Sun's argument on rail and trail is flawedYour Nov. 25...

LETTERS

December 15, 1996

Sun's argument on rail and trail is flawed

Your Nov. 25 editorial ("Can light rail and bike trail co-exist?") states "that using the [B&A] trail for future light rail extension in Anne Arundel seems the easiest and least expensive route."

The Sun has reached a conclusion based on information that is neither applicable nor consistent with the facts. You simply extrapolated the $20 million cost of the Alignment 5A and 5B, which includes the rail and trail on the same roadbed, and applied this cost base to the entire 13.5 miles of the trail.

Had you done any investigation, research or even visited the trail, you would realize that the trail is not the wide flat highway found in Alignment 5A and 5B, but a 10-foot strip of macadam surrounded by hills, deep ravines, numerous street crossings and bridges that will require an enormous amount of site preparation. Also, had The Sun contacted MTA's project manager for this project, I am certain he would have advised you that it would be foolhardy and reckless to base the cost of the Glen Burnie-Annapolis B&A trail-light rail extension on the costs generated for the Glen Burnie extension.

In addition, there are numerous wetlands areas within the B&A Trail's 66-foot right of way that are protected by state law. There is no easy, inexpensive or legal way to destroy these protected wetlands, which would happen if the light rail and B&A Trail were to be constructed using the full width of the trail right-of-way.

I am certain that had you known of these facts, you would have reached a different conclusion.

Stan Lebar

Severna Park

The writer is president of The Friends of the B&A Trail, Inc.

Differing ideas make state's GOP flourish

With the recent appointment of Bob Neall to the late Jack Cade's District 33 Senate seat, The Sun has given the residents of Maryland a view of the internal workings of a growing Republican Party that joins many people with different (and sometimes opposing) ideas.

All of these people have a common desire to see the Republican Party flourish in Maryland. I believe that people are attracted to the Republican Party based on its ideals. These people will stay with the party based on the desire of its leaders to stick to those ideals. During the recent appointment process for Mr. Cade's seat, the residents of Anne Arundel County were given a chance to state their opinions openly and honestly. Many of them are gratified to have taken this opportunity, which in the past they have too often neglected. The opportunity to have these discussions and to express opinions is crucial to any political system. Such discussions will continue to solidify and strengthen unity within the Republican Party.

I congratulate Mr. Neall on his appointment to the seat, and I am certain that he will work for all the residents of District 33 and for the state of Maryland. I also congratulate the Anne Arundel County Central Committee for discussing and listening to the candidates, their ideas and the opinions of the residents of Anne Arundel County in an open and honest debate.

Allen Furth

Annapolis

The writer is a member of the Anne Arundel County Young Republicans Club.

'Loose cannon' or a case of hysterical opposition?

We have a loose cannon plunging wildly across the gun deck of formerly quiet and stable residential property ownership in Anne Arundel County. It could maim or squash every residential owner on board.

The "cannon" is the spot-insertion of commercial enterprises blasted into the midst of zones that used to be reserved for private residences. The aroused uncertainties have dropped nearby private residential property values sharply (as much as $35,000, estimated by one owner's real estate adviser). No one can be assured that some new group-home won't suddenly drop in for the (likely) brief duration of its profitability, and then decay, along with its residents, into yet another bankruptcy.

Vacant lots in subdivisions, and even converted existing structures, may be put to the 15-or-less-residents usage. That would truly clobber the market value of Mr. and Mrs. Smith's family home down the block. All residential owners should cry "foul" to county and state officials to prevent either de-stabilizing code revisions or the laxity of strict code-enforcement (in particular cases) from harming them. Regain control of that loose cannon. Lash it safely down. Spike it!

Wallace Hankins

Severna Park

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I was puzzled and somewhat saddened to see the article covering the protest of the construction of the assisted living facility on Arundel Beach Road by some of my neighbors -- puzzled as to the reason why some in the neighborhood would object at all, and saddened because of the tactics employed by them. My family lives within four doors of the facility. For some time now, some person or group has been circulating fliers in the neighborhood, protesting the planned construction of the assisted living facility in rather hysterical terms.

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