Premature tributes IT'S NEVER a good idea to name...

NOTES AND COMMENTS

November 21, 2001

Premature tributes

IT'S NEVER a good idea to name public buildings and other structures after the living. So the local movement to name the Anne Arundel County Public Schools headquarters after outgoing Superintendent Carol S. Parham is a patently bad, premature idea.

Time is needed to reflect on the role public figures play in our lives and to put things in context. Yet often there is a tendency to rush to name things for living heroes.

As a result, we have prematurely named structures like Ronald Reagan National Airport and the state Senate annex named for Senate President Thomas "Mike" Miller. Not to mention William Donald Schaefer, whose name is ubiquitous in Maryland.

Dr. Parham's supporters can honor her with flowers, plaques and certificates, if they want to show their appreciation for her eight productive years as superintendent. But they should leave naming rights to history.

Transit triangle

THE Baltimore and Washington areas are closer than ever, transit-wise, with new express bus lines: one linking Baltimore-Washington International Airport to the Greenbelt Metro station, the other connecting BWI to Annapolis.

This is good news.

The state, with help from Annapolis Transit, is finally conducting some worthwhile experiments that threaten to make transit a more feasible alternative to driving in the two metropolitan areas.

Annapolitans have complained that it's too difficult going north via transit. That should change with the Sky Blue express shuttle to BWI, where riders can board light rail, and the busy Arundel Mills mall.

Meanwhile, metro Washington residents, who represent 40 percent of BWI's traffic, have a low-cost transportation option to the airport. This should steer some travelers from their cars, easing highway congestion.

Now the state has a chance to back up these good moves with good marketing.

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