Whitbread need not be a noisy, boozy sideshowThe Whitbread...

LETTERS

March 22, 1998

Whitbread need not be a noisy, boozy sideshow

The Whitbread will soon be here, and many of us in downtown Annapolis welcome it. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate Annapolis' maritime past and present.

But what is this sideshow about? Recently, the sponsor, Whitbread Chesapeake, applied for a liquor license. It wants to reserve 7,500 square feet on City Dock for four days to sell food and booze to a crowd of 40,000 -- 10,000 people a day -- and to entertain them with amplified music.

Many of us who live or make a living downtown find this menacing. Except for the bars, restaurants, ice cream boutiques and T-shirt shops, store owners will tell you that events cost them money. Now it appears we have found a formula to take business away from the bars and restaurants, too.

Are not the 40 or so eating and drinking establishments in downtown and Eastport enough to handle a crowd of this size? Why must we have amplified music that any downtown resident can tell you makes it seem as if one were living in a boom box?

The city has given its heart to the sponsors of this race, free and in good faith. They in turn have sold our heart to commercial food and beer vendors who will surely hype an open-air beer party, promoting behavior we neither want nor need.

This elegant, hospitable city surely has enough facilities to accommodate those who wish to come here out of genuine interest in the race, the city and the U.S. Naval Academy. Those just looking for a party should be told to look elsewhere.

Denying the liquor license and prohibiting amplified music is the best way to send that message.

James D. Vance

Annapolis

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I would like to compliment Gilbert Lewthwaite for his coverage of the Whitbread race.

Mr. Lewthwaite's columns have been very insightful and fair to the contestants. He really catches the feeling of being at sea, and I look forward to future articles.

My only problem is that my clippings are beginning to exceed the grasp of my metal clip. (I must get a bigger one.)

The Whitbread boats' arrival in Baltimore and Annapolis will be very exciting. I'm sure you will continue the excellent coverage.

Paul T. Bagley

Pasadena

With apologies to Mozart

During this election year, some Maryland group should produce Mozart's best opera, "The Magic Flute."

It starts with a dragon that tries to eat people. Then, clad elegantly in black, the Queen of the Night sings the finest aria in the work. She is beautifully evil. And, much in her image, she has three ladies in waiting.

So does Ellen R. Sauerbrey, the Republican candidate for governor. They are Ms. School/Health Starver, Ms. Overdeveloper/Casino Builder and Ms. Chicken/Hog Farmer. Ellen's opera is called "The Magic Predator."

Ms. Starver sings a 25 percent cut in the state income tax (isn't 10 percent enough?) and opposes a raise in the cigarette tax. This means no relief from leaky school roofs, broken boilers, impure water and classrooms without walls, textbooks and computers. It also means no effort to keep teen-agers from smoking or to assure poor children of medical care.

Ms. Builder leads a chorus against regulations: "Loose the Dragon Upon the Land!" Fill in those wetlands. Ring the bay with fTC "boatels" and condos. Turn those horse tracks into casinos. (Don't communities with casinos have more suicides as well as more gambling addicts?)

Ms. Farmer joins Ms. Sauerbrey in a duet warning of "economic repercussions if new regs curb runoff or use of manure as fertilizer." (Will shellfish be infected? Will huge-scale hog farmers pollute wells? Why is Mitzi Perdue, princess of chickendom, raising money for Ms. Sauerbrey?)

"Pfiesteria Forever" is the final aria by Queen of the Predators.

In Mozart's opera, the dragon is killed and the queen is decisively defeated. Will that happen this fall? Or will Maryland begin an eight-year opera of darkness?

James A. Hoage

Severna Park

Thanks for helping with venison gifts

I want to thank the following people for making the last deer season a huge success.

Because of their generousity and hard work, more than 4,000 pounds of venison were distributed to local charities, including the Salvation Army and the North County Emergency Outreach Network in Glen Burnie:

To all the hunters in Anne Arundel, Howard and Montgomery counties and elsewhere who donated 94 deer to the program.

To Anne Arundel County Police Officer Brian Riddle and his helpers from the Southern District who helped me cope with more deer than I could handle (32 deer, which yielded at least 1,000 pounds).

To Glen Jenkins of Hunters Haven, who contributed 1,050 pounds.

To John Price, John Montgomery and especially Morgan McElroy, who contributed so many hours and hard work in preparing 2,007 pounds for charities.

Thank you all for a wonderful season. I hope we can do it again next year.

Tom Engle

Pasadena

The writer is chairman of the Meade Natural Heritage Association's Deer for the Hungry program.

No surprise in council raises

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