Council keeps eye on nearby industries


November 14, 1999|By Christina Bittner | Christina Bittner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

LIVING CLOSE to Baltimore in one of the most urban communities of Anne Arundel County definitely has its advantages. We have easy access to transportation, and the cultural offerings of the city are only minutes away.

It also means that we are close to the heavy industrialization of the city's southern reaches. The Community Advisory Panel is working to keep county and city residents informed of potential hazards in the area.

The panel was formed last year to foster communication among the chemical industry, the county communities of Brooklyn Park and Riviera Beach, and the city communities of Brooklyn, Curtis Bay, Fairfield and Wagner's Point.

CAP member Bill Shenton of Brooklyn Park says its activities are relevant to the county communities. "The county is in such close proximity. The plants go all the way down Fort Smallwood Road. It is to their advantage to be included."

The group meets 10 times a year to discuss issues of interest to area residents and to work on projects that are important to the community, including disaster planning education.

If there was an accident, the effect on surrounding communities could depend simply on which way the wind is blowing. "If the wind is blowing out to sea, then the effect would be minimal. But if it is blowing inland, the effect could be far-reaching," Shenton said.

Ensuring that the environment is protected is at the heart of CAP's mission. Some companies, he said, "try to get around the laws and get cited. They'll cut corners till the people complain. The companies came in years ago, then citizens started to get sick and things started coming to light."

"There are about 25 companies in the area," Shenton said. "I couldn't believe it; they are in areas where you don't generally drive, so you don't know about them.

"They make a whole range of products: fertilizer, dish detergent, metallurgy, you name it. To be able to go through a plant and see how these things are made is interesting. You see [the products] around the house and take them for granted," he said.

New members are welcome.

Information: Mary Lovejoy-Rebhan, 800-784-4343.

School transformation

Curious about the $35 million construction project on Hammonds Lane that will create a new identity for the former Brooklyn Park High School? You can hear about it at the next meeting of the Olde Brooklyn Park Improvement Association at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Brooklyn Park Elementary School, Morgan Road and 14th Avenue.

After a complete overhaul, the building will come to life with the opening of a new Brooklyn Park Middle School in September and Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts, which has a target date of January 2001.

Speakers will be Wayne Shipley, director of Chesapeake Center for the Creative Arts, and Howard Smith and Emily Thomasini of the county Department of Recreation and Parks.

Shipley will provide up-to-date information on the progress of renovations and have the architectural drawings for the new facility.

Smith and Thomasini will discuss programs that their department could have at the center when construction is finished.

They will welcome the suggestions of community residents on programs they would like to see offered. It could be aerobics, quilting, dance, yoga, art, drama or dance classes, creative writing, film-making -- you name it.

Information on the improvement association: 410-636-3269.

Wine-tasting benefit

Speaking of Chesapeake Center, a few tickets remain for the wine-tasting and open house at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 to benefit the project. The candlelight evening of holiday food, fine wines and a silent auction will be held at the home of Bob and Margaret Nichols.

Admission is a tax-deductible $50 donation. Information: 410-691-9725 or 410-590-6610.

AIA activities.

November is a busy month for the Arundel Improvement Association.

Election of officers for the new year is scheduled at the AIA meeting at 8 p.m. Thursday. A discussion will be held of AIA's Santa Claus program -- in which men in the group dress up in costume and go door to door to hand out candy to children and ask what they want for Christmas.

It will still be up to the real Santa to deliver on those wishes, however.

AIA President Frances Jones is preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for senior citizens and shut-ins who will be alone for the holiday and were referred for the Nov. 23 event by churches and neighbors.

The AIA Hall is at 705 Cross St.

Information: 410-789-2192.

Fall feast at library

Preschoolers and their caregivers are invited to join the staff of the Brooklyn Park library at a fall feast at 10 a.m. Nov. 17. Stories, songs and craft work will celebrate Thanksgiving.

The library is at 1 E. 11th Ave. Information: 410-222-6260.

Meeting for school alumni

Alumni and friends of Brooklyn Park High School are welcome to attend the next meeting of the school alumni association at 6: 30 p.m. Thursday at the Brooklyn Park library.

The main topic will be the legal requirements for the group to file as a nonprofit organization.

Membership is open to alumni, parents and community residents who consider themselves to be friends of the school.

Information: 410-636-3269 or 410-789-7214, or e-mail to

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