Glenwood man drops bid for approval of helipad on...

June 18, 2000

Glenwood man drops bid for approval of helipad on building

A Glenwood man is dropping his bid to get Howard County's approval for a helicopter pad on the roof of his office building along Route 97 because of solid opposition from neighbors.

Steve Walker, who lives and works on his 20-acre property in western Howard, proposed regulations covering private helicopter use that were to be presented at a Planning Board hearing, but he has withdrawn his request.

That means the issue will not be considered by the board, said county Planning Director Joseph W. Rutter Jr., whose department has no immediate plans to review the topic.

Walker's move came after a meeting of the Wellington Homeowners Association in which members voted 28-0 against the use of helicopters in their upscale, rural neighborhood.

University celebrates year of adult education

The University of Phoenix celebrated its one-year presence in Columbia with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. The school's Columbia location, the only Phoenix campus in Maryland and the university's first venture in the Northeast, enrolls about 450 students.

The university is part of a trend of night schools and online courses trying to meet the growing demand for adult college education.

The Columbia campus has been so successful that Phoenix officials say they would like to open a learning center in Baltimore County within the year.

Politicians raise questions about county General Plan

Howard County's attempt to chart its future in a new 20-year General Plan has reached a critical point - the down-to-earth concerns of practicing politicians.

The first of three County Council public hearings was Thursday at Atholton High School, and the council's five members got a chance Wednesday to ask questions about the draft plans during a three-hour work session with James N. Robey administration officials - the first of three such sessions.

Beneath the broad sweep of general goals in the plan - preserving the rural west, staving off blight and rebuilding older areas, and setting the pace for future growth - are the day-to-day concerns of council members.

"We need to clearly define what is meant by `infill,'" said C. Vernon Gray, an east Columbia Democrat who has been on the council since 1982.

Forum on CA's search for a president draws few

A public forum on the search for a new Columbia Association president drew few people, hampering the Columbia Council's first effort to get public input.

The forum drew about a dozen residents Wednesday and fewer than a dozen suggestions as to how the 10-member board should handle the biggest issues that are facing it.

Wolfger Schneider, one of two residents who signed up to speak at Kahler Hall, said the new president should not be a "high profiler" who has ambitions of climbing the corporate ladder but rather someone who is focused on preserving Columbia's amenities and reducing its debt.

Longtime resident Jean Moon said the new president should have a sense of the community's values and should be able to communicate easily with other leaders in Howard County.

Another public forum will be held at 7:30 p.m. June 29 at Slayton House in Wilde Lake.

Hate crime investigated at community college

Police are investigating a hate crime in which someone spray-painted anti-Semitic graffiti on buildings at Howard Community College after the Jewish Festival last weekend.

The slogans were painted on the side of Smith Theatre and the physical education building. College officials discovered the graffiti Tuesday, but police believe the incident occurred between 10 p.m. Monday and noon Tuesday.

Police said 16 hate incidents were reported in the county from January to May, and 61 incidents were reported last year. They included racial slurs, destruction of property and assaults.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the county police at 410-313-3200, 410-313-3700 or 410-313-4780.

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