200 turn out to offer support to Andover Equestrian Center


January 25, 1998|By Cynthia Kammann | Cynthia Kammann,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I COUNTED just over 200 people in attendance at the recent general membership meeting of Linthicum Shipley Improvement Association, and it was a long meeting, lasting 2 1/2 hours.

Many people testified to the value of the Andover Equestrian Center, which the county has announced it is closing at the end of the month. Pam Bidle of Linthicum told how her daughter used the center for six years, and Shirley Carson said her heart was breaking to think her daughter would not be able to attend the therapeutic riding program.

A lot of questions were asked by and statements given by our neighbors -- some of whom have never used the center but nevertheless donated their evening in support of the center because they realize it's valuable to the community.

The tension in the air and the frustration in people's voices did not subside as Tom Angelis, the director of the county's Department of Recreation and Parks, spoke, and the meeting went on. Angelis said the center would be closed for repairs but he wouldn't say what kind or why the center had to be closed for them or when it would reopen.

Toward the end of the meeting, state Del. Michael Burns told the crowd, "I believe there's more to the story than what's coming out, I must be honest with you," And judging by the vigorous round of applause, that was the sentiment of many in the room.

I realized as I was departing that I was leaving the building from the end opposite where I had entered, and that it was dark and very cold outside. A Linthicum neighbor, Patricia Smith, offered me a ride to my car, and we spent a few minutes renewing our acquaintance. I drove home thinking how nice it is to be part of a community.

Committee work

In the not-too-distant future, Anne Arundel County students will be required to pass a battery of perhaps a dozen tests before they can graduate from high school. Diplomas could be given out in different categories. Anelle Tumminello heads the school board's high school Assessments Steering Committee. I heard her presentation at the County Council of PTA's general membership meeting earlier this month, with a report of what's been decided by the state Board of Education. She's looking for input and involvement from interested parents, teachers and residents. If you have questions about what has been decided, about the time line for implementation or what will be included in the program, she delivered two messages: "The High School Assessments are a reality" and "nothing is written in stone." She is looking for a few good people to serve on the committee.

If you are interested and can commit to work on the committee for at least four days over the next year, call 410-222-5459.

Pub Date: 1/25/98

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