NAACP: Praise for Owens, but not McMillanOn behalf of the...

Letters

September 12, 1999

NAACP: Praise for Owens, but not McMillan

On behalf of the Anne Arundel County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, I would like to thank County Executive Janet S. Owens for vetoing the police hiring bill.

We would also like to thank her for her strong support of Carl O. Snowden, her intergovernmental relations specialist. Ms. Owens was correct in defending Mr. Snowden from partisan Republican attacks.

The NAACP, along with the United Black Clergy, Operation Respect and literally every major African American organization in the county, has expressed our opposition to another bill that was introduced before the Annapolis City Council by Alderman Herbert McMillan.

The NAACP will be joining with other citizens, black and white, in encouraging the Annapolis City Council to reject the so-called "loitering while black" bill.

The NAACP will continue to monitor our elected officials. We will develop score cards. When elected officials demonstrate a commitment to racial equality and employment opportunities, we will commend them. However, if in our opinion an elected official is attempting to polarize a community on race, we will condemn them.

As we enter the 21st century, we want to see all Americans enjoy their rights. Again, we thank Ms. Owens for what she has done and look forward to working with other elected officials.

Gerald G. Stansbury

Annapolis

The writer is president of the Anne Arundel County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Saving environment not a zoning goal?

Here we go again. Last time, it was "sewer creep." This time, it's "polluters welcome." Next time, it will be "zoning meltdown." And after that, it will be "permit speed-up."

The Anne Arundel County Council is being asked to quickly -- why quickly? -- revise the zoning code. The revisions were shelved during 1998 to avoid inflaming voters for good reason.

Here's one: Title 4, Subtitle 2-Performance Standards would be largely gutted. This has in the past required the county Department of Planning and Code Enforcement to make sure proposed users of W-1, the industrial park zone, do not violate limits on vibration and noise, odors and fumes, bad air and dust, glare and heat, liquid and solid waste.

PACE says state and federal regulators can come in after the fact. This means the wimpy state Department of Environment. And it means citizens must initiate the effort.

PACE says its people don't have the expertise to handle this. That's correctable. PACE people are well-educated (if often wrong). They can be retrained to make the studies.

PACE says these environmental performance standards are "not a zoning issue." This was actually said and repeated by a couple of PACE staffers at a public briefing on Aug. 19.

Rather than abolish the limits, let's extend them to W-2 and W-3, the heavier industrial zones. Industries that don't like the limits can go elsewhere.

We have enough rubble dumps and ash heaps; Del. Mary Rosso, a real heroine, just saved us from an asphalt plant.

Anne Arundel needs clean, high-tech research and development firms paying high salaries. If Maryland becomes Silicon Valley East, we need to be part of it. This, too, should be a "zoning issue."

James A. Hoage

Severna Park

Don't treat U.S. flag with disrespect

The letter to the editor in The Sun in Anne Arundel on Aug. 29, "Flag-burning amendment would turn back clock," by an Anne Arundel County councilman was a cute lesson in history but fell far short of understanding what this old nation needs: respect, honor and patriotism, which made our nation what it is today.

From one ex-Marine and a father with two sons (both officers) in the military, when the "Stars and Stripes" play and "Old Glory" flies, I get to my feet and salute in deep reverent respect for the finest symbol of our great democracy.

This country provides ways and means for disputing and voicing opposition to many topics. What we should never do is condone desecration of the greatest symbol, not just a symbol, of our country, as the council member wrote.

The flag has and is a history lesson unto itself. Remembering all of the numerous events that built the flag through the years should demand that we never forget how it got to be the great symbol that it is. We should not treat it with disrespect.

John Glister

Severna Park

County employees responded in storm

The storm (tornado) that devastated our waterfront communities in Pasadena and Glen Burnie left many communities with flooded basements, severe property damage and debris strewn everywhere.

The county government's response was truly remarkable. It should be recognized for the endless hours put in to help clean-up our communities.

Many county employees were on the job, monitoring the pumping stations to limit sewage spillage into our creeks, and cutting and mulching for removal the numerous trees left in the rights of way. They did their utmost to remove what they could within the restrictions of county law.

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