Sacred Places, property rights and bigotryMembers of the...

LETTERS

October 26, 1997

Sacred Places, property rights and bigotry

Members of the Carroll County Landowners Association who participated in the Sacred Places Workshop this month were pleasantly surprised to find that the sessions were not designed to target private property for acquisition without compensation, as had been our fear.

These fears were generated by incorrect information from the planning staff that landowners might have to relinquish additional property rights.

We were delighted to hear recommendations for planning that would cluster housing and provide for open space without infringing on property rights or placing the burden solely on landowners.

Our concern now is that the county, particularly the planning commission, will ignore the recommendations coming from the workshop since the recommendations are akin to those made by the citizens committees of several years ago whose many months of hard work now gather dust somewhere in a forgotten document called the Southwest Plan.

It appears the planning staff now revising the master plan has also decided to ignore almost all of the recommendations made by four work teams that spent countless volunteer hours reaching a consensus on numerous issues, many of which were addressed by the Sacred Places Workshop.

But the most important issue that must be addressed and that was brought to light during the workshop was the behavior of planning commissioner Grant Dannelly, who questioned the presence and motives of certain participants in the program.

Even more outrageous were the shocking, insensitive statements and jokes he made about the people afflicted with Alzheimer's disease in Copper Ridge. My mother is a patient there. His statements were particularly painful to me.

It was no less shocking when he went on to insult the entire Asian community by complaining that the "Orientals" -- his word -- were taking our water from the spring on Henryton Road and he now has to wait in line.

Debate is always healthy, even when our views may be 180 degrees apart, but when one resorts to bigotry and bias toward groups of people including the elderly, disabled and minorities, that goes far beyond legitimate debate and is not acceptable.

The county commissioners need to demonstrate to the citizens of Carroll County that such conduct by an appointed official will not be tolerated. The only effective way to do so is for the county commissioners to compel Mr. Dannelly's resignation from the planning commission. Failure to do so will send the message that they condone his remarks and share his views.

Edward Primoff

Sykesville

The writer is president of the Carroll County Landowners Association.

Orioles: From 'Why not?' to 'Why bother?'

I was upset to hear that Orioles management refused the city's offer to hold a parade for the team because they didn't win the championship and, therefore, didn't deserve a parade.

Contrary to the belief of O's management, these parades are not held solely for the Orioles.

They are held for Orioles fans who, I would like to remind them, stuck it out with this team for 172 grueling games and supported them to the bitter end.

Although I, like all O's fans, was disappointed that the O's didn't win the American League pennant and advance to the World Series, I spent seven months pouring out my heart, soul and hundreds of hard-earned dollars to support them.

I think we deserve a parade. It is unfortunate that the people who will suffer from the Orioles decision are the fans, the same fans who received negative press for being "fair weather" during the playoff series.

It was obvious in the last game that the fans, at least, rallied for the cause. It is unfortunate that it now appears we were rooting for a "fair weather team" that doesn't feel our efforts are worth being rewarded.

I remember a parade for the '89 second-best team in the American League East that carried the message, "Why not?"

Is the new message coming from O's management, "Why bother?"

Julie Doyle

Sykesville

Opponents of national school testing aren't necessarily ignorant, biased

This is in response to an Oct. 3 Opinion * Commentary article by John Brain ("Testing academic authority") that discussed the issue of national testing in the schools and those opposed to it.

As a Carroll County school board member, I am one of those opposed to the idea of more testing.

Mr. Brain starts with the "states rights" groups insisting that education is a state and local responsibility. This is an absolute truth.

The U.S. Constitution does not give the federal government any authority over education. In fact, the courts have ruled that participation by the states in any programs of the U.S. Department of Education is voluntary.

Mr. Brain also says minorities oppose the testing.

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