Article on Columbia bids contained errorsYour Nov. 22...

LETTERS

December 07, 1997

Article on Columbia bids contained errors

Your Nov. 22 front-page article, "Bid procedures are tightened in Columbia after some sloppiness," contains two gross inaccuracies.

First, your article states that the Columbia Association "awaits the results of the first-ever audit in its 30-year history."

The truth is that CA has an annual audit and has had from its very beginning. CA has also had periodic special audits, e.g., on the Equestrian Center, and special reviews, e.g., internal controls and ash management practices.

Second, your article states, "Historically, this group [the CA board of directors] has offered little oversight of CA spending."

The truth is that The CA board of directors maintains continuous oversight over CA spending, reviews detailed financial management reports at least quarterly and conducts an extended and extensive public budgetary process unprecedented among private, not-for-profit corporations. How do I know? I chaired the CA board of directors and its audit committee.

Your self-congratulatory article was a disservice to CA and The Sun's readers. A formal correction is in order.

Lanny J. Morrison

Columbia

Judge Dudley is right, one feminist says

As a woman and a feminist, I agree with Circuit Court Judge James P. Dudley's comments ("Judge draws criticism over his remarks," Dec. 2). If women want to be taken seriously, if women want to be treated as equals by men, they must take responsiblity for the choices they make in life.

If a man beats you while you're dating, don't marry him. If a man beats you while you're married, don't have children with him. If you have children and a man beats you, do whatever is necessary to protect your children, if not yourself.

Folks, teach your daughters to be strong so they can cope with this reality. Violence against women has been going on since the beginning of time. Isn't it time we stopped tiptoeing around the subject and address it head-on?

Leslie J. Cale

Ellicott City

The writer is a court reporter for Judge James P. Dudley.

A sense of proportion on seat belt tickets

Recently, while driving the three blocks from the local store to my apartment, I was pulled over and ticketed by a member of the Howard County police. My crime: not wearing my seat belt.

This is the same police force that for two months two years ago did nothing while a group of drug thugs terrorized our building until all hours of the night despite repeated complaints about their activities. On at least two occasions, they didn't see fit to make an arrest while drug use was in process.

On the day of my ticketing alone there were five serious property crimes in my area of the county, including two car thefts and two burglaries. One wishes that the seat-belt police would show the same energy in catching the area's car thieves, bank robbers and drug dealers.

Lawrence J. Fischer

Ellicott City

Northern principal did the right thing

Three cheers for Northern High School Principal Alice Morgan Brown. She did what was necessary to control the situation.

Interim school Superintendent Robert Schiller should have backed her decision. His action is telling the students, "Do as you please. The principal has no authority." To the parents: Don't send your kids to school to be disciplined. That starts at home.

Serreace Kelly

Columbia

Don't blame Daytonians for opposing development

Since I was named in the Nov. 20 editorial on development in Dayton, Howard County ("Moving to Opportunity, Dayton-style"), I was tempted to challenge the editorial's tone and its numerous errors of fact, but such a response would divert us from larger issues.

First, your paper reports as fact the claim of county Planning Director Joe Rutter that the DEO/CEO program has preserved 1,300 acres of agricultural land at no cost to Howard County taxpayers.

In fact, the Density Exchange Option has been used to "preserve" such plots of agricultural land as the golf links of a private country club (Cattail Creek), a large lake used as water supply for a nursery, forested slopes, wetlands surrounding a new church, etc.

Mr. Rutter's claim is a sham. I urge The Sun to investigate an odoriferous operation that increases density throughout the county without preserving much farmable land.

Second, erecting houses in large tracts on one-acre lots when those houses depend on well and septic systems is an invitation to environmental disaster. The failure pattern has been repeated throughout the country, including in adjoining Prince George's County.

We in Dayton oppose the high-density development of Big Branch Overlook because, among other things, it is a prime candidate for such pollution problems. More than half of the 238 acres consists of flood plain, side streams, seeps and marshes.

The rest is on sleep slopes which drain directly into Triadelphia Reservoir and the drinking water supply for Prince George's and Montgomery counties.

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