Planning Changes Approved for Route 1
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved changes to long-range planning documents yesterday that officials hope will encourage the redevelopment and revitalization of the Route 1 corridor.
The planning changes affect the hoped-for use of land for residential and commercial property along the highway, which has long struggled to improve its look and atmosphere. The corridor, in the southeastern part of the county, has many older strip shopping malls, car dealerships, fast-food restaurants and commercial buildings.
The changes in dozens of regulations that affect development along the corridor will make it easier for landowners to upgrade their buildings and redevelop their land, officials say. The changes were developed by a citizen task force after two years of study.
Analysis Says Reservoir Isn't Needed
A proposed reservoir that has drawn objections from American Indians isn't necessary, given Eastern Virginia's water needs, according to a new analysis by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The preliminary analysis, released Friday, said the peninsula will have enough water well into the 21st century even without Newport News Waterworks' proposed King William Reservoir. That position seriously hurts the waterworks' chances of building the controversial reservoir, which has been in the planning stages for 12 years.
The waterworks, which sells water to households and businesses throughout the peninsula, has said repeatedly that it needs to build the 12.1 billion-gallon reservoir to avert severe water shortages in the next century. It has two weeks to respond to the analysis.
Vance Wants Cameras in All High Schools
Montgomery County School Superintendent Paul L. Vance is proposing spending $685,000 to install security cameras in all county high schools to watch students and record improper behavior.
"Given the recent tragedies at high schools throughout the country, I believe it is time to install comprehensive CCTV systems in all of our high schools," Vance wrote. He said the cameras would serve as a deterrent and as a tool to help catch anyone breaking the law or school regulations.
Closed-circuit television cameras are already trained on students at Damascus, Seneca Valley and Albert Einstein high schools. In a May 26 memo to Board of Education members, Vance said those cameras have caught students breaking into vending machines, scrawling graffiti, stealing from lockers and, in one case, making a threatening phone call from a pay phone.
Baltimore County School Bus Driver Killed
The driver of a school bus was killed and its two passengers were injured yesterday when the bus went out of control, hit a car, careered into a utility pole, then hit a house in Baltimore County, police reported.
The bus had been headed for Red House Elementary school in an eastern suburb of Baltimore.
The driver, Virginia T. Carter, 61, of Joppa, died at the scene. Pre-kindergarten pupil Ryan McCormick, 4, of Rosedale, was listed in satisfactory condition at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and school aide Ethel Reinhart, 62, of Essex, was in guarded condition at Bayview Hospital. Police said Reinhart's injuries were not life-threatening.
The crash happened just after noon at the 6200 block of Golden Ring Road in Rosedale. County police attributed the crash to driver error but said their investigation is continuing.
State Senator May Seek U.S. House Seat
State Sen. Larry E. Haines is considering running for the congressional seat held by Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, setting up what some Republican leaders say could be a tough battle in the GOP primary election next March.
If Haines gets in the race, voters in the 6th District, which stretches from Garrett County east into Howard and Carroll counties, would have to choose between two popular and very conservative Republican officials.
Haines, elected in 1998 to a second term in the Senate from Carroll County, is so well liked by his constituents that he did not have an opponent in either the primary or general election last year.
Bartlett was elected to his third term in Congress in November with 63 percent of the vote and won all six counties in the district.
State Police May Refurbish Cruisers
Maryland State Police officials are considering following the lead of several smaller departments that recycle their old police cruisers rather than buy new ones.
Small police agencies in St. Mary's and Frederick counties, as well as in St. Michaels, Easton and Aberdeen, ship their old, worn-out cruisers to a Pennsylvania shop, where the cars are reborn for an attractive price.
Old Chevrolet Caprices are equipped with new, larger V-8 engines, new suspensions, rebuilt seats, new carpeting and paint for half the price of a new car. They also come with a three-year warranty. Howard County plans to have 25 Chevys refurbished at $10,500 each.
State Police Sgt. Richard Barilone said his agency is looking into the program but hasn't tried it.
State police, like Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County police, sell their older vehicles. The cars usually sell for $2,000 to $3,000 at wholesale auctions. New vehicles cost in the mid-$20,000 range.
Snyder Ceremony Postponed a Week
A public ceremony to bury the ashes of activist Mitch Snyder, originally scheduled for tomorrow, has been postponed a week. It will be held at Luther Place Memorial Church, on Thomas Circle NW, at noon June 16.
Snyder, who committed suicide in 1990, had helped create the largest homeless shelters in the region, in part by fasting until local and federal governments met his demands.
His longtime companion, activist Carol Fennelly, has kept the ashes for nearly a decade but is now moving to Youngstown, Ohio, to start a prison mission. Snyder, she said, belongs to Washington.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"There's just a lot of death, dying and suffering out there."
--Dave Clement, director of the Home and Garden Information Center of the University of Maryland's Cooperative Extension Service, on the consequences of the ongoing spring drought.