New cinema could save Chatham Mall The destruction of...

Letters

June 13, 1999

New cinema could save Chatham Mall

The destruction of Chatham Mall does a terrible injustice to residents of this community.

This mall has been the focal point for many activities in past years. The many craft shows held there, the children's programs including the Christmas train and train garden, the concerts. There are many people who walk the mall every morning for exercise and health and can also get their blood pressure checked for free every couple of weeks thanks to the Howard County Hospital.

Several weeks before Caldor closed, the area Boy Scouts filled the mall with beautiful displays and exhibits.

Where are these people to go if the mall is not there?

What the mall could use to keep it going are movie theaters. Ellicott City does not have one theater. This would be the perfect place.

It does not make much sense that an area so huge does not have a theater to call its own. Residents of our community have to go to Columbia or Westview Mall in Catonsville.

Years ago, when Westview was renovated, United Artists installed a theater with seven screens and it is a very welcome addition.

The same thing could be done at Chatham.

With a theater and an ice cream parlor added, the remaining stores in the mall would have plenty of business.

It's hard to believe we have to fight traffic on U.S. 40 or Route 29 to see a movie when it could be made possible here.

Wouldn't it be great to keep this mall for all our community activities and be able to have the only movie theater in Ellicott City?

Ruth A. Walters

Ellicott City

Looking for courtesy on Lake Elkhorn path

Recently, I had a rather unpleasant run in with two dog walkers while riding my bike around Lake Elkhorn in Howard County.

Two men with two dogs had stopped at the end of the bridge at the base of Lake Elkhorn along Broken Land Parkway, effectively blocking the path.

I had already passed them once when they were at the other end of the bridge. As always, I tell folks on which side I will pass to give them enough warning to move.

When I came by the second time, I indicated I would pass on their left, but one of them, standing smack in the middle, didn't move. I couldn't get by if he didn't and would have had no place to go but into the bridge railing. So I repeated that I was passing on the left.

He moved, but as I went by, he yelled that I should brake more. I replied that there were plenty of places to stand and chat other than the path.

At that, they offered me some choice expletives.

It is worth reviewing how people share a resource such as these paths, because when any one group believes it owns the entire path, we are doomed to ugly and unpleasant confrontations. Bicyclists, hikers, walkers, kids in strollers and people with dogs all need to share.

Some suggestions:

If you are not moving, stand off the paved path while bicycling to chat or visit. This means people, dogs, strollers and cyclists.

If you are moving, stay on one side of the path or the other, treating it like a roadway.

Respect the other users' right to be there and needs as they move on the path. As the fastest-moving entity on the path, I constantly watch for pedestrians. I announce my intentions to adult users so they know I am coming and how I am going to go around them.

With kids, I slow down and pass even more carefully, and on the Lake Elkhorn path, I will even stop for the ducks in the marked duck crossing.

What I expect in return is that people will offer me the courtesy of moving or at least not taking my lane on the path.

I am happy to share these trails, but I expect to be treated with the same forethought and thoughtfulness that I show.

I have found that most people respond in a friendly manner to my announcing how I will get around them and are appreciative that I do that at all.

Because I ride an unusual bike, a recumbent, I end up stopping to explain how it works at least once a ride. I would enjoy resolving the confrontation with those fellows in a peaceable manner.

If they read this, perhaps the next time we share the path, we can discuss things in a more friendly manner.

The Rev. Michael B. Russell

Columbia

Covenant Baptist's plan exceeds promised limits

I would like to make a point of clarification in light of two recent articles in the Howard County section of The Sun. I was flattered that you would find the activities of an 80-year-old farmer and ex-state senator interesting enough to warrant an article. I thought Christopher Ewell did a very nice job in writing the article.

However, in light of the controversy surrounding the proposed development of 90 townhouses on the property owned by the Covenant Baptist Church on Centennial Lane, I want to set the record straight.

Over the years, I have stated publicly, most recently at a planning board hearing in April, that I do not oppose the building of the church and school on the property.

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