Nature suffers under liberal immigrationDaniel Griswold...

SATURDAY MAILBOX

May 02, 1998

Nature suffers under liberal immigration

Daniel Griswold points out in his April 26 Perspective article ("Is legal immigration a good or bad thing for America?") good arguments in favor of immigration. Immigration fuels continued growth in our economy; it provides sanctuary for those who suffer from hatred, apartheid and even genocide; it invites others to share in our material wealth; it brings a vitality that springs from diversity; it validates the actions of our ancestors; and it trusts in the basic goodness of humanity.

But by 2050, our population is projected to grow from 265 million to 400 million, a 51 percent increase. Much, if not most, of this growth will spring from immigrants and their progeny. Where are we going to put all these people? Will we continue to swallow up what is left of nature by expanding suburban and rural sprawl? Will we continue to cram people into our cities and suburbs, making it more difficult for urban children to have access to nature?

Unlimited immigration is wonderful, but is it worth this risk? We need to weigh sound, moral alternatives with unfettered immigration.

The days when this land could accommodate another 140 million people are long gone. We need to find a proper balance between the benefits of immigration and the benefits of conservation. Otherwise, we risk losing gifts that were meant to physically, emotionally and spiritually heal us all, native or immigrant.

$Robert Bloksberg-Fireovid

Bel Air

Use Kelly Fields site for youth/senior center

I have to respond to Kent Barnes' April 21 letter, "Merits of Bel Air site for senior and youth center." Perhaps Mr. Barnes isn't cognizant of the fact that Kelly Fields was first proposed as a site.

It, too, is easily accessible, much more centrally located and a great deal closer to the commercial amenities he suggests. It, too, is public property, and no environmental attributes would be compromised, much less destroyed. Taxpayers' money would be saved because no clearing of land would be necessary.

By his criteria, using Kelly Fields is fiscally responsible, environmentally sound, convenient, and much more accessible than a "10-acre wooded site."

I'm sure Mr. Barnes would agree that Kelly Fields seems to be an ideal location. My question to him, Eileen M. Rehrmann, and the Harford County Council is why isn't it being built there?

Philip N. Zaczek

Bel Air

One more tidbit for Titanic buffs

I would like to add another bit of historical trivia to that offered by Joseph Gallagher in his Opinion Commentary article "Anniversary tidbits for Titaniacs" (April 14).

The renowned wit and writer Dorothy Parker lost an uncle on the Titanic. Born Dorothy Rothschild to Henry and Liza Rothschild, she became the ward of Henry's brother Martin after Henry and his wife died.

Martin had amassed a fortune in the New York garment trade. He and his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Rothschild, cared for Dorothy until she married Edwin Pond Parker III, a marriage that ended in divorce. But Dorothy retained her married name, Dorothy Parker.

Martin and his wife were returning on the Titanic from one of their European tours in 1912 when the ship struck the iceberg and sank. Martin went down with the ship, but Elizabeth was saved, along with her little dog.

All this is family history because Martin Rothschild was also my grand-uncle -- his wife, Elizabeth, was the sister of my maternal grandfather. In my younger years, I knew her rather well.

Charles J. Scheve

Towson

Citizens no match for well-oiled machine

I attended a recent Anne Arundel County Council meeting primarily to hear the debate on the NASCAR issue concerning the Fort Smallwood area.

I had never been to a council meeting, and I guess I was an innocent in a den of wolves. I expected to at least see the democratic process in action, in which the issues on both sides were considered and acted upon.

What I saw was a well-oiled machine pitted against a citizen army. I saw an organization that had taken a year to develop its proposal against a group of citizens that had less than two months to develop rebuttals. And I saw one group spouting dollar figures and citizens talking from the heart to defend their position, their homes, their way of life.

I am not against racing. I have been around racing since before NASCAR was born. I have a cousin and an uncle who raced cars in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

The end result was the passage of the resolution that effectively cut off public referendum. Needless to say, I was sadly disappointed in the democratic process conducted by the council which, as far as I am concerned, sold out to the dollar.

Edward L. Garcia

Orchard Beach

Eradicate acorns before Pfiesteria

In the past few months, Gov. Parris N. Glendening has repeatedly said he intends to take extreme actions against Maryland's farmers and poultry industry on Pfiesteria to protect the health of Marylanders. He claims that the Pfiesteria organism has the ability to make people ill and that he has a responsibility to protect them.

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