Spectacular forestland needs to be protectedFor years...

Letters

January 21, 1998

Spectacular forestland needs to be protected

For years, citizens across the state have worked to achieve preservation of the spectacular Chapman's Landing forest. These Marylanders know that any halfhearted partial preservation plan can't become what The Sun describes as "an alternative that satisfies all parties" ("Group seeks to buy tract on Potomac," Jan. 1).

Chapman's forest contains irreplaceable natural, historical and cultural resources, and any degradation of it would be a great loss for the people of the state, the region and the country.

This would be true whether preservation interests focus more on forest interior bird habitat, the sensitive and pristine fish breeding streams, the sections of old growth forest, the archaeological and historical resources or any other aspect of this remarkable place.

The market value of the property if the state does not give the developers undeserved entitlements makes total preservation doable, with reasonable contributions from state and federal government.

The mirage of secret conservation negotiations should not distract Marylanders from the real issue.

The intense development proposed for this sensitive site is completely inappropriate, would harm Maryland's water quality and should be denied.

ayne H. McBain

Indian Head

Given Chapman's forest's myriad treasures, it is understandable that some confusion crept into the article about it.

By erroneously placing the historic Mount Aventine estate next to sensitive Mattawoman Creek, the article incorrectly suggests that partial preservation of the 2,250-acre forest could save these two jewels from the Chapman's Landing development.

Mount Aventine falls within the third of the forest overlooking the Potomac River, where, as with nearby Mount Vernon, it was handy to the Colonial riverine highway. Here also are two miles of scenic shoreline and a large ravine forest, a habitat astonishing for its giant trees and dozens of rare plants and animals.

It is the remaining two-thirds of the forest that is uniquely sited to continue protecting exceptional Mattawoman Creek, or, if replaced by Chapman's Landing, to pollute it.

If Gov. Parris N. Glendening denies the pending permits, water quality would be protected, as intended, and inflated prices averted.

James P. Long

Accokeek

The writer is coordinator of Friends of the Mattawoman.

Larry Young received what he deserved

I beg to differ with Raymond V. Haysbert's assertion in the article "Supporters say they'll keep up the fight" (Jan. 13) that Larry Young's case was "about money, power, politics and race."

The case was about abuse of power and greed.

Perhaps if Mr. Young had spent less time figuring out ways to manipulate the system and more time studying the state's ethics laws, he wouldn't have been expelled from the Senate.

He got what he deserved.

Melissa E. White

Baltimore

Why no mention of jazz performance?

I attended a magnificent concert of the Baltimore Jazz Orchestra at the Baltimore Museum of Art on Jan. 10, and was surprised to find no critical mention of it in the paper the next day.

The audience at the sold-out concert leaped to its feet with a standing ovation at the end of a two-hour-plus performance that practically took the roof off the concert hall.

With press coverage of events like this, more Marylanders can enjoy and learn of the Baltimore Jazz Foundation and support its activities.

Susan Patz

Baltimore

Holocaust denial vs. free speech

After reading Kenneth Lasson's commentary on Holocaust denial and free speech ("Denial on the campuses," Jan. 4), I find it hard to believe he is a professor of law at the University of Baltimore.

Most people are smart enough to see through the big lie of the Holocaust-denial arguments. The Holocaust did happen, and overwhelming proof of it exists. We can see through the phoney arguments of the revisionists, and we don't need Mr. Lasson or the government to protect us from their fiction.

However, as much as I do not like the Holocaust revisionists, it would be a serious mistake to deny them their right to free speech. The First Amendment was not created to protect popular speech; it was created to protect unpopular speech. The fact that some people find Holocaust-denial arguments to be offensive, or even "hate" speech, is not enough to ban such speech.

The Holocaust-denial arguments are not a threat to anyone because most people simply do not believe them. Mr. Lasson's comments, however, are far more dangerous, because some people may actually take his anti-free speech arguments seriously.

Bill Cooke

Baltimore

Hitler's art, politics intertwined for years

In his article "Celebrating Churchill's art" (Jan. 7), London correspondent Bill Glauber writes, "By comparison, [Churchill's] World War II nemesis, Adolf Hitler, was a failed art student who turned in anger to politics."

Well, yes, but not quite.

When he applied to the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts at 18 in 1907, Hitler was rejected with the written comment, "Test drawing unsatisfactory."

Nevertheless, he continued drawing and painting before, during and after World War I and even into his tenure as chancellor after 1933.

After World War II, many of his paintings were captured by the U.S. Army, and are on deposit today at the U.S. Army Combat Art Collection in Washington.

As for politics, Hitler entered that field because of Germany's defeat in World World I.

The great irony is that had he been accepted into art school, he might never have gone into politics; had he been killed in combat, he might never have been heard of at all.

Blaine Taylor

Towson

The writer is author of the book "Guarding the Fuhrer" (1993)

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