Greenway project doesn't deserve further support One...

June 11, 2000

Greenway project doesn't deserve further support

One citizen activists' hard work appears to be paying off, as evidenced by the article "Another setback dealt to greenway project" (May 24).

Howard County politicians and bureaucrats are finally acknowledging what Lee Walker Oxenham has been saying all along: There is no community support for the Patapsco Heritage Greenway.

Howard County has acknowledged (in Orwellian doublespeak) that tens of thousands of tax dollars have been wasted.

I can't remember the last time a state or county agency actually demanded that a group reimburse the taxpayers' misspent money.

Now it is time for Baltimore County and the state to take a serious look at potential fraud in the process of handing out our tax dollars to developer-backed organizations like these.

I have been reminded that many fine citizens have supported the supposedly noble cause of historic preservation.

I simply ask such individuals to examine what is actually taking place with your support and tax dollars and question whether this is the best use of either.

The Ellicott City Restoration Foundation (ECRF) is not proposing to create a greenway, but to build more roads and more parking lots in and around the Patapsco Valley and in our state park.

Their sole purpose is to bring in more tourists and shoppers, renovate their properties with our money and enhance sales in their developments.

Ed Lilly, the president of the ECRF, was quoted in The Sun's article as stating that Howard County's decision to discontinue funding "would not encourage a great deal of trust in future endeavors involving the county."

I would hope that a sense of shame would prevent either Mr. Lilly or the ECRF from ever asking for more tax money.

Better yet, I ask that Mr. Lilly and the ECRF open their books to a public audit of the taxpayer funds they have received over the past 10 years.

We would then have a definitive answer about where our tax dollars have gone and whom we should trust.

Perhaps, citizen activists such as Ms. Oxenham are wasting their time.

I mean, who cares about state and local governments wasting our tax dollars on their special interests and business cronies?

After all, the governor just spent $166,000 on a Preakness Party.

If you are not incensed about your tax dollars buying food and drink for those who already have too much of both, you won't care about the money spent to destroy our communities and our state park.

Alan Stubbs

Ellicott City

Attacks on Robey unfair, ill-mannered

I must respond to the allegation made against County Executive James N. Robey during the Howard County budget hearings.

I believe that had Councilmen Allan H. Kittleman and Christopher J. Merdon taken the time to understand the budget process prior to expounding the false allegations that "Mr. Robey made a promise to support a specific item for increasing revenue," the unfortunate incident in the hearing would not have occurred ("Howard OKs budget after bitter debate," May 27).

I also believe that the chair should have intervened and censured the councilmen for their inappropriate commentary.

If there was a miscommunication, or the perception of one, people in a polite society discuss the items in an appropriate setting.

Well-mannered people, regardless of party affiliation, would never stoop to calling someone a liar in a public forum, especially when the person is not there to defend his or her reputation.

I have had the pleasure of dealing directly with Mr. Robey on a number of items both before and after his election.

Not only have I found Mr. Robey to be an articulate speaker, I have never known him to go back on his word about anything, even if it meant that he had to take a lump or two while maintaining his promises.

Mr. Robey will rise above this personal attack and proceed with what is best for the county.

Roger W. Hawkesworth Jr.


Telling the truth about Israeli atrocities

Bravo to The Sun and James Ron for Mr. Ron's excellent column "Making peace first means having to say you're sorry" (Opinion

Commentary, May 29).

Usually The Sun is very biased because of the Jewish population in this area.

It is about time that the truth came out regarding the horrible atrocities committed in Lebanon against the Lebanese and Palestinian people.

Perhaps with more truth expressed in the papers, a peace agreement between Israel and the four sovereign nations whose territory it is now occupying might come sooner and end the suffering the peoples from that region are enduring.

Barbara Gravesen

Ellicott City

We must control those with guns

Maybe the National Rifle Association (NRA) can come up with a plan to enforce those existing gun laws, instead of condemning the fact that they are not being enforced.

We need help with guns, not criticism.

Could it be possible to control a criminal who really wants to get his hands on a gun? I say no.

And what about the crimes committed by people who suddenly go berserk -- how do we control the guns they already have legally in their possession?

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