November 11, 2007

Detectives deserve praise for job done

Maybe someone can enlighten me as to why the leadership in the Howard County Police Department is chastising two detectives, one retired, for finding the body of a murder victim 11 years after her death.

Although I realize circumventing the chain of command is looked down upon, thanks to the hard work, determination and initiative of these two detectives a family can finally put some closure to an 11-year nightmare.

If it is ego and pride that are fueling the flames of the higher-ups, they need to be set aside.

The argument that is being used, that they ran a "risk of jeopardizing any future actions, including prosecutions" doesn't sit well with me. If the suspect has been tried and convicted of murder, although on circumstantial evidence, what follow-on actions could possibly be taken in terms of prosecutions? Do we honestly believe that a parole board is going to grant this man parole come 2016?

If anything, HCPD should be using these two gentlemen as a benchmark or goal for their officers and detectives to strive for and as a deterrent to those who wish to break the law within our boundaries. Thank goodness for those who think abstractly, take the initiative, put others before themselves and check their egos at the door.

William Weill Ellicott City

Article disappoints competition winner

Last week at the Howard County Cheerleading Competition, the Howard High School Varsity Cheerleaders placed first, capturing the county title. This marks not only the first cheerleading county championship for our school, but our first trip to the regional competition.

After winning and finding out we would be featured in the paper, you can only imagine how disappointed and dismayed we were when we opened the Howard Sun not to see a jazzy title focusing on Howard's win, but instead "Day of good cheer drives Long Reach."

We have worked diligently this year in order to become champions not only this week, but last week at the Howard County Invitational, and yet there is hardly mention of our school and team's accomplishments.

I find this completely disrespectful to our team, the hard work we have put forward this season and the facility and student body of Howard High School that provides support to us.

If the article was on another sport, I'm sure you would have made the effort to highlight the team that won. Since when in athletics do we not recognize the victors?

The amount of work it has taken us to perfect our routine this year and win is unimaginable, and I wish that this was acknowledged in the article. Our school is very proud of the other teams that performed at the competition and we enjoyed competing this year with the amount of quality competitors.

However, I feel the focus of your article was skewed and our team deserves an explanation for the lack of content focusing on the success of our team.

Rachael, Robert and Terri Pazornick Ellicott City

GGP's plan deserves chance

We've seen the county plan - or vision - for development of Columbia's downtown. It is, in fact, a vision for what "can be," and its concepts are good ones. From these concepts, General Growth's suggested master plan will unfold and yet, before we've even seen GGP's design, there are those calling for the county to "make" the company fulfill this or that. Some say they already distrust General Growth and believe it will have concern only for itself - certainly not Columbia.

It isn't human nature to accept without question, and that's a good thing. But to hold the company responsible for corporate slights we may have known in the past, to judge their plan before seeing it, isn't human nature at its best.

It is true General Growth is a business (not our benevolent uncle come to bestow its treasure on us). GGP is here to make a profit - no doubt about it - and nothing is wrong with that if, on its way to profit, the company fulfills the community's dream of, finally, a downtown worthy of this city and county.

This community wants the downtown outlined in the county plan - one that shines with light, with excellence and creativity, one that features people at all hours, features artists and public art, a downtown where we can walk safely with many others, and that means a place where a number of people live.

The county plan is a great beginning toward excellence. The next step is the General Growth plan, and the community eagerly anticipates it. If that plan is as creative and excellent as I imagine it will be, General Growth will be on the way to its profit and Columbia and Howard County will be the beneficiaries of that.

Emily Lincoln Columbia

Negotiate with GGP in public

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