Country living great except for the huntersWhen we moved...

LETTERS

January 08, 1996

Country living great except for the hunters

When we moved to northern Baltimore County more than two years ago, we were not moving away from life in the city but to a dream of life in the country.

We had enjoyed our life in the city, were not overly concerned with crime and had good relationships with our neighbors. We expected that to continue on our 22-acre farm. We have not been disappointed. Except for one thing.

As much as we wanted not to be ''city slickers,'' we were dismayed to find that around November our woods were filled with gunfire -- sometimes even from automatic weapons.

We spoke with many of our neighbors and discovered they were also dismayed but without hope of doing anything about it. Just keep your kids, horses, and dogs away from the woods, they advised.

Last winter, someone came into our woods, cut down some trees and built stands in others for a better angle to shoot deer. Imagine someone coming into your yard to cut down a rose bush because they wanted a better view.

On the hundred-plus acres of farmland surrounding our property people routinely drive four-wheel-drive vehicles through the fields, making deep gauges in the topsoil that causes erosion. A farmer told us there is nothing he can do to prevent it.

This year we reluctantly posted our land and think there have been fewer gunshots. But it only takes one.

JTC This week that one gunshot struck my horse. And she had to be put down by the vet.

She was, it is true, ''just'' an animal, but she was a dear friend, a kind, gentle creature who was great fun to train and ride and beautiful to look at.

Her longtime companion, the gelding, whined all night long, disconsolately mourning the mare as we mourn her.

Do I suspect someone did this deliberately? No. For some reason,though, the old adage, ''My rights begin where yours leave off,'' comes to mind. And a bullet pierces right through it.

Cathy Myrowitz

Parkton

Apology demanded from state senator

Regarding a Dec. 27 article in The Sun, I am perplexed by comments made by Sen. Walter M. Baker about the State Police using "Gestapo tactics" because they made phone calls to ascertain if owners of two or more guns still had the weapons or had possibly sold them.

How does a phone call equate to "Gestapo tactics?" The person receiving the call had the option of answering the question or hanging up. The State Police is obviously motivated by the public interest in seeing to it that guns will not be sold to criminal elements.

I believe Senator Baker owes the State Police an apology. After all, their follow-up phone call seems to me good police work.

Raymond M. Kight

Rockville

The writer is the sheriff of Montgomery County.

Mustard was more than news reporter

Today I learned that Jim Mustard had passed away. Although I had not seen him in quite some time, I got to know him about 12 years ago when I was living in Fells Point. All that they say about him is true. He loved being a reporter. He loved being close to the news, from local happenings to the international scene.

He was ever the optimist, deriving his intense energy from the unfolding of world events, which he viewed (despite many setbacks) as forward motion for mankind. When he talked with you, he looked you straight in the eye, hanging on every word and digesting its meaning.

Each person's opinion he viewed as significant, and he valued your reactions to both local and world events.

I remember one time he was at BWI airport to interview an arriving dignitary. I was headed to Manchester, England, and he spotted me. With his cameraman in tow, he flew over toward me and began interviewing: ''I'm here at BWI airport interviewing Dr. Robert Cotter, who is headed to . . .''

I well remember the night I sat next to him in Peter's Inn in Fells Point and he began to describe his cancer, discovered when he was hospitalized for a motorcycle injury. His plan was to go to Paris, because he'd never been there. I had been, so I began suggesting all the places he might visit.

Eleven years ago he was given six months to live, and he beat the odds. Except that he did not count on AIDS -- something that I later learned about from an article in The Sun. The rest has been reported -- how he worked at WBAL for as long as he could, retaining his incredible optimism and enthusiasm for reporting the news. Jim Mustard was an extraordinary individual who made many of us richer for having known him. Those who have will miss him.

Robert J. Cotter

Baltimore

AT&T wants to serve state

You published a Dec. 18 letter ("Long-distance companies are being greedy") from Daniel J. Whelan Jr., president and chief executive officer of Bell Atlantic-Maryland, in which he is highly critical of the long-distance companies lobbying Congress for legislation to promote and foster local exchange competition.

Mr. Whelan also misrepresents several important facts about circumstances in Maryland and the plans of AT&T to provide local exchange service in the state.

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