A wake-up call about pollution in Anne Arundel The...


June 11, 2000

A wake-up call about pollution in Anne Arundel

The Sun's recent article on Anne Arundel County's ranking No. 11 in ozone pollution among counties nationwide should serve as a wake-up call to us all ("Lung association flunks city, 10 counties in pollution report," May 24).

One good solution mentioned in the article was for citizens to voluntarily cut back on driving.

However, it will take much more than that to clean our air, not the least of which is a real commitment from our county and state officials.

Like it or not, Anne Arundel is home to Maryland's largest polluter (BGE's Brandon Shores/Wagner power plants) and next-door neighbor to the state's biggest chemical manufacturing complex (Hawkins Point/Curtis Bay).

One would think then that county and state officials would be reluctant to add major new sources of air pollution. But that has not been the case.

County residents will soon be breathing more ozone-producing emissions from two new asphalt plants, plus the exhaust from the more than 1.8 million cars expected to pack Arundel Mills each year.

And it doesn't stop there. Waivers allowing subdivisions to be built despite inadequate roadways have created smog-spewing traffic jams in even the most remote corners of the county.

Politicians love to remind us that every vote counts. But what our politicians need to learn is that every pound of pollution counts - no matter how attractive the tax revenue it may bring. To think and act otherwise will rob Anne Arundel County citizens of our most basic necessity, clean air.

Rebecca Kolberg


Review of concert overlooked misbehavior

I read J.D. Considine's article on the HFStival with disappointment ("HFStival is over-the-top cool," May 29).

Its tone was that of a post-event press release. It's as if Mr. Considine stayed backstage instead of mixing into the crowd and reporting the event.

Mr. Considine's reporting skipped over the overdosed teen-ager escorted out by paramedics, the rampant and open use and sale of illicit drugs, the uninhibited selling of alcohol to minors, the mountains of trash strewn about and the unregulated crowd jumping barricades.

The Sun has diligently and rightly exposed the horrific drug activity in Baltimore, along with abuses in the shipping industry at Baltimore's port and the abuse of young people in the state's juvenile "boot camps."

Why can't that same zeal and desire for the truth be used in reporting on events attended mostly by suburban youths and young adults?

Steven 0. Frost


County schools began to integrate in 1958

I read TaNoah Morgan's article "Racial tensions stirred in Arundel" (May 26) with interest and sadness.

Ms. Morgan stated that "desegregation in the high schools came late to Anne Arundel County -1966 to be exact."

In fact, choice of schools began in 1958.

When I entered Annapolis Junior High School in 1959, several black students entered also.

By the time I graduated from Annapolis High School in 1965, there were 20 black students in my class and more than 130 in the three classes below.

I recall that we all got along well. This was the time of the Lyndon Johnson vs. Barry Goldwater presidential election, and there was discussion of civil rights in almost every class every day.

I know it took real courage for these black students and their families to be the first to integrate a very segregated and very Southern school system.

But Annapolis was not a "red-neck town."

There was a great deal of goodwill in those days. Where has it gone?

Nelson Cleavenger


Executions make sure the public is protected

The Catholic bishops' call for clemency reflects a growing Catholic consensus, led by the pope, against the death penalty, on the grounds that a sentence of life without parole makes executions unnecessary to protect public safety ("Stay of execution sought for killer," June 2).

That's wrong. No prison is escape-proof and no guard is immune to the effects of a metal shank in the neck.

Execution of murderers should be swift, public and applied without regard to the race of the victim or the perpetrator.

Michael DeCicco


Security is no substitute for freedom

The recent letter "City streets claim yet another life" (June 3) proclaimed, "Many of us are prepared to trade our `so-called freedom' for security."

May I suggest that there are many countries where the writer can live without freedom in exchange for safety.

I suggest he find one of these countries and move there.

With freedom comes a certain amount of risk. I accept that risk.

I would rather die a free man than live under the scrutiny of any man.

The security the writer speaks of comes at too high a price.

Robert James Ostman Sr.


A simple rule: never trust a Cuomo

The Sun's article about U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development ("Cuomo strides outside Housing to fight battles," June 3) has me wondering a few things - and as an ex-New Yorker I feel that I am qualified to speak on this matter.

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