DNR AstrayEditor: The Department of Natural Resources has...


July 20, 1991

DNR Astray

Editor: The Department of Natural Resources has a mandate to protect our waterways, but at the upper reaches of St. Leonard Creek the DNR is promoting a water slalom course that has and will continue to create havoc to this environmentally sensitive area.

The headwaters are shallow; the waterway is narrow; the course proper is in three to six feet of water. The tow boats, powerful and fast, turn in one foot of water. The constant prop-washing in these shallow waters results in turbidity that is the bane of aquatic plants.

Past accumulations of nitrates and phosphates in the water resulted in the killing of the bay's aquatic vegetation, and just when the efforts of private persons, corporations and state and federal agencies have begun to ''turn the tide'' so that the revegetation is actually beginning to happen, along comes the DNR to support what can only be called aquatic drag racing.

Is it not possible that the DNR, which oversees the Boating Administration, which in turn oversees the Recreational Boating Area Management Planning and Policy Program, has gone astray and lost sight of its mandate regarding natural resources? Or perhaps DNR really stands for Department of Nautical Recreation. Is there not a hint here of a way for the budget-strapped State of Maryland to save some money?

DNR is supposed to help in restoring our waters to a natural condition. Water skiers using the slalom course cause the bottom sediments to become suspended in the water and thus the turbidity. The waves caused by the overpowered tow boats and the swerving maneuvers of the skiers erode the shoreline so that trees now topple into the creek. I believe that DNR needs its water wings clipped so that natural resources once again becomes the byword in the department.

$ Clayton Nielsen.

St. Leonard.

Open Primaries

Editor: Your article on June 11 regarding the report of the Kettering Foundation was right on the mark. The American voter is fed up with the political apparatus in both parties since their objectives differ from that of the average voter.

After registering approximately 4,000 Marylanders to vote, I can assure you that the average voter is not apathetic; however, the body politic is frustrated and angry. They know that the main objective of incumbents is re-election at all costs and at the expense of good government. The influence of lobbyists, the press and that of the political ''elite class'' far outweighs the influence of the average citizen.

While there are movements springing up throughout America advocating term limitation, another method would be the adoption of the ''open primary.''

Currently, 20 states out of 50 have an open primary. Secretary of State James Baker told me personally that the open primary in Texas definitely opened up the state to a two-party political system. The same is true in Virginia, which adopted an open primary system in the early '70s and is now a two-party state.

An open primary differs from a closed primary in that: (1) a candidate may run in either party's primary with or without the party endorsement, (2) a voter is registered to vote with no party identification, and (3) a voter selects which party's primary he wishes to vote in at the polling place on Election Day -- not 30 days prior to the election. This method of candidate selection supports the voter's right of freedom of association, expression and choice on Election Day.

& Henry C. Marshall.


The writer is co-chairman of Marylanders for an Open Primary (MOP).

Enemy Is Us

Editor: As an American of African ancestry, I am outraged that so-called leaders, mostly unelected, would oppose the nomination [to the Supreme Court] of Judge Clarence Thomas, a member of our community.

Also, it is despicable that the so-called black caucus, of which my representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, Kweisi Mfume, is a member, would deny this gentleman a chance to be heard in the confirmation process before passing judgment. President Bush is not going to pick a liberal. This should be apparent to anyone. But the leaders seem to be saying, "We would rather have a conservative from another ethnic group who may be more conservative than one of our own who knows the horrors, bias, prejudice and discrimination."

Could one believe that a Jewish, Italian, Catholic, etc. would be opposed by members of those respective groups? In the words of Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

' Stanley M. Jackson. Baltimore.

Renaming NCCB

Editor: Michael Olesker has hit upon the solution to a continuing problem: what to call the New Community College of Baltimore?

In his July 16 column, Mr. Olesker said that it was more appropriate to name a new college after Justice Thurgood Marshall than a new stadium. I agree.

S.B. 381, the statute creating NCCB, requires the college's board to recommend a new name for the school to the General Assembly. What better name than Thurgood Marshall? Using his name would honor both Mr. Marshall and the college.

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