Wayne Gilchrest is right to oppose canal dredging...


July 29, 2000

Wayne Gilchrest is right to oppose canal dredging project

Kudos to U.S. Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest for having both the courage and long-term vision to oppose further dredging of the C&D Canal. Unlike the rest of the Maryland political delegation on Capitol Hill, Mr. Gilchrest is not afraid to stand up for what he believes.

Despite the maelstrom of criticism lobbed his way from the vested interests controlling the port of Baltimore, Mr. Gilchrest is standing firm in opposing a project that is both a waste of taxpayer dollars and an environmental hazard.

This dredging project would create more toxic spoil, which would have to be disposed of on manmade islands in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.

Additionally, the economic benefits of this project are dubious at best.

Since the last dredging project, ship traffic has actually declined in the canal. And the port of Baltimore has experienced a precipitous decline in the use of its facilities by these large container ships.

It is time for the rest of the Maryland congressional delegation to wake up: The port of Baltimore's future is not in these large container ships. In an increasingly competitive business, these ships are steering clear of Baltimore in favor of other ports, such as New York and Norfolk, Va., which are closer to the ocean.

Baltimore must continue to market its port to niche players, including the lucrative "roll on/roll off" cargo of cars and farm machinery. This business does not need a deeper C&D Canal.

Jon Kallen


Barry Rascovar's column "Sharpening knives for GOP Rep. Gilchrest," Opinion

Commentary, July 16) seems to have been written by some tired old man who fell asleep back in the 1970s and is still slumbering.

Wake up, Mr. Rascovar. The port of Baltimore is dead. The few remaining port jobs are completely insignificant in today's go-go high-tech economy.

The cost of dredging is ludicrous and insupportable, especially when ecological consequences are a part of the equation.

What is critical today is the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Every citizen of Maryland has a vital interest in seeing the bay recover from past horrors, including the intrusions of dredging.

Our health and welfare as Marylanders are intimately tied to our success in restoring the ecological integrity of the bay. It's a new millennium. The port is dead. Mr. Gilchrest is the very-much-awake future of Maryland politics.

Kirk S. Nevin

White Hall

Bible's sexism doesn't justify church's stained-glass ceiling

I read with interest the comments of Gregory L. Lewis on the Rev. Vashti McKenzie's installment as a leader in the African Methodist Episcopalian Church ("New testament objects to women in leadership," letters, July 20).

Mr. Lewis quoted the New Testament writings of the Apostle Paul saying, "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence" as an indictment of her elevation.

These words and sentiments were written almost 2,000 years ago. To read these words and not place them in their proper historical prospective is to miss their whole meaning.

Two thousand years ago, we were a patriarchal society.

Men made all decisions and women were the property of men, belonging to either their fathers or their husbands. Their only jobs were to serve their husbands and bear and care for the children.

Using this quote to support the notion that women should play no significant part in religion or society would be as foolish as saying that because great thinkers of the past thought that the world was flat, we should defend that idea today.

Things change and so do the views and thinking of a society.

Jo Ann Fasnacht


I could only laugh when I read Gregory L. Lewis' reply to The Sun's editorial about Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie's breaking the African Methodist Episcopal Church's stained-glass ceiling.

Mr. Lewis cites the Old Testament and Paul's epistle to Timothy in reflecting his view that women should be excluded from church leadership roles.

Mr. Lewis has not succeeded in providing evidence that women shouldn't be leaders in the church. He has merely shown that sexism is a condition as old as the Bible.

Chip Goetz


Closed city businesses should open their lots

Michael Olesker hit the nail on the head in his article about towing cars from Baltimore's private lots ("Car towing, tickets fail as ideas for city welcome," July 25).

I work in that part of town, and I am very disturbed that private companies such as banks will not allow patrons of the Lyric Theater and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall to park on their lots when they are closed for business.

People often have to park five or six blocks from the hall because the area does not have enough commercial parking lots available.

As patrons walk from their cars, they notice many private lots vacant but the businesses are closed.

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