County's quarries shouldn't be sites for developmentThe...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 28, 1999

County's quarries shouldn't be sites for development

The Wiseburg Community Association strongly urges the Baltimore County Council to review and reverse plans for more than 1,000 homes on tracts of land that border two quarries in the county ("Proposal jeopardizes development of quarries," July 21).

Other community associations should join this fight against 800 homes proposed at the Green Spring Quarry along Greenspring Avenue and 220 homes at Delight Quarry in Reisterstown.

In The Sun's article, Bob Barrett, assistant to County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger, was quoted as saying he doesn't want to see a development plan that was devised eight years ago for Delight Quarry "undone."

But things change over eight years. They haven't changed for the better in these burgeoning areas. The county needs to "undo" some things.

The Baltimore County Council must vote to renew its authority to approve development plans for quarry sites.

Councilman Kevin B. Kamenetz is absolutely right that council members should have the same authority over these sites as they have over all other properties in their districts ("Frozen in time," editorial, July 24).

In addition to their impact on the county's infrastructure, quarry developments could be the site of many deaths from drownings and boating accidents. These aren't quiet, shallow lakes: They are deep-water death traps, which should remain places to dig up rocks and sod.

That's what quarries are for. County officials should realize this before they allow developers to further overpopulate Baltimore County's west side.

David Boyd

White Hall

The writer is president of the Wiseburg Community Association.

Water shortages may cause conflicts around the world

I found Ann LoLordo's article on the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis over water ("Water demand great in Mideast," July 19) very frightening -- not just because the dispute may aggravate existing enmities between these two peoples, but because of what it portends for other peoples around the world.

The Middle East is not the only area facing serious water shortages. India and China, the world's two most populous nations, are also experiencing depleted water supplies. Even the United States is facing a squeeze.

Population growth makes this problem particularly frightening. If we face water shortages in a world of 6 billion people, what can we expect when global population reaches 9 or 12 billion, as some estimates suggest it will in 50 years?

Today, an estimated 400 million people around the world lack adequate water supplies. By 2050, that number could be much larger.

Nations could end up going to war over water, just as they have over oil. Scarcity does not encourage people to behave kindly.

If we don't wake up to the world's population crisis, we will be facing a calamity that makes the present conflict in the Middle East look like a minor spat.

Howard Bluth

Baltimore

U.S. should sit out future Kosovo-style wars

Richard Reeves' prediction of more Kosovos is greatly disturbing ("There are more Kosovos in this new world order," Opinion Commentary, July 19). However, by recognizing the political flaws of Operation Allied Force, Americans can stop these adventures before they begin.

Our Constitution does not mandate that we become the world's police force. The next time NATO or anyone else comes calling, we should just say no.

The United States may have the world's greatest military, but that doesn't mean we should constantly deploy it.

Let the Kurds, East Timorese, Basques, Eritreans and other neo-nationalists scramble for their 15 minutes of fame. But the next "humanitarian war" is one America should sit out -- unless our national security is clearly at stake.

Rosalind Ellis

Baltimore

State's gun merchants must always check buyers

In her recent letter Jeanne Ruddock wrote, "Right now, anyone can buy a gun from a flea market or a gun show without going through a background check, and that is one of the biggest loopholes that give criminals access to firearms." ("NAACP right to confront NRA and the gun industry," July 20)

But here in Maryland, it is unlawful to transfer a handgun to anyone under any circumstances without doing a background check.

David A. Titus

Baltimore

Going overboard in search for Kennedy?

I agree with the Rev. Edward Warfield's statement in his recent letter that "the victim's wealth and fame should not make one loss more prominent than another." ("Kennedy tragedy shouldn't overshadow other losses," July 22). But I don't think he went far enough.

During my 30-year career in oceanography and as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, I have participated in many search and rescue operations.

It is well-known among Coast Guard officers and men that, after an optimum number of ships and planes have been deployed in a search operation, adding more equipment does not increase the chance of success.

Indeed, excess resources become a problem as the additional vessels strain overall coordination.

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