DNR made weak case in approving Sandy Point huntI just...

Letters

November 24, 1996

DNR made weak case in approving Sandy Point hunt

I just read Brian Sullam's Nov. 17 column entitled, "Whose parkland is it?" I believed he has really sifted through the cacophony and identified the underlying message of the conflict: hunting versus recreational park use.

I have found this theme repeated in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states since the early 1980s. I have also found from references in hunting/wildlife journals that those in the business of the Department of Natural Resources see bow hunting as the answer to urban deer pest control. I might add that the hunting contingent usually wins.

The apparent ineptness of the DNR is troubling. My neighbor works extensively with statistics in the federal government. I am four years into a PhD in community/social psychology and have had four graduate-level courses in statistics and research design. My neighbor and I have been appalled at the misuse of numbers in DNR's presentations and reports.

The DNR breaks Rule 1: It associates correlation with causation. Because there have been more deer road kills recently, it assumes there are more deer. Even the general audience at the "big meeting" caught onto DNR's attempts to generalize statewide deer statistics and solutions to Sandy Point, which has nothing in common with Western Maryland.

Considering the territorial dispute Mr. Sullman described, it would seem particularly important that all decisions be based on good science, and that the DNR should be answerable to elected local officials. As written, state law gives the DNR dictatorial powers over state park use. It does not have to justify any decision or answer to any other authority.

The local rangers were fairly ignorant of the rules governing this hunt. For example, the appropriate regulation requires the hunting area be 150 yards from any road, structure, property line or picnic area. For the first week of this controversy, the rangers insisted that hunters had to be merely 150 yards from our houses.

Given the history of this dispute, I don't believe things will stop here.

Carol Schmitt

Annapolis

Child support enforcement crucial

A new generation of poor is growing up in Anne Arundel County and across Maryland whose status is determined by negligent, irresponsible parents. The children of divorce may be awarded child support and medical insurance, but what person or agency sees that it is successfully enforced?

While the efforts of the Child Support Enforcement Agency and like agencies are to be applauded, the time lapse from initial contract to actual action on the part of the agency may result in loss of housing, medical services, and even prevent parents from being able to provide food and clothing for their children.

The many divorced parents who support their children financially as well as emotionally are to be commended. But after all, marriage, as well as the responsibility of children, implies a greater lasting partnership that transcends any divorce decree.

For the scores who are struggling to make it without receiving the benefits the court awarded, perhaps the only thing we have left is a voice of protest of the situation and a glimmer of hope that someone who counts will listen. Our children deserve better. Who will help?

Vicki H. D'Andrea

Severna Park

Assisted living project unsuitable

On Dec. 11 and 12, there will be continued hearings at the Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals to determine the legality and appropriateness of the commercial assisted living structure at 118 Arundel Beach Road in Severna Park. Why is it that the builder continues construction despite the fact the building permit is being appealed?

This structure is the first blatant commercial entity in our community under the guise of residential use, and establishes a precedent for other such facilities. There are many other sites in Severna Park and the county far better suited to such use.

Current ordnances do not protect citizens from the abuses of absentee landlords backed by large commercial interests. I ask your consideration in supporting effective legislation to protect our residential areas from such abuse.

Katherine A. Emrick

Severna Park

Severna Park lost, but won

In my daughter's room, scattered everywhere, are sweat shirts, sweat pants, equipment bag, jackets, t-shirts and a kilt, all bearing the words, "Severna Park Field Hockey."

A cabinet holds trophies, ribbons, hair ribbons, memorial ribbons for the loss of a teammate, bumper stickers, newspaper clippings, dried flowers from senior night, posters and the blue and gold numbers '97.

Her walls are covered with framed pictures of freshmen, sophomore, junior and senior group pictures, buddy pictures, gift pictures from little sisters and the most recent addition, a huge 11-by-18 collage of pictures taken over the past four years of this year's senior girls.

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