Letters to the Editor


July 16, 2006

A call to share ideas on safety, quality of life

Recently, the press reported on a local deadly shooting that resulted in the emergency room of the Howard County General Hospital getting shut down for two hours because an unruly group of over 20 persons (friends of a deceased individual at the hospital) disrupted emergency room services. Also recently, there was an armed robbery at a local bank in which Dr. C. Vernon Gray, prominent educator and political leader, and others were ordered to lie on the floor.

Commenting on the seriousness of the hospital incident, Ken Jennings, a Columbia resident, noted that two years ago, his wife, Eleanor, was within minutes of dying when she arrived at the Howard County General Hospital emergency room. Because the ER was open, she was treated and lived for a few more days. If the ER had been closed because of disruptive behavior, she would not have enjoyed the meaningful extra time with her family. Also, the bank armed robbery could have had a disastrous outcome for Dr. Gray and others.

Both of these incidents, and others, have an adverse impact on the quality of life in our community. With this in mind, the African American Coalition of Howard County is asking Columbia and Howard County residents to think "outside the box" in nurturing our civic and religious responsibility to enhance a safe quality of life for our families and friends in our neighborhoods, the city of Columbia and Howard County.

Keeping in mind that action can and must be taken to prevent incidents such as those cited above from continuing, we ask that you share your ideas and approaches with us at aachc@comcast.net.

Rev. Robert A.F. Turner

The writer is president of the African American Coalition of Howard County.

Taking objection to reporter's slant

I must take objection to The Sun reporter's slant ("Building a following from opposition," July 5) on the opposition to the Waverly Gardens building for moderate-income senior citizens in Waverly Woods.

It must be pointed out that no one in the community ever said that the project would be incompatible with their lifestyle and that it was being resisted because residents in pricey homes did not want to have people with moderate incomes living among them. What an insult to the people who objected in the interests of the attractiveness of the community in which they had invested their hard-earned resources and their trust in the developer.

The true reasons for the opposition included the looming size of the building at a critical intersection, and the developer being allowed to renege on the original plan to scatter the moderate- and low-income senior housing throughout the community instead of concentrating it in one huge building. While the building is "green" and fairly attractive, the fact that the Howard County Zoning Board once again gave in to the developer rather than considering the people who invested in this community and pay their taxes is very distressing. And, now, you are rubbing our noses in it.

Elizabeth G. Brown


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