One football loss doesn't mean community crisisYikes! Our...

LETTERS

October 05, 1997

One football loss doesn't mean community crisis

Yikes! Our high school team loses a football game and it is described as an underlying "tale of neighborhood's troubles" ("Football rivalry tells a bigger story," editorial, Sept. 23).

I have grown accustomed to The Sun's disparaging editorials regarding Howard County in general (Horrors! It's run by Republicans!) and Columbia in particular. But this one made me laugh.

When my wife, children and I moved to Maryland from out of state last year, we could have settled anywhere, but chose to buy a home in Columbia. All of us were charmed by this Howard County community, its diversity and neighborliness. There is a pride and spirit in the residents here that is Columbia's true appeal.

In fact, we chose to move to one of Columbia's "older" neighborhoods, into an immaculate 30-year-old home in Thunder Hill in Oakland Mills village. When we stroll along our famous pathways, through park-like open space and neighborhoods, we find the biggest difference between the "newer" and "older" Columbia neighborhoods is the size of the trees.

From your ivory tower on Calvert Street, overlooking the "incredible shrinking city" of Baltimore, the ever-increasing growth of the suburbs (what you call the "semi-urban communities") seems to be galling. But it should not be surprising.

By the way, our soccer team won against a "big" school yesterday. Does that make us OK?

Michael Simon

Columbia I strongly agree with your article dealing with sex offenders needing more programs. Anyone who feels the need to sexually harass or abuse someone else has no right to live in this society as a free individual.

Taylor Manor in Ellicott City should not stop its programs. Instead, it should find more ways to help these sick people become better. The governor should help with the costs toward fundings of these facilities. If juveniles get arrested for sexual misconduct, they shouldn't be sent away to get help.

Amber White

Baltimore

Killing, eating deer may not be good idea

I am writing in response to a letter Sept. 7 ("Deer cause damage, should be harvested"). I was deeply offended by the writer's solution to the overpopulation of deer. The suggestion was to kill the deer and donate the venison to local food banks.

The author also stated that deer are full of bacteria, which can cause Lyme disease. The solution? Eat this meat?

There is a natural balance in nature. By killing off some of the deer population, we are affecting this delicate system. There may not be a quick fix to this problem. However, we cannot just react without knowing what other problems we may be creating.

Melissa Schantz

Ellicott City

CTC wants to improve Yellow, not get rid of it

I read with great interest the Sept. 17 editorial on reliability of public transportation in Howard County ("Reliability is key to bus system").

The tone suggested that the bus system is completely off-schedule and that the operator, Yellow Transportation, cannot competently run the service.

While it is true that the transition from the previous contractor to the new operator has proven more troublesome than anticipated, the Corridor Transportation Corp.'s (CTC) immediate objective as Howard County's transit manager will be to correct the problems rather than seek immediate termination of the contract.

The CTC prefers this approach for several reasons:

Although some of the Howard Area Transit System (HATS) service on-time performance problems can be attributed to road construction projects, in large part the service disruptions are related to the condition of the existing fleet and the proper maintenance of the coaches. The CTC has taken steps to have the equipment repaired and has notified Yellow for the need to greatly intensify its efforts on the maintenance of the vehicles.

Yellow Transportation was selected by CTC as the fixed-route operator based not only upon its record as a capable transit company, but also because of its price. Had the next most dTC responsive proposal been selected, the cost to Howard County to operate the buses would have increased by $250,000 annually, without any guarantee that service could be more effective. The CTC has a fiduciary responsibility to Howard County government and citizens to ensure that the service is efficient, cost-effective and reliable.

The formation of the Passenger Advisory Group has been a goal of Howard County for the past year, not just a reaction to the recent service problems. In addition to obtaining feedback from this group, both CTC and Yellow will closely monitor operations in the field to identify conditions which might generate potential operational difficulties.

The CTC has conducted and will continue to conduct periodic passenger surveys, which will be used to gauge how the majority of riders perceive the service and to determine what improvements are essential.

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