Be aware of the past, but look to the future I have a...

Letters to the editor

August 04, 2002

Be aware of the past, but look to the future

I have a combination of amusement and annoyance when I read comments like the one made in the July 28 article "You Can Go Home Again". It starts out as a lovely story about an individual who "came home" to live, start a business, and make a commitment to a community she once, probably, could not wait to escape. I have been to the Blue Cow Cafe and it does portray the small town feeling. Honestly, as a newcomer to Columbia, I have not found many similar establishments.

In reading further, I was disturbed by the comment by Dave Russell, "There's a lot of people coming into Columbia that have no idea what Columbia was about 20 or 30 years ago. They just moved here because it was convenient."

I have seen this message written over and over again. It is a snobbish attitude to believe that residents of Columbia are any different than residents of any other community. Most individuals want to see their community thrive.

Why should a new resident care about what Columbia was like 20 to 30 years ago? It is 30 years later and Columbia has some current issues to address.

With this mindset, a community will remain stagnant and will never be able to properly address current problems or instill new ideas.

From my standpoint, resident representatives and residents need to embrace what was important from the past, and blend current ideas to solve problems and move forward. Unfortunately, having moved here during the conflict with the CA president, and having followed other issues in the news publications, I am doubtful.

Catherine Marks


In defense of using community gazebo

It was good to finally hear from Mr. Woodhouse in his Letter to the Editor (July 28) concerning my use of our homeowners' gazebo.

Mr. Woodhouse has, up until now, not responded to reporters and even refused to shake my husband's outstretched hand at the rally, when he visited to take pictures. I feel a few points in his letter need to be corrected, however: 1) invitation to all the homeowners in the HOA does not constitute "proprietary," 2) my verbal inquiry came from Mary Tung, not from the campaign committee, 3) and it was made to the management firm at least the week prior to the invitations going out. Apparently, the management firm failed to communicate to Mr. Woodhouse prior to July 1.

I contacted the management firm since there are no bylaws concerning the use of the gazebo, and therefore, I wasn't sure who to contact.

So contrary to the assertions of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee Secretary Melody Higgins in her unattributed Letter to the Editor on July 21, we are not "trespassers" or "lawbreakers," we were just exercising our right to free speech and assembly on Clarks Glen common green. Our forefathers would be proud.

Mary Beth Tung

Republican candidate for state delegate, Clarksville

Help teen loiterers be part of community

This is in regard to the article in the Aug. 1 Howard County section regarding loitering at the Long Reach village center. I have no objection to the article, which is well-balanced, only a comment.

As a middle-aged white resident of Long Reach, very far from objecting to, I welcome the congregation of young, mainly black males. It is a well-known situation in our culture that youth need a place to "hang" and never get one because of liability considerations.

There is a police substation on the premises, for heaven's sake, and they are not going to risk any misbehavior. They just want to be with their friends. All public forums are potential sites for "loitering." Instead of chasing them away, open up a concession stand for them. And put up a big sign saying "call him sir, not yo."

John Brosseau


Animal Advocates offers sterilizations

As I write this letter, every cat cage at Howard County Animal Control is filled. This situation is not unique to our county.

It is estimated that as many as 10 million animals enter shelters across America each year, and tragically over 60 percent of these animals will be killed. Only 1 kitten in a litter of 5 will ever find a "home for life".

The enormous number of animals entering shelters is so high for many reasons. Many animals are brought to shelters because they are strays with no identification that would enable them to be returned to their owner, many are brought in because their owner is relinquishing them. This time of year the most common excuse given is "we are moving". But most often, they were simply born to an un-spayed dog or cat whose owner was not prepared to handle an unintended litter.

Some of these pets are too sick to rehabilitate, some become too aggressive to adopt, and some just run out of time. Whatever the reason, too many of these pets end up dead.

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