Let fairness, honesty guide us on Smith Farm Thank...

LETTERS

September 23, 2001

Let fairness, honesty guide us on Smith Farm

Thank you for your article regarding the Smith Farm in Anne Arundel County ("Arundel in battle over farm use," Sept. 13). I have followed this issue because I am interested in land development where I live, and I am aware of the need for athletic fields on the Broadneck Peninsula. My boys participate in several sports on the Peninsula, and I am a coach.

Elizabeth Gleaves has made her position clear on video at the signing ceremony, in writing, and on the radio. Her agreement to sell the farm to the county and have it remain strictly an equestrian center in memory of her late husband appear to be largely ignored in favor of a loophole that our County Executive appears ready to exploit.

While I appreciate the effort to provide more space for our sports activities, my bigger concern, as a father and a coach, is that we provide the example to our children that we are about fairness and honoring our words. Let's move beyond the mentality that it is acceptable to operate under the mindset that "it depends on what the meaning of `is' is" and behave as if a handshake and a commitment are what bind us.

Ed Wilbourne

Annapolis

Let Mrs. Smith's wishes prevail on use of farm

Responding to the article entitled "Arundel in battle over farm use," these are not "malcontents ... who didn't get what they wanted," as stated by Dennis Callahan, head of Anne Arundel County [Department of] Parks and Recreation. We're Broadneck citizens concerned with the injustice of Mrs. Smith, the original land owner.

The [department's] plan dismisses Mrs. Smith's wishes and rights, as stipulated in the sales agreement. This is about fair play and not Broadneck ball fields vs. equestrian facilities.

Other than sports associations, the Broadneck Community has no knowledge of Callahan's plans to "preserve" this beautiful farm. Since 1998, [the park and recreation department] has systematically ignored the sale terms.

As so arrogantly phrased by Mr. Callahan, "Is it the responsibility of the government to have a horse in every house?" No, but it is the responsibility of the government officials, elected or appointed, to honor the spirit and intent of agreements made on behalf of the County citizens whether with current administration or their predecessors.

This speaks to integrity and trust in government. There is no room in our government for public servants who impose their arrogance and insensitivity at the expense of the personal rights of its citizens.

Lynne Tucker

Annapolis

Academy, neighborhood need protection plan

When I heard the news on Sept. 11, I was visiting my son and his family, who live close to the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Before that day I often walked unchallenged into the Academy, pushing my grandson's baby carriage.

I know that the grounds of the Academy itself are now under the highest security, but what is to prevent someone from launching an attack by chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons from the residential areas that extend right up to the walls of the Academy?

I worry that our focus on airport security, hunting down Osama bin Laden, and rounding up other suspects will divert attention away from defense against attacks in places and by methods that we do not foresee.

The Naval Academy, a military institution with enormous symbolic significance surrounded by undefended neighborhoods, is an obvious target.

I would like to know what is being done to ensure the security of these neighborhoods and to protect the people who live there.

Jonathan Harrington

Cambridge, Mass.

Thanks to fairgoers who aided police effort

This may be a bit early, but I would like to thank all of those wonderful people at the Anne Arundel County Fair this past week who gave freely of their feelings, condolences and money to the survivors and families of the New York Police Officers who lost their lives or were injured as a result of the terrorist attack last Tuesday. A bit early, because we are still receiving donations and selling the "American 911" T-shirts we had at the FOP Lodge #70 booth at the Fair.

The shirts were sold out twice, and more have been ordered. A list of buyers has been collected, and they will be advised when the shirts are in at the Lodge in Crownsville, probably Monday afternoon.

A couple of thousand dollars were collected, and the profits of the shirt sale will go directly to the Police Unions representing the officers that were affected, to be distributed to the families of those officers. Once again, many, many thanks to all who participated in this wonderful response.

Paul Ingley

Millersville(Paul Ingley is a member of Lodge #70, the Fraternal Order of Police, Anne Arundel County.)

Expressing sympathy for lost firefighters

We wish to express our deepest, heartfelt sympathy to our brothers and sisters in the fire service who have given their lives in the effort to save others.

Although they are far away in distance, they are close in our hearts. We will keep them, and their families and friends forever in our thoughts and prayers.

We pray, also, for those who are tirelessly searching through the devastation in New York and Washington, D.C., for their success and safety.

If there is anything we can do, we stand ready and able. God bless our men and women of the fire service, and God bless America.

Jean Brown

Crofton

(Jean Brown is president of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Anne Arundel County Volunteer Fire Fighters Association.)

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