Honeygo plan makes Smart Growth real in Baltimore County...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 15, 2001

Honeygo plan makes Smart Growth real in Baltimore County

Kevin T. Carney, president of the Home Builders Association of Maryland, criticized Perry Hall's Honeygo community as a place where density changes have promoted sprawl and driven off developers ("Allies for Smart Growth," Jan. 7).

Since the Home Builders Association played little constructive role in the Honeygo plan, it is understandable that Mr. Carney has his facts wrong.

Before the Honeygo plan was enacted, zoning allowed more than 11,000 apartments and townhouses in this last, undeveloped corner of Perry Hall.

The Honeygo plan limited development mostly to single-family homes. The county required stricter building standards and, in 1999, larger lot sizes to make development more attractive to buyers.

Honeygo was designed to keep Baltimore County families from moving to more attractive properties in Harford County. By almost every measure, it has been a resounding success.

Many of the homebuyers are residents of eastern Baltimore County. They have stayed in their home county, stabilizing its tax base and limiting sprawl. This fits nicely with the vision of Smart Growth.

High-density development is a boon for the developers Mr. Carney represents, but it is hardly compatible with Smart Growth.

David Marks

Perry Hall

The writer is president of the Perry Hall Improvement Association.

Capricious sentences make death penalty untenable

Reading The Sun's article "U.S. judge sentences man to die" (Jan. 4) reveals that a man convicted of asking a friend to kill three young women has been sentenced to death for their murders, while the confessed shooter received a life sentence.

The shooter will live while the "requester" will die? How can this be?

How can anyone support the death penalty when outcomes such as this are possible?

Frederick P. Charleston

Baltimore

State's restrictive gun law needs reform or abolition

If Gov. Parris N. Glendening's gun safety law, which requires manufacturers to supply a spent shell for every handgun shipped into Maryland, was intended only to track firearms involved in criminal activity, and not to restrict sales of legal weapons, the source of the spent shell should not matter ("Police hanging tough on gun law," Jan. 10).

Federally licensed firearms dealers should be allowed to fire the weapon and certify the origin of the shell.

The Maryland legislature should immediately amend this law or abolish it, for in its present form it denies lawful citizens the right to purchase some of the highest-quality firearms on the market.

Wayne Croft

Parkton

Study shows MSPAP test doesn't make the grade

Thank you to Bill Evers for his accurate accounting of the MSPAP test's failings ("MSPAP failings," Opinion

Commentary, Jan. 3).

In June, I retired after 30 years of teaching in Baltimore County. The constant focus on this test throughout the year made my decision to retire an easy one.

This test and the "test dance" we had to do daily drove many teachers out with me.

This test reminds me of "The Emperor's New Clothes": Everyone is frustrated with it but, in deference to the top brass and for fear of jeopardizing school administrators' and teachers' reputations, we sit on our hands.

Rita P. Hundley

Towson

So it is official: MSPAP is a total failure. How much longer must we put up with this embarrassing panacea?

Gov. Parris N. Glendening should insist the Maryland State Department of Education release the full 300-page report and take the necessary action.

Stephen H. Knox

Baltimore

Inspiring story of adoption restores a reader's spirit

With the deeply dividing days of our presidential elections now behind us, my spirit was flagging.

To my rescue and delight, The Sun published Kevin Cowherd's beautiful story of Hattie and Leotis Alston's adoption of 15 neglected and abused children ("Being there for 15 children," Dec. 25).

To those of us who adore children and are distressed by the plight of so many, this was an exquisite story of abiding love and caring.

Henry L. Blum

Baltimore

After-Christmas traditions add to the season's warmth

Please thank Jacques Kelly for his beautiful and evocative column regarding Baltimore's after-Christmas traditions ("Season of celebration continues into January," Jan. 6).

My family, too, spent the weeks following Christmas visiting friends and family, admiring their trees and enjoying the leftover cookies and other goodies.

Since most Baltimore families did not take their decorations down until at least the Epiphany, it was fun to ride around and look at all the lights when there was time to do it after the Christmas rush.

Nothing can match the excitement and bustle of the days leading up to Christmas, but the days and weeks following can be just as enjoyable, more relaxing and part of a Baltimore tradition.

Pamela T. Prenger

Baltimore

With shortages of energy, why do we sell oil to Asia?

I am confused: We have an energy crisis; we are dependent on foreign oil; OPEC is threatening to cut production.

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