Who gains from Route 32? And what do they want to call...

LETTERS

November 10, 1996

Who gains from Route 32? And what do they want to call their home?

Your editorial of Oct. 21, "Why Route 32" advises that the "opponents of nearby highway expansion ignore regional benefits." It further suggests that a new four-to six-lane highway would "spur regional economic activity" and allow "big rigs" to carry the products of local farmers.

When the new Route 32 to Clarkville opened a few months ago, all of a sudden "big rigs" which had been using alternative dual-lane and interstate routes switched to the new 32. Not only did Route 32 see "big rig" traffic increase exponentially, but some adjacent rural roads became thruways, with three or four of those "big rigs" at a time traveling among the school buses, tractors and local folks.

With few exceptions, these "big rigs" were not hauling Howard County farm crops or livestock. My family and I certainly do not and have not expected western Howard County to forever remain an uncluttered enclave. What we do expect is that those of us who choose to live here will be accorded just as much "benefit" from our environment as the financial "benefit" that is accorded developers if the road is expanded.

Next time you you decide to leave suburbia for a nice drive in the "country," watch out for that 18-wheeled rig in front of you. It probably will not be carrying Howard County cattle or corn.

John W. Wisor

Glenwood

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In your editorial about Route 32 in Howard County, you refer to George Orwell's "Animal Farm," where the newcomers take over. Here in the southeast corner, the newcomers not only want to take over but in articles in The Sun, the Washington Post and local papers, they have consistently expressed their dislike of the name "Scaggsville" and expressed their intention of imposing a new, more suitable (upscale) name. After months of proclaiming their preferred name, Rocky Gorge, they should not be surprised that long-time residents are irritated and offended and not likely to join their efforts.

Jane G. Wall

Laurel

'Take these new cable stations -- or else'

Imagine if every business had the special privilege of selling the way cable television does. Comcast cable, for example, merely needs to send a note saying, in effect, "Hey, we don't care whether you want them or not, but we're sending you several more stations and charging you only $50 more a year. If you don't want them, you can, of course, always cancel your cable TV service totally!"

The phone company could send us a note saying, "Hey, we don't care whether you want call waiting or not. From now on, you've got it, and we're only going to charge you $50 more a year. If you don't want it, you can, of course, be disconnected from phone service totally!" And next year give us conference calling for another $50, whether we want it or not.

House and Garden, Time and other magazines, instead of asking if we want their special issues, could just send us a note saying, "Hey, we don't care whether you want them or not, but you're getting our special issues for only $50 more a year! Of course, if you don't want them, you can cancel your subscription and not get our magazine at all."

Certainly that would save all these companies sales staffs, printing costs and postage for repeated solicitations. And save us time. No longer would we have to take the time to decide what we want. Thanks, Comcast, for making life easier.

Bob Krasnansky

Ellicott City

Apportioning blame for teen's death

It is tragic for a 13-year-old middle schooler to collapse and die in a school gymnasium playing a game dear to his heart.

But one cannot help thinking that at his age and knowing of his condition (wearing a heart monitor), he might have shouldered some responsibility for his own well-being by limiting his exertions to climbing the school stairs.

Difficult though it may be for his family, friends and relations to face, instead of pointing the finger of blame at the school for a lapse of acting in loco parentis, their loved one and they themselves share the responsibility for his early demise.

Russ Seese

Aberdeen

Bravo to restaurants that resist smoking ban

Howard County, that paragon of correctness, finds to its collective horror that certain restaurants are less than totally submissive in their compliance with the county's new anti-smoking law.

The Sun editorializes that the fight is over, the law is passed and it is time for all good subjects to knuckle under. But The Sun also notes that "anti-smoking zealots" still push to make the onerous burden even tougher. Is it any wonder that some business owners have balked? Perhaps they see that this battle is only just joined, rather than ended.

You see, this whole thing has never really been about first-hand or second-hand smoke, or even about smoking at all. No, it is really about control, whether we will give Prohibition another try, or whether we will learn from the past instead of endlessly repeating it.

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