This Law Belittles Mother NatureIn its March 16 editorial...


April 17, 1995

This Law Belittles Mother Nature

In its March 16 editorial espousing the forest conservation law, The Sun lays open some of the fundamental problems with the ''Tree Bill.'' The editorial specifically notes that Carroll County, a rural county, has a lesser percentage of existing tree cover than more urban Anne Arundel and Howard, and a roughly equal percentage of cover to Prince George's, Montgomery and Baltimore counties.

Clearly, then, loss of forest does not result only from development and urbanization. Yet, because of this perceived loss, new development is forced to bear the full brunt of an ill-conceived state-mandated forestation program.

No one is suggesting that planting trees is bad, but please note that this is a forest law, not a tree law, and does not take into account other efforts by residential developers to plant and save trees. The saving of trees and preservation of existing forests is a marketing and cost benefit to residential developers, adding value to the lots and reducing clearing costs.

Furthermore, developers are required by existing landscaping regulations to plant trees to improve the streetscapes and subsequent homeowners typically plant trees and shrubs to soften and enrich the landscape.

The forest conservation law does little to recognize this and indeed penalizes developers of open fields by forcing them to afforest land that may have been open and un-treed for hundreds of years, requiring that they create forests where before there were none.

The concept of ''planting forests'' belittles Mother Nature and is destined for failure. Let's rethink this law.

Stephen R. Smith


Torricelli Gagged

There is a disturbing trend that threatens the precious strength of our government as a guarantor of the rule of law and representative democracy.

This is evident in the attempt to silence Rep. Robert Torricelli, a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, and prevent him from initiating an investigation of the possibility of underhanded activities by a CIA employee or by the agency itself.

His actions were consistent with the purpose for which this House committee was established.

Defiance of presidential policy (former President Bush withdrew monetary support of the Guatemalan military because of its repressive torture and killing of its citizens as well as Americans) was accompanied by the CIA's deceptive withholding of relevant information from the Senate and House Intelligence Committees.

This continues a dangerous anti-constitutional tendency previously exposed by the Iran-contra actions of a self-appointed Oliver North or governmental agencies which violated congressional legislation and policy.

Representative Torricelli should be supported in his effort to prevent these shadow forces from undermining the rule of law and congressional mandate.

Arnold Denmark


More on the Forge

I am writing this letter in reference to a Feb. 19 article you published on Rodgers Forge.

You went into great detail to describe how lovely this place is, and the unique attractions there, most beneficial to the neighbors in this community.

However, I need to bring to your attention another aspect of Rodgers Forge you perhaps are not aware of -- racism.

Our family relocated here from Atlanta last year. My husband is an educator, and looking for a place to temporarily house his family, he answered an advertisement.

After looking over the house, he decided to make arrangements to rent. He was told by the owner, a good Christian lady, that she could not rent him her townhouse because her daughter and the neighbors would not be happy with his moving in. Our family is interracial.

Having lived in the deep South for 14 years and never experienced racism in housing, I find it shocking that racism still exists in housing here in Maryland, and yes, in your wonderful enclave of Rodgers Forge.

Just giving some balance to your story.

Paulette Brathwaite


It Matters

In response to Roger Simon's column on April 5, regarding the adultery issue involving both Gary Hart and President Clinton, I disagree that it has become a non-issue. On the contrary, I believe that Americans are now finding out that a man who cannot keep a promise freely made to his wife is not always going to tell his country the truth.

Character does matter and the rapid change in values in our country certainly is reflected in the moral decline. But, there is hope. Some Americans are beginning to realize that we need to retake our country and re-establish the peace and prosperity with which we were once blessed.

As President Lincoln stated in his wartime proclamation: ''It is the duty of nations as well as of men to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God and to confess this truth announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.'' He went on to say that we have forgotten God, and I say that this will enact a terrible price.

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