Don't Let Lobbyists Bully OfficialsI'm outraged at...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 15, 1994

Don't Let Lobbyists Bully Officials

I'm outraged at lobbyist Bruce Bereano's threat to sue Howard County Council members individually if they don't retreat from passing a resolution that encourages all county businesses except taverns to get rid of cigarette-vending machines. It's bad enough to allow lobbyists to influence legislation by making campaign contributions without allowing these well-financed lobbyists to sue individual elected officials who vote against the business interests of their corporate sponsors.

Mr. Bereano's threat to sue legislators who support this resolution is a threat to democracy. Even if Mr. Bereano's chances of collecting are small, he and his corporate sponsors still achieve their objective of harassing and intimidating our elected officials.

Council members want to protect minors from trying tobacco products and possibly becoming addicted. How do we stop Mr. Bereano from intimidating them? I challenge every elected official to pledge not to accept any further campaign contributions, gifts, meals or even coffee from Mr. Bereano.

Make his value as a lobbyist zero. Send the message loud and clear to lobbyists and their corporate sponsors that intimidation of our elected officials and citizens will not be tolerated. I find it ironic that tobacco companies portraying themselves as supporters of our liberties and the Bill of Rights allow their highly paid lobbyist to threaten our elected officials.

Jeffrey H. Marks

Baltimore

Landfill Pollution

I want to correct an error in Erik Nelson's article titled "Pollutants turn up in two wells," which appeared in The Sun for Howard County on May 9. The lead paragraph of the article stated that "cancer-causing solvents found in half of the 839 drums illegally dumped at the Carrs Mill Landfill have been discovered in water sources at two nearby homes."

The article identified the chemical as TCE. TCE, also known as trichloroethene, was found in the buried drums. TCE has never been found in any domestic well sample in the vicinity of the Carrs Mill Landfill.

In September, an analysis of a residential well sample did identify the presence of a compound with a similar name (trichloroethane, also known as 1,1,1, TCA). This compound was detected only one time at an extremely low concentration (1.7 parts per billion) and eight subsequent analyses have not detected it again. The one-time detection was well below the applicable drinking water standard of 200 parts per billion and presented no significant health risk.

I am sure that the error made in the article was an honest one given the similarity of the names of the chemical compounds involved. However, it is important for residents in the Carrs Mills Landfill area to have an accurate assessment of the ground water contamination situation in the landfill vicinity.

A public meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. May 25 at Glenwood Middle School to update area residents on the recently completed remedial investigation and feasibility study. Residents may also call either Evelyn Tomlin or myself at 313-2388 with any questions.

John O'Hara

Ellicott City

The writer is chief of the Bureau of Environmental Services for the Howard County Department of Public Works.

Dogs and People

Regarding the May 8 letter in The Sun for Howard County from Heather Stimmel of Elkridge about getting rid of all Rottweilers, pit bulls and the mixed breeds of these dogs: why stop there? People kill people every day, why not get rid of people also?

There are bad dogs and there are good dogs, just as there are good kids and bad kids. Throwing rocks, abusing and irritating a dog will most likely make the dog retaliate. Wouldn't a person do the same? Parents should be held responsible for controlling their kids and if you can't teach them manners, responsibility and caring, then don't have the kids.

I am more concerned about Ms. Stimmel's killer thoughts of something that hasn't happened with her neighbors' pit bulls than of the dogs themselves harming her 2-year-old.

Maria Alvarez

Ellicott City

Rosary Column

How uplifting it was to read an affirmative article on Catholicism and a story of personal faith in Susan Reimer's May 5 column, "Rosary's converts won't let its power slip through fingers."

-! I commend her and you for it.

Mary Marilley

Ellicott City

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