Crab PotsEditor: I was surprised to learn that there are...


August 19, 1991

Crab Pots

Editor: I was surprised to learn that there are restrictions on placing crab pots in northern Anne Arundel County waters. What did those people do to deserve that distinction?

I sail out of Middle River. Any time, I can show you a vast array of small floats anywhere from Buoy Red 4 to the main channel. And that includes those parts of the area clearly marked ''No Crab Pots.''

There is no pattern to the placement of these pots, and the color of the floats ranges from black to white. If any sea is running, they are invisible until you are right on them.

The bay must be used for many purposes, but surely, there can be some controls established so that we can all share its bounty and pleasure.

Several suggestions are offered to alleviate the problem. Have all pots placed in straight lines north and south and east and west with 20 feet between them. Require all floats to be bright colors. Designate areas on the charts where crab pots can be placed so that other boats can keep away from them. Allow no pots in place after dark unless lighted.

The proliferation of crabbing over the last few years is making pleasure boating very difficult in the upper bay. Pleasure boating is a big industry in the state and brings income from the surrounding states also. Therefore, it behooves all watermen, professional and amateur alike, to seriously consider these problems and come up with a solution.

William S. Arnold Jr.


Heinous Crimes

Editor: The heinous crimes committed by the alleged serial killer inadvertently reveal an alarming level of tolerance for criminal behavior. One of the brutally butchered victims of the killer could possibly have been saved, had the police treated the apparently homosexual assault as a serious crime instead of an act that could be ignored because of implied consent.

''. . . the probation officer reportedly never visited him at home.''

Heavy workloads and cases in high-crime neighborhoods as the reason for waiving home visits by probation officers signals one more victory for the criminal element in our society.

As a probationer, the alleged killer and convicted child abuser should have been regularly visited by a probation officer. That officer should have been empowered to search him and any property under his control, seize any evidence of new or continued criminal conduct and detain him for further investigation by the police, in addition to citing him for any violations of probation that were discovered.

The tragedy of many probation services is that officers' case loads are often unmanageably high. Furthermore, even if they were manageable, some jurisdictions do not allow their probation officers to proactively enforce probation conditions or permit the officers to search suspected violators, seize vital evidence and arrest them so that the administration of justice may be swifter and more certain.

Since building more prisons and jails is prohibitively costly, we need to strengthen the effectiveness of community-based supervision of offenders.

How many more serial killers are out there, perhaps on parole or probation, who are evading detection due to a public policy that renders parole and probation services virtually ineffective?

How many illegal guns and quantities of controlled dangerous substances could be taken out of circulation but for a public policy that relies exclusively on the police while other agents of criminal justice are powerless to assist?

How many more needless deaths must we tolerate before we say enough is enough and create a more responsive and effective public policy?

Donald Atkinson.


The writer is president-elect of the Maryland Criminal Justice Association.

Coed Softball

Editor: The events at the Baltimore County Girls Softball Tournament (''Girls forfeit softball game when faced by coed team,'' July 29) are a perfect illustration why many people, men and woman alike, do not see the sexes as being equal. Humans are greatly influenced by what we are taught, whether or not it is true.

On one side, there are male managers telling the young women who view them as authority figures that girls are not good enough to face boys. Then there are the boys who see nothing wrong with belonging to a coed team or in being managed by a woman. The size of the players, not their gender or race, should be the determining factor in whether there is a safety problem.

Anne Bleyman.


Slave Drivers

Editor: Kudos to Roger Simon (Aug. 2) in standing up for the principle on which America was founded -- individual rights. He thinks it is wrong to force children to do unpaid work in community service for 75 hours as a high school graduation requirement. So do I.

All students' parents are forced to work for the state for five months just to pay taxes. Now the state would compel the children into slavery, too. But the 13th Amendment to the Constitution outlaws slavery and involuntary servitude.

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