School cafeteria would be an eyesore in Roland ParkKathy...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 19, 1999

School cafeteria would be an eyesore in Roland Park

Kathy Hudson's Opinion Commentary article citing Roland Park's renaissance as a result of "careful development, preservation and community vigilance" ("Roland Park's renaissance a lesson for city," June 8) seems prescient given community concerns over the proposed 42,000-square-foot, glass-walled science center and cafeteria building proposed by the Roland Park Country School.

The architect has proposed a hulking design and factory-like cladding singularly inappropriate to one of America's oldest and most historic planned communities.

The proposed location of the school's cafeteria and outdoor eating area (as well as its service entrance and garbage Dumpsters) on a hillside facing the community could create ongoing nuisances with noise and debris as well as delivery and trash vehicles.

Construction on the steeply graded hillside site could destroy the woodland buffer between the school and community; a comprehensive forest conservation plan to preserve the existing trees and hillside is a necessity.

The new building may also overtax existing utilities, such as a hundred-year-old sewer line on Deepdene Road, create improper storm water management and add to traffic and parking woes in the area.

Before the school moved to its present site in 1978, the city, school and the Roland Park Civic League agreed to enforce Baltimore city architectural and planning commission review of every new addition or building.

The school has held meetings with the community and represented that it would respond to suggestions and concerns.

It is therefore still hoped that civic and community review will produce changes in design, location of the food service facilities and landscaping to make the new building much less of a visual intrusion, nuisance and environmental concern.

Stanley Heuisler

Baltimore

To preserve the bay, save oysters, limit people

Congratulations to The Sun's Heather Dewar for her fine, nonpolitical article on the bay, "Tangle of trouble stifles life in bay," (June 13). This article should be required reading for all state policy-makers and environmentalists.

Then perhaps they will realize that everyone living in the bay watershed shares responsibility for it, and that attacking Maryland farmers, or some other single group, won't make the bay healthier.

Ms. Dewar correctly states that oysters are one of the bay's principal filters. At the turn of the century, there were enough oysters to filter every gallon of water in the bay every day. Today there are not enough to filter it once a year.

Why, then, are we allowing even one of these precious creatures to be removed from the bay? Wouldn't the half-million bushels of oysters removed last year have filtered some water this year?

Why is it bad for the bay if disease kills off some oysters every year, but acceptable for humans to remove them?

Part of the answer for the bay is a common-sense solution: stop short-circuiting the ecosystem.

Doug Burdette Aberdeen

The Sun's in-depth article on the health of Chesapeake Bay was quite comprehensive, even mentioning the strains caused by population pressures. The article mentioned several ways of dealing with those pressures, but said nothing about reducing population growth itself.

A successful population-control policy would begin by changing our generous immigration policies and such practices as granting citizenship to babies born in this country to illegal immigrants and naturalizing the relatives of new citizens.

Since immigration causes only about one-third of U.S. population growth, effective population policy would also have to change our pronatalist tax policies. One way we could do this would be to cut off child tax credits after the second child.

Any effort to cut the birth rate would have to be voluntary, but by offering incentives and disincentives we could reduce family size without coercion.

Doing nothing about population growth will guarantee the further degradation of Chesapeake Bay.

Carleton W. Brown

Elkton

Moratorium needed to save bay's crabs

Attention Maryland crab lovers: We must heed the warnings Dan Rodricks reported in his column "Time has come to give crab mallets a rest" (June 7). Maryland crab lovers have known for years, but been afraid to admit, that drastic action is needed to save the bay's crabs.

Biologists have warned that the bay's blue crab population is close to collapse. But it doesn't take a Ph.D. to know that the supply of crabs is not endless.

Many years of overharvesting and pollution have taken a heavy toll. If the watermen and sport crabbers continue to catch every crab they can, soon there will be no more crabs to catch.

To stop the crabs' decline, Maryland must at a minimum establish a protective "no crabbing" area. A better solution, though much more painful, would be a year-long ban on crabbing every seven years or so.

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