STAY-AT-HOME mom Gina Asher has returned to Glenelg from Tucson, Ariz., where she played in the 1999 National Championships for USA League Tennis last weekend.
"It was an exhilarating experience," she said.
Asher and eight teammates represented the Mid-Atlantic section of USA Tennis for the USTA. They played four matches over two days against teams from Tulsa, Okla., Huntington, N.Y., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Maui, Hawaii.
Seventeen teams from across the United States competed.
Three of Asher's matches were in singles competitions -- and she won them all. In the fourth match, she played doubles with partner Lynne Paynter of Clarksville and lost.
"I was thrilled with the way I played," Asher said. "I couldn't expect to do any better."
Although she hasn't received official word, Asher believes that the Mid-Atlantic team came in fifth. Players had a chance to socialize during the weekend. Asher attended a banquet-dance and spent time with some of her opponents.
"It was really wonderful to be surrounded by tennis enthusiasts from all over the United States," she said.
Asher's team, which plays in the 3.0 division, is organized by the Columbia Association. The rating indicates level of skill. Anyone in USTA league play is rated from 2.5 to 5.0 in increments of 0.5 -- with 5.0 being the highest rating.
The National Championships in Tucson last weekend were for women's and men's 3.0 teams.
Asher's team placed first in regular play over the summer against other Howard County teams. In July, the squad won the district competition, held in Columbia, against teams from other counties.
From there, the team went to Newport News, Va., in August, where Asher endured a five-hour match. She and her opponent were very closely matched, but Asher came out on top. Her team emerged as the champion in play against teams from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
The USTA provided each team with four hotel rooms and $1,000. The Howard County Tennis Association contributed $450. The rest was covered by a raffle sponsored by the team. Also, team members covered some of their expenses.
This is the second year that Asher has played tennis competitively. She says she enjoys the game, the exercise and the competition. "It's something you can do until you're older," she said.
Before traveling to Tucson, Asher said, she felt nervous and a little out of her element in a national athletic competition. She received support from her husband, Mike, and children, Gregory, 7, Tyler, 5, and Stephanie, 3.
The self-described "full-time mom" has worked as a guidance counselor at West Friendship and Clarksville elementary schools. She also taught for four years at Northfield Elementary.
Glenelg residents became concerned last month when they learned about plans to construct a wastewater treatment facility behind Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School.
The facility will replace the septic system at Glenelg High School to allow construction of an addition for 400 students there. The wastewater treatment facility will also be used by Triadelphia Ridge Elementary and the proposed new middle school to be built on the property.
Al DeRemigis was one of about 25 who attended a public meeting Sept. 22 at Glenelg High School.
DeRemigis says there hasn't been adequate communication about the project. He has been visiting and calling neighbors to let them know about the project.
The Howard County Council will hold a hearing at 7: 30 p.m. Monday in the George Howard Building in Ellicott City. On the agenda is a proposed amendment to the county's Master Plan for Water and Sewer, which would allow construction of the wastewater treatment facility to begin next month.
"I want to get people out so they can get information," DeRemigis said. He is also encouraging people to express their views at the hearing.
DeRemigis is concerned that the project could set a precedent for similar facilities to be constructed when property doesn't pass drainage field percolation tests (necessary for the installation of a septic system). He is concerned about the effect on the environment that the facility might have.
DeRemigis says there are cheaper alternatives, such as running a sewer line south along Route 32 to the sewer system in Clarksville.
The facility will sit at the rear of the Triadelphia Ridge property, near Route 32. The concrete-and-pipe structure will be about 60 feet by 60 feet.
Sewage from Glenelg High will be sent to the facility through a pipe that will be buried along Burnt Woods Road and under Route 32. The wastewater will be filtered to separate water from solid waste, then filtered again, disinfected with ultraviolet light and released into a stream that runs behind the elementary school and a residential neighborhood on Hunt Ridge.
The solid waste will be removed by truck on a new gravel road leading to Triadelphia Road.