Gas station is a gas station is a gas station Donald...


May 30, 1999

Gas station is a gas station is a gas station

Donald Reuwer, owner of Land Design & Development, had the effrontery to send a letter to the citizens of Howard County opposed to the construction of an Exxon station at Waverly Woods.

His letter said that his company expects to win approval for the station and wanted to work with Historic Waverly Inc. to develop a design "to minimize the impact on the mansion."

Because Mr. Reuwer realizes that the Exxon station will affect the mansion, I wonder how he and Exxon propose to disguise the appearance of gas pumps and a the station's neon sign or operate without high-density lighting.

Exxon's attorney claims the station will "not look like an ordinary station." I have traveled extensively and have never encountered such a station. Please do not insult our intelligence.

The citizens of Howard County do not accept the "reality of an Exxon station," nor do we feel that historic properties should be destroyed or compromised by the shortsightedness and arrogance of an unconcerned corporation and a land developer. The construction of a gas station at the entrance of Historic Waverly is an affront and assault on the terrain and on residents of Howard County.

Rachel Miller, Ellicott City

Apropos week to raise taxes

It is ironic, if not appropriate, that the tax and spend Democratic Howard County Council saw fit to increase property taxes during the week of Tax Liberation Day. May 11, was the day that taxpayers stop working to pay county, state and federal income taxes.

Beleaguered taxpayers can now start working to pay our property taxes and the increases that the County Council has placed on the property tax. This increase was to ostensibly provide more money for the public schools.

Did a Democrat ever consider a solution to a problem otherthan throwing tax dollars at it?

Donald B. W. Messenger, Laurel

One more thing we share with Cuba

On April 14, the state of Maryland changed my political affiliation from "Reform" to "other" without my consent. Election officials sent me a letter saying they took this action because they no longer recognize the Reform Party. This is happening to all Reform registered voters.

The Reform Party could not run statewide candidates in the last election, when the party was legal. State law required Reform candidates to get more than a half-million petition signatures just to run, something no Republican or Democrat candidate had to do. When the party didn't get 3 percent of the total vote, it was decertified.

Whether the Reform Party is a legal party or not, by law I am barred from serving on any government board or agency, becoming an election judge, or any judge for that matter. Anyone who is not a registered Democrat or Republican is a second-class citizen in Maryland.

State officials told our state chair when our party recertifies they will then change my affiliation to "Decline," Maryland's name for independent. Maryland keeps company with the following countries who tell their citizens what political parties they cannot join: Iraq, China, North Korea, Vietnam and Cuba.

Tom Capps, Jessup

The writer is the Reform Party's Howard County chair.

Making a mockery of the Constitution

When the president engaged us in an undeclared war against Yugoslavia, it was said that he was acting in his role as commander-in-chief of our armed forces. As our Constitution proclaims, it is the role of Congress to actually declare war.

This makes sense, since an enemy who is attacking us must be repelled at the earliest moment to achieve victory. Congress in declaring war in this instance is really doing so as an afterthought and possibly to rally citizenry to the cause.

Many politicians state that because our troops are in the field, we must show support for them. That would mean that the president can at any time deem it necessary to place our armed forces in harm's way on a whim and without regard to whether the United States is acting to defend against an attack on our shores or strategic interests in a region.

Congress, by acquiesing, is being coerced to support a derelict act of a wayward president. I cannot support such an act.

Otto C. Beyer, Ellicott City

Police shouldn't trade in old guns

I was amazed to read that some people in the Howard County Police Department were so anxious to get new guns that they were willing to add to the number of deadly weapons out there on the street by trading their current models to a gun manufacturer ("Police gun plan draws criticism," May 18). This is truly appalling.

Is the police department really as autonomous as implied in the article? Is it truly free to commit this outrageous act at its whim? Is it not a unit of county government?

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