Letters: Overcrowded schools, tennis stadium and space program

Letters

July 26, 2011

Students could be moved to underused schools out west

A careful reading of the Howard County Times provides solutions for the over crowding of public schools and the proposed tax payer funded Tennis Stadium.

The new Elementary school, the public park and the adjoining tennis stadium are to be build on Duckets Lane.

Perhaps, the Elementary School, the park and tennis stadium could share space (like at Veterans Elementary and the YMCA) so there is enough room for all the children at the school.

Or, perhaps, instead of building another school in (eastern Howard County) and pulling children eastward to fill it, children could be redistricted westward toward the under utilized, empty schools in the western part of Howard County.

Debbie Bures-Walker

Ellicott City

Space program worth far more than the money spent on it

I watched the final landing of the space huttle the other day and reflected sadly on the end of an American era in space. It marked the end of America's superiority in space travel. From now on, the United States will ride into space on Russian rockets to an "international" space station.

Why should we lament the passing of the space program as we know it? None of us are probably ever going to travel in space, but if you were alive in the 1960s during America's "space race" with the Soviet Union; if you watched Neil Armstrong take that first step on the moon on a flickering black-and-white TV screen; if you marveled at the sheer power and majesty of the space shuttle roaring into the blue sky over Cape Canaveral, trailing a plume of fire; and if you mourned the loss of brave men and women, true pioneers, who challenged the "Last Frontier" and died, then you were a part of a national pride, a swelling of the American psyche, that we could accomplish great things together.

And this feeling of pride cut across the political, economic, and racial divisions in our country. We were all just Americans, sharing in the pride at what our country could do when there is the will and cooperation to make it happen. As a symbol of American ingenuity, ability, and superiority, the space program was worth far more than the money spent on it over the years.

I wonder if we'll ever again feel those moments of unity, of joint purpose, that feeling of togetherness as Americans that the space program gave us? We had it briefly in the aftermath of 9/11, bound together by shared feelings of sorrow, shock, and anger, but it had a short shelf-life.

As a society, as a country, we seem as divided today as we've ever been. And that, too, makes me sad.

Michael E. Britt

Harper's Choice

Taxpayers funding stadiums get nothing in return

Regardless of the Maryland Stadium Authority's decision ("Scarce funding imperils tennis center," July 21), the county should not spend precious taxpayer dollars on yet another unnecessary sports stadium.

Time and time again proponents of these structures promise revenue and jobs. Inevitably, the project comes in over budget and predicted financial benefits and job growth never happen. Both academic and mainstream literature abounds with studies and stories proving these projects only drain money from public treasuries while they line the pockets of the wealthy.

Sports are wonderful to play and watch. But when Howard County schools are crumbling and overcrowded, roads and bridges are aging and traffic-clogged, and public safety agencies are pinching every penny, stadiums are luxuries we can no longer afford. Since these edifices enrich only private interests, let private citizens, not the public's tax dollars, pay for them. Let's put precious public funds toward more important civic priorities.

Steve Walker

Ellicott City

North Laurel center has too many bells and whistles

I was taken aback when I saw the new buildings and recreational center on Whiskey Bottom Road. I can understand the need for a new building, but why so elaborate?

Our property values have fallen so much, but our tax values stay the same or go up. Our politicians need to appreciate where the money comes from and only take what is absolutely necessary.

We have a beautiful county with farmland and beautiful historical sites. Money should be put back into keeping what is naturally beautiful and not these elaborate buildings that only a portion of the county's residents ever see.

Just because money has moved into our county doesn't mean we need all these big-money improvements.

Patricia Betz

Highland

School board seeks Dyer's ouster for its own convenience

"Choosing Civility" as a "practice" by the Howard County Board of Education does not exist. Their efforts to expel elected member Allen Dyer can be categorized as "dispense with the messenger if you don't like his message."

Don Dunn,

Ellicott City

Tennis Center a partnershipto create community asset

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