Bay areas law ignores rights of land ownersOnce again the...

the Forum

January 28, 1993

Bay areas law ignores rights of land owners

Once again the Maryland legislature, in its annual trek to Annapolis, has not supported the rights of waterfront property owners as much as it supports land ownership among the general public.

The Chesapeake Bay critical areas law has not been modified to guarantee the right of those whose property the law addresses. This shortsighted ambiguity has been presented to the legislature, which refused to recognize it in the 1992 session.

The lawmakers' environmental supporters blind them into thinking the law is proper, even at the risk of legislative injury to a small segment of the population. This undemocratic approach to bay protection should not be considered a model to other states, but more an example of modern day feudalism.

The main problems lie within the "criteria" portion of the law. The edicts of erosion rate, allowing counties to be more restrictive, and grandfathering provisions retroactive to the cave man are but a few examples.

These problems are passed to the counties, and then to the public in the form of construction permit rejections.

Even if an owner intends to use some sensible process for bay protection, he or she is not allowed to as a free agent. The abuse continues if the process is appealed. Officials act as if they own the bay and the applicant's property is public property.

The critical areas law and its criteria should have the abusive language removed and broadened into a statute that accomplishes the credo of the National Environmental Policy Act: to balance man with his environment, not to smash man with his environment. When will the people of Maryland wake up to all this?

Roy Kampmeyer

Severna Park

The writer is president of the Maryland Waterfront Landowners Association.

Chew and spit

Smokers, take heart. All you need to do is remove the tobacco from its paper, stick it in your jaw and chew. When you're tired of chewing, just spit -- it's allowed.

From what I've observed chewing and spitting are allowed in Oriole Park at Camden Yards -- even on the playing field.

D. K. Cross

Baltimore

'Lorenzo's Oil' is distorted and unfair

The movie "Lorenzo's Oil" portrays in painful detail the struggle of Augusto and Michaela Odone when they learn that their son, Lorenzo, has Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD).

Unfortunately, "Lorenzo's Oil" conveys a distorted, historically incorrect picture of what really happened. Further, the negative, detached image of the "ALD Foundation" does an incredible injustice to the real United Leukodystrophy Foundation (ULF).

At the time of Lorenzo's diagnosis, I was the adrenoleukodystrophy coordinator working with Hugo Moser, M.D., at the Kennedy Institute in Baltimore. In the movie, Dr. Moser is portrayed, inaccurately, as Dr. Gus Nikolias. I was also the nurse consultant to the ULF. Presently, while I am still extremely interested in the leukodystrophies, I am not directly affiliated with the Kennedy-Krieger Institute or the ULF.

When I began working as the ALD coordinator in March, 1983, the initial diet study had been completed and the findings had been published a year before. Lorenzo could not have been a participant in this study as it had been completed. Treatment efforts in 1984 were focused on immunosuppression therapy; as described in the movie, Lorenzo did go to Boston, where this experimental therapeutic trial was already under way.

The movie portrays the ALD Foundation (in truth, the ULF), as a superficial group whose focus seems to be parental coping. Nothing could be further from reality.

I coordinated several annual ULF family conferences, including the conference in 1984 as shown in the movie. The primary conference agenda items are always scientific updates on the leukodystrophies from the appropriate experts and the medical/nursing/home care of the affected children and adults.

Additionally, emotional, social and other needs are addressed. There has never been an parental outcry such as that depicted in the film.

Ron and Paula Brazeal are portrayed in the film as the Muscatines, wimps who bend to the whim of the researchers. In the film, Michaela Odone (Susan Sarandon) says that she hopes they (the Muscatines) "hang by their eyelashes" and that she will "eat crow" to call them in order to obtain a family mailing list.

What an unbelievable and cruel injustice to the Brazeals and the ULF! The Brazeals have worked painstakingly for the families as well as for research.

The ULF raises funds to support research on ALD and other leukodystrophies. In fact, it is the ULF that insisted that no one be rejected from the Lorenzo oil diet study presently being conducted at the Kennedy-Krieger Institute. ULF funding has been essential to the project.

The effects of "Lorenzo's Oil" extend further than Dr. Moser and the ULF. All researchers and support groups will now be suspect and scrutinized by well-meaning but often inappropriately directed parents and interested others.

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