Preserve the pavilion, values it fosters

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Your Opinions

Thoughts on issues relating to Howard County

February 27, 2005

I hope Merriweather Post Pavilion does not fall victim to a failure of collective imagination; a failure to realize that Columbia's developer, James Rouse, could have cashed in big at the concert site, but didn't. Mr. Rouse, Model Citizen, knew that wealth in Howard County is not just the quantities we accumulate around us but the qualities that our surroundings nurture in us.

Ultimately, Merriweather is not so much about developing land as it is developing ourselves. It is about saving a venue that produces laughter, joy and other intangibles that humans feel when they gather to share music and art in a natural setting.

Merriweather is worth preserving because the spiritual values that it promotes are priceless.

Peter Fedynsky Columbia

Don't disturb a cultural icon

For many years, I have enjoyed attending various concerts at Merriweather Post and would be most disheartened to see the appeal of the facility diminished by the proposed enclosure. Why replace the intrinsic beauty of its surroundings with the sterility of an auditorium-like setting? Enjoying concerts under the stars or clear blue skies only intensifies the concert experience and its natural serenity is but one of the reasons why Merriweather is a favorite venue of both artists and concertgoers alike. To disturb what has become a cultural icon of Maryland would indeed be a travesty.

Holly Klima Perry Hall

Back arts education in the schools

The consultants (Zigler, Snead LLP) engaged by Howard County to study the potential purchase of Merriweather Post Pavilion have noted the economic dilemma of the performing arts: "The performing arts will always experience an income gap." In short, performing arts venues must be subsidized. Enclosing Merriweather has been deemed by the consultants as economically infeasible. It would compete with indoor venues such as [those] in Baltimore, College Park, D.C. and Rockville, thus requiring not only substantial capital to convert but large operating subsidies. I would rather see Howard County support enhanced arts education and performances in the schools and existing arts organizations and events, rather than pour money into a losing financial proposition.

Lanny Morrison Columbia

Keep Merriweather an outdoor pavilion

I am in favor of retaining the center as an outdoor, summer-only venue. It's a very valuable resource for our community, but it must be managed to be effective and successful. Yes, some neighbors say some "rock" events are too loud, and they are. So, design the gigs to avoid such groups, or run them earlier in the day. But many new types of entertainment could draw a paying crowd also.

Keep the Merriweather!

Michael A. Higgins Ellicott City

An excellent venue should be retained

Merriweather Post Pavilion should remain an outdoor facility. There are competing indoor venues all over the area and state. Merriweather Post Pavilion as an excellent outdoor amphitheater that is a great long-term benefit to the community. The county should do everything it can to protect this benefit.

Mark Sormanti Ellicott City

Keep the county out of music business

I'm sorry, I didn't realize that Howard County was expanding into the music-event business. Please refresh my memory: I pay taxes for what reason again? Oh yeah, to allow the Howard County Government to enter into businesses that they have no clue about. Merriweather Post Pavilion, enclosed or not enclosed, who cares? They will lose money anyway, look at their record. Oh that's right, they can just tax us more and make up for the loss.

Mark DeCrispino Woodstock

Leave Merriweather as is, lawn and all

I think that they should leave Merriweather as is. The main appeal of Merriweather is that it is outdoors. Actually, last Saturday when my dad went to get tickets for the Maroon 5 concert there, he called and asked if he should get pavilion or lawn seats. I got lawn because it's so much more fun. You can lie in the grass with your friends. It's just so peaceful and relaxed. That was how it was at the Dashboard Confessional concert at the beginning of last summer. But then at the Cake concert at the end of the summer, I sat in the pavilion and it wasn't as fun. You were either standing up or sitting in a chair. Personally, it's more fun to be able to sit however you want. Also, on the lawn seats you can sit closer to your friends. In chairs, you and your friends are sitting in a row, and it's harder to talk to each other. On the lawn, you can sit in a clump. Watching concerts on the lawn is so much better, and no one would have that opportunity if Merriweather was enclosed.

Brittany Berger Columbia

Build indoor facility for the cultural arts

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