Forest law will drive out more farmersI am writing to you...

Letters

June 16, 1996

Forest law will drive out more farmers

I am writing to you in response to the June 3 article in The Sun for Carroll, "Tree program denies rights, farmers say." Your reporter missed the context of my complaint about the forest law.

The forest law encourages me (economically) to cut down all my dTC trees and does not prevent that. I have only a few acres of overmature trees that should be harvested according to current forestry practice.

The cost of a forester for such a small tract of ground would just eat up any profit that I might get from such a small cut and would not conserve any trees. The property that the trees are part of is not developable and is not likely to be developable in the near future. It would not hurt me particularly to sign the Declaration of Intent because of this.

However, it may materially affect the market value of my property if I go to sell it because the Declaration of Intent is filed against my property in the courthouse and as such is a lien against my property. As anyone knows, clouds on your title will enable a purchaser to drive down the value of your property. I do not want to lose my woodlot because of idiotic mismanagement by the county planners.

I especially am sensitive to the plight of the farmer in Carroll County. I have lived in Carroll for 30 years and have watched the county make regulations that force the farmer to pay for the development of the county.

They have downsized farming property several times over the years. That, combined with the impact fee, has contributed to many farmers being forced to go out of business because their equity in their property has become so small that they cannot get loans from the banks (which are based on their property value) to continue farming. Their property then is developed.

If the county was truly interested in saving its farmers, it would simply tax the new developments at a higher rate, which would force the new homeowners to pay for the additional services that are required. The politicians obviously do not want to do that if they can get the farmers to accept this burden.

Lynn R. Pipher

Woodbine

Collins' case shows system is broke

Re: "Child support payments found in Maryland bureaucracy," The Sun, June 3.

The four-year disappearance of Alvin Collins' child support payments for his daughters is no surprise to anyone involved in child support enforcement. It is a common occurrence which has been happening for at least 35 years in Maryland's child support enforcement system.

When child support payments go astray, the children suffer, the custodial and non-custodial parents suffer and the taxpayers get squeezed harder.

It is time to fix what's "broke."

Elaine M. Fromm

Finksburg

The writer is president of the Organization for the Enforcement of Child Support, Inc. in Reisterstown.

Apology should not spare Hunt's life

Your June 2 editorial regarding the stay of execution issued in the Flint Hunt case exemplifies a major part of what is wrong in our society today. It's sad that just because Hunt, or any other murderer "expresses remorse and asks for mercy," people are willing to lessen his sentence.

Only a fool or a madman like John Thanos wouldn't say these things in an attempt to save his own life. By apologizing to the Adolfo family, Hunt has removed any and all doubt that may have existed as to his guilt or innocence. But because he issues a plea for his life, he is, at least for now, spared.

The editorial stated that the "spark of potential for [a person to] change . . . is itself the most eloquent argument against execution." No amount of exhibited change or expressed remorse, even if it is genuine, can compensate for the crime of killing a police officer.

The criminal element in this country must be held accountable for their actions. Too often we are quick to let people "explain away" or blame others for their situation. If those who would murder our police officers, the front-line defenders of the public safety and law and order, cannot be made to pay the ultimate price, then the families of the countless private citizens killed each year don't have a prayer for seeing justice done.

Anyone who makes the choice to kill a police officer or commit any act of premeditated murder should be put to death, period. It has nothing to do with deterring others from similar acts. It has everything to do with punishment, plain and simple.

I read with great disgust the paragraph in your editorial on minority death row inmates. Obviously, by questioning whether "this state can execute people in a fair and even-handed way," you must be advocating some form of affirmative action plan to make sure the proper quotas are maintained.

How much more distorted can American values, or more precisely the lack of them, become?

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