Emu Speculation Will Never FlyFortunately, the eagerness...


January 01, 1995

Emu Speculation Will Never Fly

Fortunately, the eagerness of emu investors to get the emu onto the slaughterhouse floor flies in the face of reality ("Emu farming begins to take off," The Sun, Dec. 12).

As the American Veterinary Medical Association and other analysts have pointed out, the emu business is a pyramid structure consisting almost entirely of speculation in breeding stock.

When this pyramid collapses, thousands of investors will lose their fortunes and thousands of emus will be killed to cut losses, since virtually no progress has been made toward actually developing a consumer market for emu, ostrich or any other flesh derived from the ratites, or flightless fowl.

This speculative business deserves to fail. Emus, fleet and friendly nomads designed for wide open spaces and a close-knit family life, have better things to do than sit around in sterile paddocks waiting to be turned into ratite patties and little jars of backache oil . . .

Karen Davis


The writer is the president of United Poultry Concerns Inc.

Poor Pruning

The Tree Commission for the City of Westminster feels compelled to respond to the recent poor and excessive pruning of trees along the reconstructed portion of East Main Street. This unfortunate work was performed by a contractor working for the State Highway Administration.

After months of careful and successful work around almost every tree which was saved during the street reconstruction, many of the tree limbs, which provided shade canopy and a sense of "enclosure," as well as invaluable charm to the downtown, were removed in a few hours of indiscriminate pruning. It is too easy to take trees for granted and to forget that they are really living members of our community.

The Tree Commission is charged with the responsibility to make recommendations on the care, preservation, pruning and disposition of the city's trees, including those located along public streets. Members of the Tree Commission were chosen to serve on the East Main Street Task Force, which was specifically assembled in order to preserve these trees.

This task force, city staff and the State Highway Administration spent hours in planning and redesigning the road to accommodate the retention of these healthy and mature trees. And thanks to the cooperation and helpfulness of the SHA's Office of Environmental Design, the task force successfully accomplished its goal in the plans.

Alas, even after all these efforts, somehow, somewhere, someone forget to notify the city, the Tree Commission or the DNR Project Forester prior to commencing with this unauthorized pruning. Apparently, even certain officials within the State Highway Administration were unaware of what their contractor was doing, and, that the State Highway Administration had failed to obtain a Roadside Tree Care Permit from the Department of Natural Resources.

This unfortunate episode blemishes an otherwise successful project for the city and the State Highway Administration. If there is a positive lesson to be learned by all the parties with regard to this incident, it is an old one of communication. Most certainly, if the city or the DNR Forester had been contacted, then an acceptable level of pruning could have been established and proper direction given to the contractor. . . .

We are still dismayed by the excessive amount of pruning which occurred on the east side of town. Be that as it may, we are pleased that the State Highway Administration agreed to meet with us to work together to fix the problems. We hope that their response will continue to be amiable. With the Tree Commission, they have agreed to monitor the trees into the next year. . . .

Joseph Barley


The writer is chairman of the Westminster Tree Commission.

Clergy Abuse

After reading Alan Craver's article, "Lawyers Say Consent is Key . . ." (Nov. 27), I was angered by the omission of some information presented at that hearing.

To begin with, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America should be ashamed of itself for adding to the misery of a woman who was victimized by a pastor for whom she held great respect and trust. Predator pastors are a disgrace to all Christians and should be removed from their offices rather than defended by lawyers who attempt to use the church for their own financial and personal gain.

The pain of spiritual loss and betrayal which a woman feels when her pastor oversteps his boundaries is devastating and totally disruptive to her life and that of her family. . . .

The fact that the state of Maryland has no legal recourse for victims of clergy sexual abuse is extremely unfortunate. People of all religions should be concerned about this issue and should take steps to bring about legislation criminalizing it, as has been done in other states. Susan Romanic, meanwhile, should be congratulated for her willingness to publicly fight the church and pastor who so deeply hurt and humiliated her.

Judy Stoltenberg


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