Hutchinson Unfit for Bay Trust
At the March 15 meeting of the Severn River Association, directors voted unanimously to oppose the Speaker of the House's appointment of Del. Leslie Hutchinson to represent the House as an ex-officio member of the Chesapeake Bay Trust Board.
This appointment is an insult to every Maryland taxpayer, particularly to Marylanders who support the Trust's environmental activities through purchase of special automobile tags.
In less than four years, Ms. Hutchinson has compiled a lengthy record of unpaid bills and numerous motor vehicle violations, including the use of automobile tags purloined from the Hutchinson family museum. . . .
We request your strong support in reversing this disgraceful appointment. We hope that you will be more vigilant and more vocal when Maryland's "leaders" pull stunts like this in the future.
James R. Martin, Jr.
The writer is president of the Severn River Association. This is a lTC copy of a letter sent to the Anne Arundel County legislative delegation.
Fly Ash Furor
Regarding your March 30 editorial, entitled "Fly Ash Furor," seemingly your information came from only one source, the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. As a lifelong resident of the immediate area, I can state flatly that BGE has lost all credibility with its neighbors. . . .
The current furor arose from a September 1993 meeting in which BGE came to tell residents (not discuss) its intention to pile fly ash up to 122 feet above sea level on the new Chestnut Hill Farms section (Brandon Woods was completed last fall). It is important to note that, contrary to popular opinion, BGE did not volunteer this meeting. In fact, it was directed by our county officials to obtain the approval of local residents prior to proceeding.
Note that your assertion that "to its credit, the utility last fall backed down on its own when neighbors objected" is largely inaccurate. BGE merely withdrew its subdivision sketch, but not the all-important grading permit request (just granted by the county March 28). This grading permit, which applies to 40-acres-plus, along Solley Road, was actually modified in January to go higher than the initial request last July.
More importantly, understand that "no subdivision request" equals "no sale of lots." BGE has canceled all previous internal road plans in this huge ash fill plot and withdrawn from the Solley Road Club (a coalition of developers committed to improving Solley Road). In short, don't be misled by the "business park" ploy. BGE, by its own admission, has not sold a single lot since spring 1990. Even during the red-hot business and industrial real estate boom of the '80s, its success was extremely limited (eight buildings in 13 years). After all, what investor will risk building on those huge fly ash piles? . . .
We are not alarmist nor do we have "somewhat exaggerated fears," as you asserted. We are all aware that BGE has a long-term fly ash disposal problem. . . . Fly Ash Control Bill 27-94 is a well-planned, conservative bill, designed to give residents some long overdue protection and input into this process.
Jail War Isn't Going to End
End of the jail war? Hardly, if things continue as they are. Already, Anne Arundel County Council members are being reinforced by the Anne Arundel legislative delegation. The bloodletting may soon begin and the blood will be that of school children, not the rightful recipients -- criminals.
However, there is a solution to this problem and I doubt that anyone in Anne Arundel County would object to it.
As a given, no one in Anne Arundel wants a jail if the jail has to be near them. As another given, the County Council has not been able to work out a solution that will please everyone. There is a solution that should please all the parties involved, but, as yet, is not a given.
The solution is fairness. In addition to its own prisoners held in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center, Anne Arundel County houses for the state of Maryland 5,476 inmates or 26.7 percent of the total prison population of the state.
Is this fairness?
When one compares the population of Anne Arundel County with Baltimore's population, which is twice as large, you can easily see a large inequity between the two jurisdictions. Anne Arundel County experiences crime, but the amount of crime that Baltimore experiences is much more. Yet, Anne Arundel has the greater burden.
Is this fair?
Something needs to be worked out between Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City with respect to the housing of prisoners. Anne Arundel should not have to accommodate more prisoners than Baltimore, which has the space and the problem. That would be fairness.
Joseph "Jack" Feehley
The writer is a candidate for the state Senate in District 31.
Excuuuuuse me! Something is rotten in Denmark. Could this be "dirty pool?"
Some years past, seems to me the citizens of Maryland voted on a referendum that defeated a proposal to build a second Bay Bridge parallel to the existing bridge. Last year, the Anne Arundel County Council overwhelmingly voted that the proposed new prison would not be built on Ordnance Road in Glen Burnie.
We now have a second Bay Bridge and it has been announced that by a 4-3 majority vote, the County Council approved the siting of a new prison on Ordnance Road.
No surprise to anyone, the "yea" votes came from council members from Annapolis and other districts south of Glen Burnie, plus a turncoat from the North County. Just when does "no" mean "no" in politics? Seems to me that when a decision of this magnitude is made, it should stick. . . .
Even after the people let their will be known on issues, politicians react quickly to unwritten "deals," mutual back scratching and multi-favoritism for personal projects to programs.
Robert E. Johnson