A village that works after blush of newness fadesAt high...

Letters

September 13, 1998

A village that works after blush of newness fades

At high noon on a perfect summer Friday, beautifully trimmed with blue skies and a gentle breeze, a long caravan rolled out from the parking lot of Phelps Luck Elementary School and took to the streets of Long Reach village to proclaim loudly, and with great fanfare, the beginning of the new school year.

Led by the wailing sirens and flashing light of a police car and a fire truck, colorfully decorated family sedans, fancy pickup trucks and a limousine-like bus brimming with principles and staff wound its way through the neighborhoods, stopping at designated spots for teachers to dismount and greet the assembled students and families who had come cheerfully to make the most of this very last workweek day of vacation.

To the casual observer this may have appeared a bit much to mark the return to classes at an elementary school. But to those who love living in Long Reach and to the school staff who drive here every day from farther off and to the merchants whose trade comes from these neighborhoods, this was the way to do it -- to honor the connection that runs through all of these entities that makes Phelps Luck the school that it is.

Long Reach is the perfect example of what a mature community looks like after the blush of newness in a sales brochure has worn off and things settle down to the unvarnished daily routine. It is a community that enjoys a special place in the makeup of Columbia as the largest of the 10 villages. When it's time for "bread and circuses" to bring a little joy to an otherwise dreary event, everybody pitches in. Fire and Rescue sends a big flashy pumper; the police send their shiny white cars; merchants lend their pickup trucks filled with bales of hay; the Rouse Co. throws in the signs to mark the route and the political leadership clears precious time as everybody gets on the bandwagon to show that we are all in this together.

Phelps Luck Elementary took the motto, "It takes a village to raise a child," long before it became a part of the popular lexicon and has proven it over and over. The entire Village of Long Reach prospers under this ideal true to the learned counsel of the African elders who gave us those words. This is what works for us. There must be something to it for others, too.

John J. Snyder

Columbia

Consider Clark versus incumbents in 14B

Registered Republicans of District 14B have a choice in Tuesday's primary for delegate.

There is a best two-out-of-three race with John B. Clark challenging two incumbents. Mr. Clark was a candidate in the 1994 primary for the same position, coming within about 500 votes of the second-place finisher, out of 6,000 cast.

The situation with the state party is well-illustrated by the difficulties and discouragements Charles I. Ecker has experienced in his campaign for the governor's nomination.

The Clark campaign is about issues. He firmly supports term limits and a return to the citizen-legislator. Mr. Clark offers voters a choice between entrenched incumbents and a fellow citizen who can represent their perspective.

The incumbents initially supported term limits, but switched to a wait-and-see stance. Their record on crime control has tended to support liberal parole and sentencing.

They have supported all but the most restrictive gun-control laws, instead of campaigning for tougher action on criminals.

E. C. Cannon

Ellicott City

Judging Sauerbrey by her supporters

My parents always cautioned that people judge you by the company you keep and that birds of a feather flock together. In Howard County, Ellen R. Sauerbrey's major spokesmen are the most extreme elements of the GOP

Calling the shots are the Clerk of Circuit Court Margaret D. Rappaport and Del. Robert L. Flanagan. They made the 1996 judicial race in Howard devisive, partisan, personal, ugly and racist. The "highlight" of their efforts was a mailing surreptitiously, selectively and principally distributed in western Howard County. The mailing had a picture of Ms. Sauerbrey with one of the challengers who claimed the governor's appointment of the qualified African-American to Howard County's all-white bench was "affirmative action."

The mailing offended citizens all over the county, on both sides of the political aisle. If that weren't enough, Ms. Sauerbrey's post-election rhetoric, whining, "poor math skills" and outrageous charges against the citizens of Baltimore City did not paint a pretty picture.

Gwendolyn R. Mellony

Columbia

Glendening running on the money

Gov. Parris N. Glendening seems to be running on promises to give money to the city, Prince George's and Montgomery counties and to the school systems. His current promise is to hire 1,110 teachers and spend $250 million on new schools. If we have a crisis this serious, where in the world has he been for the last four years?

The governor has done tremendous damage to the transportation system and safety on all our local roads by increasing speed limits. Everywhere I drive, trucks and cars run red lights and exceed posted limits by 15 to 20 mph. There are not enough patrol officers to deal with this decision.

The Sun and its affiliated papers in Howard County (the Flier, Times) are endorsing the governor. If things are going to be fixed, we need a change now.

James M. Holway

Ellicott City

Pub Date: 9/13/98

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