Timonium site could spur 'smart growth' if State Fair moves
The article "State fair organizers ponder move" (Aug. 27), concerning the possible move from the Timonium Fairgrounds might be traumatic to those of us who have enjoyed its proximity for all of these years. If the fair is eventually to move, however, the Timonium property it leaves behind automatically becomes one of the region's most important development sites and a valuable resource for Baltimore County.
The 100-acre property offers a tremendous opportunity to plan a new transit oriented community integrating high-density housing and employment uses focusing on the light rail station. The county should take the lead in preparing for this scenario and begin working with the Maryland State Fair immediately.
That a similar opportunity around the Hunt Valley Mall and its new station was essentially wasted illustrates the importance of a strategic plan for this property.
While some may continue to criticize the poor performance of the state's light rail system, it is important to recognize the long-range value of comprehensive development around stations as an effective way to increase transit utilization.
The region must begin to take maximum advantage of these opportunities if the efforts of the state's "smart growth" program are ever going to be effective.
Alfred W. Barry III
The writer is chairman of the Citizens Planning and Housing Association's committee on the region.
Parents have duty to report day care center violations
I agree with the indictment of former day care operator Stacy Russum ("Indictment handed up in two deaths," Sept. 4). This is a tragic example of why regulations are promulgated and should be enforced.
Your article states that Ms. Russum was "approved for six children, officials say, but as many as 10 children were in the home on the day the babies died." Elaine Harrison, the mother of one of the children who died, was quoted in your article as saying, "We all knew that there were numerous violations."
Shouldn't the parents of the children be held responsible, too? Despite knowing of violations, at least one of them placed a child in a dangerous situation.
It is unfortunate that quality day care is so difficult to find that parents and providers knowingly and willingly collude, ignoring or overlooking dangerous situations until it is too late.
Ellen A. Willinghan
Timing is a year off for the next millennium
When is the press going to use its ability to communicate to the general public to let people know that the new millennium does not start with the year 2000?
Last week in The Sun, an article and picture appeared about the state's millennium clock in Annapolis being taken down because it ruins a view ("Millennium clock faces countdown," Sept. 5). I noticed that even the state of Maryland can't get it right.
The clock showed 400-plus days to the millennium. Sorry, Gov. Parris N. Glendening, but the new millennium begins Jan. 1, 2001, not Jan. 1, 2000.
It's pretty simple. Because our calendar is based on Christ's birth, the year he was born was year 1, not year 0.
Therefore, year 100 was the 100th year and the end of the first century. Year 101 was the beginning of the second century, and so on.
It follows that 1901 was the start of the 20th century and year 2001 will be the beginning of the 21st century.
The year 2000 will end the 20th century, not begin the next one.
Drawing a conclusion on Trudeau: not a feminist
Ellen Goodman gave us her periodic list of public figures who have been guilty of unjustifiable disdain toward women ("Suffering the fools on equality," Aug. 25). Is it because he is so politically correct otherwise that she never includes cartoonist Garry Trudeau?
I can think of no comic artist whose female characters have been so consistently negligible as his. The average young women, of the few who appear at all, are either airheads or passive tools.
For a while, he had a middle-aged woman legislator in unfashionable hats who was a person of some consequence, but it is she, I believe, whose decline into senility has been so heartlessly lampooned.
Perhaps it is because they cannot grow beards that women are so little respected. Admirable male characters in Doonesbury always have a beard, a droopy mustache or uncombed hair.
Detestable people, to the stereotypical Mr. Trudeau, are invariably clean-shaven. When someone has demonstrated his or her impeccable liberal principles, as Mr. Trudeau has by his contempt for the gainfully employed middle class, anything goes.
Robert L. Taylor
Harford's James Harkins has tough record on crime
I am shocked. In your recent endorsement of candidates in the Harford County executive's race, you stated that state Del. Jim Harkins, a career law enforcement officer, was "soft" on juvenile offenders ("Craig and Helton in Harford," Sept. 1). Nothing could be farther from the truth.