Maryland through the eyes of a newcomerWe recently moved...


June 16, 1996

Maryland through the eyes of a newcomer

We recently moved to Annapolis from Seattle, and for several months our new Maryland friends have asked how we like it here.

We love it.

"You're kidding," they respond incredulously. "You're from Seattle, and you love it here?

"But I've seen pictures of Seattle, it's spectacular," they say, shaking their heads. "How can you love it here after living there?"

Easy. Maryland is a wonderful place.

Now all we have to do, it seems, is convince our fellow Marylanders.

This is a fantastic, gorgeous state. You who have lived here all your lives need to stop taking it for granted and selling it short.

As a new settler, let me wax rhapsodic about Maryland, my Maryland.

You should remember that I say all of this even though we moved here just before the Blizzard of '96. So either the intense cold froze the judgment centers of my brain, or we have something special here on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay.

We live in Southwoods off West Street in a very non-chic section of Annapolis; it's a neighborhood populated with young families, bicycles, dogs and what sounds every morning like 5,000 birds. Blue jays, orioles, cardinals, finches, mourning doves. You wake up to a gorgeous cacophony of birdcalls (though sometimes you want to throw open the window and shout, "OK, I get the idea you're happy, now pipe down!").

This spring has been one of the most spectacular I've ever seen. Within our little development, there must be 200 flowering trees. Pear trees, magnolias, dozens of varieties of cherry and dogwoods with multi-colored blossoms surrounded by lilies, -Z tulips, daffodils, daisies, impatiens and creeping phlox. The countryside all around displays a million new colors of life. In the streets of Annapolis, dozens of commercial garden outlets have sprung up in parking lots from South River to Severn.

One of the most impressive things to us is the amount of rural land surrounding our nation's capital. You only need to travel a few miles to be in the middle of the countryside. We expected the East to be a continual megalopolis from Boston to Richmond. Imagine our pleasant surprise when we found our new home boasts more open space than western Washington state.

We drove across the state last weekend, through Ellicott City, across Route 26 to the Antietam battlefield and back along the Potomac. Wow! Maryland deserves all my hyperbole.

Of course, everyone tells us to live through a Maryland summer and see if our opinion changes. We love the Orioles. We love Camden Yards. Our allegiance to Seattle is wavering. Ken Griffey, who? We are, however, still trying to figure out the lacrosse thing.

Terry MacDonald


State workers deserve collective bargaining

Your paper's editorials denouncing collective bargaining for Maryland state employees show The Sun to be out of touch with what has been happening to state employees.

Maryland state employees have gone without raises for most of the 1990s, have had to face massive layoffs and many have had their hourly pay cut when the state increased their hours of work but kept their salary the same. Yet whether in the prisons, the employment and welfare offices, the highway garages or any other agency, state employees keep Maryland together and operating.

But even though private sector employees and many other public employees have the right to collective bargaining, we've been left out. A lot of state employees have a hard time keeping their own lives together as a result.

We've been kept in a rut and made a scapegoat by weak politicians and powerful lobbies. That is about to change, though, because we are going to have some say in our lives with collective bargaining.

The Sun should be hailing this development. It means state employees will be getting some much deserved respect. And the Maryland public is going to be getting a better state work force because of it.

Cindi Foard

Glen Burnie

Beef with media's story on gun coupons

This letter is in reference to the matter in which a Burger King restaurant in Baltimore had coupons on its register receipts for a local store, S&F Shooting Supplies.

It is discouraging to see the way everyone runs and hides when the biased news media starts pounding its drum on stories like this. What's sad is that there were two local merchants, the restaurant and the shooting supply store, trying to benefit from each other in an utterly routine and legal manner.

Suddenly the media steps in with its well-known "anti-everything connected with the guns" agenda. Next thing you know, the advertising contract is broken, lawyers will probably get rich, and the real culprits, the real troublemakers, the news media, just goes away, getting ready for the next time it will choose to impose its will on society.

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