Dredge Disposal on Wharf Creek
Your editorial (Oct. 8) and an earlier article on the Wharf Creek dredge disposal issue have prompted us to write.
Approximately 17 years ago, we were in the process of building our small private marina, Hammock Island on Bodkin Creek. Wharf Creek is a tributary of Bodkin and is less than a half-mile from our site. Our dredge permit allowed the removal of 3,000 cubic yards of dredged materials -- most of which we placed upon our 3/4-acre, eroding island. At that time, we were told to expect a number of years of settling. We were also advised that it would be quite a while before we would be able to grow anything in the dredged spoil because of the salt content.
Our plans did not allow for a delay in grass growing and landscaping. So we went ahead and seeded and planted in spite the advice. Imagine our pleasure when the grass we planted took hold immediately. The landscape plants also thrived.
At the time of the dredge project, we also had a mountain of dredged material in our parking lot (in front of our home). Our two children, then ages 4 and 6, had wonderful times collecting bottles and other "finds," as well as sliding down the slopes. We never felt any concerns about contamination from contact with these. After all, we had swum in -- and fallen into -- these creeks' waters without any dire results. In some locations, we would definitely avoid exposure to dredged materials. However, Bodkin Creek, and consequently Wharf Creek, is not one of these locations.
The odor which has been cited as a potential problem was certainly not an issue in our case. We never felt there was a resulting objectionable smell. As a matter of fact, two years ago when we had an inordinately hot summer, that area which is scheduled to be dredged on Wharf Creek suffered from a horrible stench because of oxygen depletion. The smell was absolutely nauseating. Authorities suggest that a future problem this nature can be avoided by dredging Wharf Creek.
We urge the Board of Education to follow through with their decision to use this material as they have proposed. After all, the school construction is the reason this problem exists today.
Carol and Bill Durr
I am a resident of Cedarwood Crove and found the Oct. 8 editorial urging the dumping of dredged mud onto the Chesapeake School property interesting.
The fifth paragraph notes that residents of Wharf Creek are subjected to stench when the wind bows, but in later paragraphs you dismiss our community's concern over potential odors. We are offered the premise that 6,800 cubic feet of dredged mud will be pumped to the school site, that it will take an estimated three to five years, with a possible 10 years, to dry out and that there will not be a smell. I cannot accept this proposal.
History is littered with the phrases "within tolerable levels," "normal range" and "no factual evidence" to distance past or present actions from present or future results. I do not want a 2002 Evening Sun article to focus on an unexplained malady which struck students at the Chesapeake school complex.
If the project moves forward and our concerns are valid, the editors of The Evening Sun are not affected, nor are our friends and neighbors of Wharf Creek. It will be left to students of the Chesapeake school complex and residents of Cedarwood Cove to live with the mistakes. Students have the right to expect that adults will not place them in a situation that may cause them short-term discomfort and potential long-term hazard. School property is not where you prove a point. Find an alternative site.
George E. Kornmeyer
The writer is president of Cedarwood Cove.
Library Shouldn't Levy Reserve Fee
The Anne Arundel County Sun has reported on my dispute with the county library over its 50 cents per item reserve fee. On Sept. 17, I filed against the library board in District Court, and the trial date was set for Nov. 16. The county then postponed the case. You would think that if the library board had a strong case, they would have gotten the matter over in a few minutes.
Meanwhile, I and everyone else continue to pay the fee. If I should eventually win the case, I will likely get my money back . .
What happens if I lose? . . . Law is based on precedent. The same article of state law that says the library board shall establish a free library system says that there shall be a free public school system. . . . If the precedent is set that the library system is not free (without cost to the user), then you can bet that the county and state will be able to charge "fees" for the use of school buses, "grounds" fee for school athletics, band instrument fees, etc., and maybe even "testing" fees or "book use" fees in our "free" public school system . . .
People Against Child Abuse, Inc. (PACA) wishes to thank the many supporters of our organization, and to let them know that PACA continues to be a fully registered charitable organization in the state of Maryland. . . . If the public has any questions . . ., please contact our office or the office of the Secretary of State.
The writer is executive director of People Against Child Abuse, Inc.