`This ugly carbuncle upon Mother Nature'So, the Army Corps...

Letters

October 31, 1999

`This ugly carbuncle upon Mother Nature'

So, the Army Corps of Engineers has deemed Arundel Mills "Smart Growth" because it only takes 1.4 acres of wetlands and 3,000 feet of stream bed.

How ironic that a mall which helps degrade the county is named after it.

The politicians and the Corps, who are supposed to help protect our environment, have again caved in to the developers who are despoiling our green spaces and irreplacable watershed with concrete and construction. If this is Smart Growth, what would Dumb Growth be? Who decides when we have enough malls?

And, yes, the county is helping out with a bond issue to build an interchange to accommodate this ugly carbuncle upon Mother Nature's prostrate form. A terrible tragedy and gross dereliction.

Franklin W. Littleton, Baltimore

Annapolis overlooked local job candidates

I am mad as hell. This present Annapolis city administration surely can be cold when it comes to "homeboy favoring."

I read in utter dismay of the selection of the person to fill Richard Callahan's shoes as Recreation and Parks director for the city of Annapolis.

But Annapolis has a long history of forgetting the qualified home people it has around.

Thankfully, Pip Moyer chose Richard Callahan, who did a great job for more than 30 years. Even Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens made a good choice when she picked Dennis Callahan to be the county's director of Parks and Recreation.

Annapolis had two qualified gentlemen in Leslie Stanton and Dr. Leon Washington. When Dennis Callahan exposed the summer basketball league for drug use and it was in a shambles, it was Leslie Stanton, Dick Callahan, Berry Booth and Leon Fisher who settled it down again.

It was Mr. Stanton's "peace in the street" effort, by bringing in current and future National Basketball Association players to the city that saved Annapolis from a long hot summer that year. He was the dream maker who made it work. Dr Washington has coached, worked with students in the schools and knows the city. These two men were not given a tumble.

But I should not be surprised. Pip Moyer saved this city, but do you think they have named a gutter or a tree for him? No.

The Annapolis city administration did itself wrong with its choice for Recreation and Parks director.

As I write this letter, I am not fearing anyone, for like Martin Luther King, Jr., mine eyes have seen the glory and my pen is writing the truth.

Joseph "Zastro" Simms, Annapolis

The signs the courts refuse to let us see

In December 1998, my Anne Arundel County home was burglarized. Fingerprints were matched and a suspect was arrested.

It was discovered this individual's prints were found to match several other burglaries. He also had materials for making a bomb in his vehicle. He served approximately three months in the county detention center for these crimes while he awaited trial for burglarizing my home.

While in the detention center, he made several calls to my home and wrote a very disturbing threatening letter.

He requested a jury trial and a public defender. We went to court in October. We were not able to reveal his recent crime spree, his possession of bomb materials, nor his verbal and written threats.

During the court proceedings, I found myself on trial. While I sat there with the memories of my home being invaded, the public defender suggested a burglary may not have occurred.

The jury, "not wanting to ruin his life," gave a verdict of innocence and he has been released back into society.

After the trial we were able to give some of the jurors the whole story. They were appalled that this information is not permissible. Several stated they would never serve on a jury again. They expressed a loss of confidence in the police department and the courts.

In the shadow of Columbine, we are encouraged to "look for the signals." How about prior offenses, bombs, threats, three days in court and not a friend or family member present?

Often the signals are being transmitted loud and clear, but the court system doesn't allow them to be interpreted.

Mary Armstrong, Pasadena

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