Open-water dumping would hurt the bay and the economySince...


August 01, 1999

Open-water dumping would hurt the bay and the economy

Since they are shipping industry executives, perhaps M. Sigmund Shapiro and George Thomas care only about the the Chesapeake Bay as a shipping channel ("Dredging the port is crucial to economy, won't hurt the bay," letters, July 27). Fortunately, people such as Rep. Wayne Gilchrest are trying to protect the bay.

I keep hearing how economically important the port of Baltimore is to Maryland. Yet, apparently money isn't available to dredge it unless dredged material is dumped in the cheapest way possible. The bay's economic value encompasses far more than the port.

Thousands of fishermen, boaters, vacationers, marinas, tackle shops, boat builders and repairmen, hotels, restaurants, gas stations, stores and other businesses depend on the health of the bay.

The problem with open water dredge dumping is that it destroys existing fish feeding and breeding grounds, not to mention precious grasses, crabs and oyster beds.

The real bogeyman is the claim that open water dumping is the only practical way to keep shipping channels open and that we have to choose between jobs and sound environmental policies.

Many responsible ways are available to dispose of dredge without harming the bay. The push to dump at Site 104 is driven by pure corporate greed.

I fish and I vote. I believe we should support Mr. Gilchrest and get rid of Rep. Steny Hoyer and any other representatives who would put the interests of shipping lobbyists ahead of the bay and the people of Maryland.

David Norton


No one argues the economic benefits of dredging Baltimore's shipping channels. However, the economic viability of the Chesapeake Bay is equally important.

A proper study must be done to ensure that the plan to dump dredge at Site 104 will not sacrifice the economic value of the Chesapeake Bay.

Kent Island residents have flooded meetings in protest of that plan. More than 10,000 citizens statewide have written to Gov. Parris Glendening and the Army Corps of Engineers opposing dumping at Site 104.

Hart-Miller Island, Poplar Island and Pooles Island could be alternate sites.

Mike McCleary


The writer is director of Baltimore Clean Water Action.

The port needs dredging and dumping at Site 104

Dredging is the lifeblood of the port of Baltimore. Almost since its founding in 1706, the port has had to dredge its channels to survive.

Rep. Wayne Gilchrest says he supports the port, but if he manages to stop dredge dumping at Site 104, he will only succeed in killing the port and putting thousands of people out of work.

The port needs Site 104, now.

Charles F. Hughes


The writer is chairman of the Vane Brothers Co., a local maritime company.

Self-reliance is good; a living wage is better

The Sun's article "Maryland welfare cases cut by 61 percent" (July 16) reported Gov. Parris N. Glendening's satisfaction with the state's report that Maryland's welfare caseload has decreased by 140,000 since 1995.

"Having a job and not having to rely on welfare to support your family greatly improves self-esteem," the governor noted.

No doubt being self-reliant is better for one's self-esteem than being in a state of dependency. But how much better for self-esteem is a "living wage" job than one that keeps the worker dependent.

The 1997 study "Making Ends Meet" found that working mothers in low-wage jobs were able to meet only 60 percent of their basic needs from job earnings.

Government supports such as food stamps and housing subsidies, assistance from family and from community agencies made up the difference.

Perhaps Maryland should complement its social welfare reform program with corporate welfare reform.

State support for the hotel industry, such as the $44 million tax relief granted to Marriott Inc., should carry the requirement that workers be paid a living wage.

Mary M. Fanning


Catholic church is right to scorn homosexuality

I think the Roman Catholic Church was right to forbid Rev. Robert Nugent and Sister Jeannine Gramick from ministering to homosexuals ("Priest agrees to Vatican order to end ministry to gay Catholics," July 15).

The Christian journey, however unique for different individuals, is an exodus from sin of all kinds, including homosexuality.

Just because a prohibition on homosexuality doesn't make the Ten Commandments does not mean it should be regarded as any less an abomination than God Himself says it is.

We Christian heterosexuals who totally agree with the Roman Catholic Church's decision should not only stand with them, but follow their example.

Grafton K. Gray


The Catholic Church is not being bigoted or narrow-minded in excluding homosexuals ("In excluding gays, church still stuck in Dark Ages," letters, July 23). Nor is the core of Christ's message tolerance and acceptance.

The Bible says in both the Old and New Testaments that homosexuality is an abomination to God.

Christ came to set captives (of sin) free. He came to die in their place, so that they could be cleansed of their sins.

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