Hard not to be cynical about facilities lawEdward Lee's...


July 25, 1999

Hard not to be cynical about facilities law

Edward Lee's article "Panels to seek public's advice" (June 8) raised my blood pressure. It wasn't the reporter's words that caused my blood pressure to rise, but the comments of some of the people quoted.

That article stated that only 14 residents spoke at a hearing on the Howard County Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) June 7.

A previous article quoted a county official as saying, "They're expecting the government to keep an eye on development so they don't have to invest their Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights" ("Panels to seek public's advice," July 5).

I recently attended three Howard County Planning Board hearings for large developments on the southeast side of Ellicott City to witness the development-review process and the application of the APFO.

The technical staff reports for all three developments had essentially the same findings for road intersection adequacy: This project passed the road intersection adequacy test due to the fact that no intersection of two major collector roads exists within one road mile of this site.

This interpretation essentially says you don't have to do anything if you don't find a large intersection within one mile.

What the ordinance actually states is that the impact area is to be one road mile in all directions when no intersection of two major collectors is involved. This discrepancy was pointed out, but no action was taken. The only recourse offered was the Board of Appeals, which is an expensive undertaking.

I find it extremely difficult to get pumped up about a new APFO after experiencing how the current ordinance is being implemented and enforced.

I've definitely become more apathetic and cynical about the APFO and the development process in Howard County.

Richard D. Plenge, Ellicott City

Proud that Glendening is leading cancer fight

Gov. Parris N. Glendening's recent commitment to reducing tobacco use, fighting drug addiction and conquering cancer should be applauded around the nation.

Mr. Glendening's initiative to spend $1 billion during the next 10 years will truly have an impact on the health of our state. As founder of The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, I applaud his efforts to improve the health and lives of all Marylanders.

I have been lucky enough to survive three bouts of cancer during the last three years. I am excited to know that more and more people will become survivors of this dreaded disease. I am sure that the Maryland legislature will approve this monumental plan to increase the health conditions in this great state. In addition, funding for cancer research will benefit the great research institutions in our area.

The governor and lieutenant governor have made great strides to establish Maryland as a leader in the campaign to end cancer. I am proud to know that my state is leading the fight against this disease.

Doug Ulman, Ellicott City

The writer is executive director of The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

Two fine competitors in grocery business

This letter is in tribute to two fine Howard County merchants who retired in 1998.

They worked for companies which are strong competitors in the Baltimore-Washington area, but each represented the best that one could find in the retail world. Both Giant Food and Safeway Stores are diminished by their absence.

Bernie Mazur was the long-time manager of the Long Reach Safeway before he opened the store in the Enchanted Forest shopping center that was a major advance in grocery shopping in the county at the time. Mike Manning was the manager of the Hickory Ridge Giant for many years. As one who always had a question or comment, I got to know these men very well over years of shopping in their stores.

What made these two unique were traits essential in the retail trade. First, it was rare to visit their stores and not see them out on the floor, meeting and helping customers find items, talking with the employees, restocking items, picking up trash or just walking around. This was especially the case when traffic was heavy in the store.

Also, they genuinely seem to like people. Encounters with Bernie and Mike made you glad to be in their store and even made you refreshed after a day of hassling in the office.

And, what took a bit more sleuthing to discover, their employees liked and respected them. Many followed Bernie to his new store and I heard wonderful stories of tribute paid to Mike at his farewell party.

It was a pleasure to know these gentlemen and I wish them both (belatedly) a wonderful life in retirement.

Ron Leve, Columbia

Women kept off Turf Valley A-course

Recently my wife and I were invited to play a round of golf at Turf Valley in Ellicott City.

To my surprise -- and to the surprise of the member who invited us -- we were approached on the first tee of the "A" course and told that women were not allowed to play this course until after noon on weekends.

I can only assume that women can not be an "A" member at this "not-so-exclusive" club.

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