Saving theme park was just a fairy taleIn response to the...

Letters

June 02, 1996

Saving theme park was just a fairy tale

In response to the May 20 article in The Sun for Howard regarding the closing of the Enchanted Forest Theme Park and the resulting negative impact on the businesses there, I would like to add I could have told you so.

At the time Jeffrey Pechter bought the land and planned the mall, his son came to speak to a community meeting, encouraging us to accept the planned development. His speeches were sweet, but unconvincing. Promises were made to keep the theme park, a much-loved place for parents to take their children and spend a happy day picnicking, visiting the castle and riding "Lil' Toot."

Many of us felt that this new owner had no intention of continuing the park. We felt his intent was to cut down most of the beautiful stand of pine trees, pave over the land and build many stores that we did not want or need.

So much for the promises and integrity of another developer. We could see it coming. Why couldn't business owners recognize what was happening? Howard County has lost the Enchanted Forest as we knew it. We have lost a once-great family theme park and a safe and happy place for our children.

M. Jane Doyle

Ellicott City

New Columbia chair has mission confused

"Law and order."

In 1968, the winning candidate for president ran on that platform. The joke then was that he should have run for sheriff. It is local government that has primary responsibility for law enforcement.

"Property values, crime and the public schools."

The new chair of the Columbia Council reportedly has announced that those should be the center of the council's attention. He, too, seems to have won the wrong office.

Marketing Columbia is the job of the developer.

Crime is the responsibility of the police department.

The public schools are for the Board of Education.

Then what tasks face the Columbia Council? Independently directing the management of the Columbia Association. Assuring better facilities and services. Reducing the annual property charge and user fees. Making CA more open, democratic and responsive. Paying off CA's $90 million debt. Searching for a successor for President Padraic Kennedy when he retires.

Accomplishing those tasks will help make Columbia "the address of choice in Maryland."

Chuck Rees

Columbia

The writer is president of the Alliance for a Better Columbia.

Bartlett: Misquoted on Mafia analogy

To illustrate the absurd and baseless logic underlying a scurrilous implication by my opponent, I used the following analogy: My opponent "has gotten about $40,000 from organized labor and labor organizations have been linked with the Mafia. Am I to imply by that that [my opponent] supports the Mafia? It's a ridiculous thing."

On May 21, despite the fact that my remarks had been accurately and widely reported by among others, the Associated Press, the Frederick News-Post and the Carroll County Times, The Sun editorial writers misquoted my statement and then chastised me for these "remarks."

In the future, I expect if The Sun takes issue with my words, it will accurately quote them so its readers will not be misinformed or question its journalistic standards and ethics.

Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett

Washington

The writer represents Maryland's 6th Congressional District.

Don't drill for Alaskan oil

I do not support the new bill allowing the export of oil out of the Northern Slope of Alaska again after 23 years.

Sure, this bill does help boost new jobs in the United States and lower gasoline prices, but the wildlife off the coast of Alaska can't take any more abuses like the Exxon Valdez spill.

President Clinton believes that with enough safety standards, the chances for another disaster are slim. However, even if a significant disaster does not occur, wildlife will still be depleted slowly as their habitats contain oil derricks and pipelines. It only takes one minor error to cause massive damage to marine life and other surrounding ecosystems. This is one risk that the U.S. should not take.

Adeep Thurmur

Ellicott City

Politics are not the issue in dispute about fees for trash collection

It was with great concern that I read your editorial of May 22, "Talking trash." It remains to be seen whether Del. Shane Pendergrass is correct about the political issue. If Howard County Republicans run next time on a history of not raising taxes, she has a valid point. But politics are not the issue.

Point 1: The proposed user fee for trash collection will not achieve the needed goal of reducing solid waste production in Howard County, as your editorial so correctly pointed out.

Point 2: As a user fee rather than a tax-based service of the county, it will not be deductible from state and federal income taxes.

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