Teaching kids about trapping animalsI am sure that many...

LETTERS

March 23, 1997

Teaching kids about trapping animals

I am sure that many people share my sentiments after reading the March 2 story, "New generation of trappers in the hunt," whereby the Department of Natural Resources organized Junior Trapper Day to encourage children as young as 4 or 5 to trap and skin animals.

The article repeatedly mentioned that trapping teaches a "respect for nature." True, a DNR biologist told the kids that they are obligated to the animals trapped so that the animals do not suffer. But I have no idea how being caught in a leg-hold trap for 24 hours cannot cause suffering from excruciating pain.

The reporter writes that the instruction given out "doesn't seem the stuff of animal abuse described in leaflets distributed by animal rights activists." Unfortunately, neither the reporter nor the Junior Trappers got to experience animals caught in traps, some trying to chew off their own legs, without first being instilled with the mind-set that checking the traps every day implied that suffering would not occur. Or, that involving oneself with a part of nature, even if that causes terrible pain to an animal before killing it, somehow falls under "respecting nature."

The "lesson" of acquiring money, regardless of the cost, is showcased on the local news each day. Do we really want more of these types of lessons drummed into our children's heads?

When will the majority of tax-paying citizens get some say into what the DNR does with our money, instead of it catering to the hunters and trappers who make up less than 5 percent of the population, yet whose desires guide the policies of the DNR?

James Clark

Finksburg

How did we become the 'gang of seven'?

Apparently, the members of a so-called Landowners Association have a problem with freedom of speech.

My wife, Debbie, and I went to dinner with some friends at Liberatore's Restaurant recently. I expected to discuss the '98 campaigns, responsible levels of growth in Carroll County and the empowerment of Carroll citizens by promoting a more participatory government.

While we were dining, I thought it strange that Ed Primhoff and his party of six had camped right outside the door to the room we were in. Stranger still were the press reports the following day in which someone had decided that our dinner was newsworthy, naming the group of 10 diners a "gang of seven."

I don't know if it was someone at Mr. Primhoff's table or mine found their way to a reporter, but I found it all quite silly until encountering the inflated rhetoric in the paper afterward.

Debbie and I decided long ago that we weren't going to let our county slide into the abyss that has sucked the quality of life out of surrounding counties, the ones many new countians are fleeing.

When we moved here 25 years ago, we believed that Carroll County was a very special place in Maryland and we continue to. To that end, we have dedicated a large amount of our time to the shaping of the county, as have dozens of people who serve on boards and working on the master plan revision. In addition to our very rewarding day jobs, we happen to like working nights trying to ensure responsible growth and the preservation of the unique quality of life which this county is struggling to retain.

Methinks that those making the fuss over our excellent dinner of calamari and lasagna would object if planning commission members were found to be members of the Rhododendron Society, much less registered voters. My gang of one doesn't. Debbie doesn't belong to any gangs. She just spends a heckuva lot of time on planning commission business, a hard-working gang.

Debbie and I actually disagree on some issues facing the county. That's our prerogative as husband and wife and certainly hers to exert as a member of the planning commission.

I can tolerate that divergence of opinions. It is a shame that some narrow-minded individuals cannot comprehend dissent from their own very shallow perspective.

Neil M. Ridgely

Finksburg

Yates was wrong about the need, law on evening meetings, critic writes

In response to Richard Yates' letter (March 9), suggesting the editors of the local papers are operating with unused gray matter, all I can do is repeat the adage "People living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." First, Mr. Yates' comments about citizen input at the Subdivision Advisory Committee (SAC) meetings demonstrate his complete misunderstanding of the purpose of the SAC meetings.

They are not designed for discussion of broad planning and zoning issues. They are designed to address very specific projects.

Planning commission meetings are the appropriate forum and the planning commission is the appropriate body to which citizens should bring their more general concerns. We did not ask for input into specific development projects in lieu of our opportunity to discuss other issues. Obviously, Mr. Yates wasn't paying attention.

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