Many in county want to uphold watershed pact It is...

LETTERS

September 17, 2000

Many in county want to uphold watershed pact

It is misleading to suggest that Carroll County wants to weaken the watershed agreement to allow more industrial rezoning of land currently zoned agricultural or conservation ("Talking to the top instead of off the top," Sept. 10).

Two of the three county commissioners want that. The people who depend on Liberty Lake for clean water emphatically do not want that. We want the agreement reaffirmed as it was written, to protect our water supply.

The imbalance between the county's industrial and residential property tax bases is the product of rampant residential growth that has been aided and abetted by those same two commissioners and their appointees.

The imbalance can be cured through four steps:

First, an immediate freeze on residential building and residential rezoning countywide is needed. A partial reduction of building permits in South Carroll is totally inadequate.

Second, the practice of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) allowing available industrial land to be carved up into retail parcels needs to be halted.

New conditional use permits converting industrial property to commercial uses need to be banned by ordinance or else made so difficult that no sensible businessman will seek them.

The BZA is appointed by the commissioners and the commissioners need to exercise leadership over the BZA.

Third, the county needs to pursue an aggressive marketing strategy to bring high-tech industry to the county.

Carroll County is blessed with a large and talented technical work force. The county's current economic development staff has failed utterly to market this labor force to high-tech industry.

Fourth, the commissioners have before them a comprehensive rezoning ordinance. This is the ideal time to reclassify underused commercial space on the Liberty Road corridor and any underdeveloped residential or commercial land as industrial.

Existing commercial buildings with actual tenants could be granted a conditional use, terminable if the business closes its doors. Such rezoning would not violate the watershed agreement.

Only by bold and decisive action such as that outlined above can the downward spiral of the county be halted.

Unfortunately two of the commissioners, beholden as they are to the residential developers and large landowners, are looking for solutions in all the wrong places.

John Culleton

Eldersburg

Many kids aren't ready for full-day kindergarten

While there are many children for whom all-day kindergarten would be advantageous, there are just as many other children who are not ready to attend a full-day program at age 5 ("Md. educators study funding for all-day kindergarten plans," Aug. 30).

I understand how critical it is for children to have a good foundation for reading, but some children are able to build this foundation at home, with the help of their parents, and are not ready to attend a full-day program at age 5 -- particularly if they have not attended day care.

It is a terrific idea to help those children who cannot, for whatever reason, develop their reading skills at home, with supplemental education programs at the preschool and kindergarten levels at taxpayers' expense.

However, it is not fair to those children who have not been in day care to be forced to attend a full-day program when their parents have not had an ample opportunity to help them build up the separation skills they will need to last through a full school day.

Alissa Schaub-Rimel

Eldersburg

Show your support for curing cancer in kids

September is childhood cancer month. Yes, children get cancer, too. In fact, despite remarkable research progress, cancer still kills more children than any other disease. More and better cures must be found.

My daughter Emily was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma on July 4, 1999. She was only 13 months old at the time. But her tumor was the size of a large man's fist and had metastasized.

For six months, Emily fought valiantly for her life. She lost her battle on December 21, 1999. While most families were anticipating the holiday to come, we were burying our precious angel.

Just as a red or pink ribbon worn on the lapel shows support for AIDS or breast cancer research, a gold ribbon shows that you want to see more cures found for infants, children, teen-agers and young adults with cancer.

I wish that everyone in the Carroll County area would call the National Childhood Cancer Foundation at 800-458-6223, ask for a free gold ribbon pin and wear it during September, because our children are our gold.

We must conquer kids' cancer.

Teresa R. McLallen

Mount Airy

Doors of State House should remain open

I do not advocate locked doors on Maryland's State House or the other extreme security measures that have been discussed among the Democratic leaders in Annapolis ("Fortress Maryland under construction," Opinion

Commentary, Sept. 10) .

This building belongs to the people and should remain open and accessible.

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