meade girlsOn March 27...


April 14, 1996

Right call on Becky, but wrong on Meade girls

On March 27, 63 players, parents and supporters of the Meade girls' basketball team came out to our first-ever banquet. Even though the night was set up for fun and excitement, we still had to revisit the question of why our team was made to forfeit 11 games. One parent went so far as to ask me, "Why did Dr. Carol Parham not step in and help out our team like she did for Arundel?"

I told all of my parents last night that the school superintendent made the correct decision allowing Becky Carlson to play baseball at Arundel High School.

But her action in this case made me also wonder where Dr. Parham was when my girls needed her. Some coaches and athletic directors in our county and throughout the state have told me, the only thing we did wrong was to turn ourselves in. I feel bad that is the way they feel, but after this, I can understand their feeling.

Several years ago, the University of Maryland did an internal investigation of former coach Bob Wade's basketball programs. Maryland found that Coach Wade had unintentionally broken a few minor National Collegiate Athletic Association rules. Maryland turned its findings over to the NCAA expecting leniency, but it received almost the death penalty: two years without postseason play, three less scholarships a year and no television or television revenue for two years.

This year, Florida State was put on probation for similar rules violations. But Florida State was far less cooperative with the NCAA and withheld things that might have increased its penalty. It was put on two years' probation. It received no less in scholarships. It is allowed to participate in post-season play. And, it can be on television and receive television revenue.

This tells us that if you fight the system, withhold evidence and lie, you will win in life. My mother taught me better.

I would personally like to thank all the people in and outside the Meade feeder system who have shown support for our cause. It was greatly appreciated. I hope that this support will generate enough energy that Ned Sparks will overturn the decision and reinstate the 11 wins that the Meade basketball team earned on the court.

Philip D. Popelski Jr.


The writer is coach of the Meade High School girls' basketball team.

Spelling relief on Mountain Road

The March 27 public meeting on the proposed Mountain Road bypass project has reintroduced the controversy on how best to move traffic off the peninsula. I apologize that I was not personally able to attend the meeting, though I was represented by my legislative assistant, Kevin Reigrut.

It seems to me that the meeting brought out opinions which indicate that the proposal would be very intrusive to many residents. As the only state legislator who lives down Mountain Road and sits daily in the bumper-to-bumper traffic, I certainly understand the need for a solution to alleviate the traffic congestion. My concern about the potential negative impact on the neighboring communities, however, makes me skeptical that the bypass is the best proposal.

In fact, the other District 31 legislators and I wrote to David Winstead, secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, last November encouraging him to provide funding to widen Mountain Road. A surplus from the Transportation Trust Fund in the amount of $500,000 has been allocated in the fiscal year 1997 budget to complete the necessary engineering studies.

For several years, I have also been interested in the use of dedicated signal lanes, with two lanes leaving the peninsula in the morning and two lanes returning at night, much like those used on the Hanover Street and Chesapeake Bay bridges.

The Anne Arundel County public school system should also play a role in the debate over how to correct the problem by studying the issue of students driving to school as well as the possibility of moving school bus stops off Mountain Road and onto side streets. There is no question that something must be done to alleviate the terrible congestion that thousands of drivers face during every morning and evening rush hour. I will continue to work to ensure that the needs of motorists as well as the rights of property owners are fully protected in whatever projects are considered.

Victoria L. Schade


The writer is a state delegate representing Legislative District 31.

Armacost's advice and Australia

I was sad and pleased to read Elise Armacost's "A columnist's farewell to a second home town," (March 31). Sad to see her go and pleased that she will be writing a column on metropolitan issues in the Sunday Perspective section. I look forward to them.

In her final column, Elise wisely says that the counties must face the problems of Baltimore City, and the suburbs can no longer ignore and hide from them.

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