Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 07, 2002

The wrong way to handle waste of chicken farms

It's hard to believe that the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) continues to waste taxpayers' money by pushing for an ill-conceived co-permitting scheme for the chicken industry ("State is challenging ruling on chicken growers' waste," Sept. 21). With the state facing a $1.7 billion deficit, its efforts should be directed at saving money, not continuing to waste it on a scheme that will do nothing to improve water quality.

In compelling language, an administrative law judge in August determined that the state had no statutory authority to impose co-permitting upon the poultry companies. In fact, the judge noted that the General Assembly in 1998 had rejected MDE's approach.

Yet MDE, instead of devoting attention to legitimate water quality programs, such as reducing the tremendous number of municipal raw sewage spills into Chesapeake Bay tributaries, continues in this waste of taxpayer dollars.

The legal fees of Maryland's poultry companies, Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. and the Maryland Farm Bureau to fight co-permitting are approaching $1 million. Yet this legal battle is doing nothing to help the environment or the citizens of Maryland.

If successful in linking one business (a poultry company) to the environmental practices of other independent businesses (farm families that grow chickens), what industry will face the state's heavy-handed regulatory approach next? Will newspapers become responsible for how their paper or ink manufacturers handle environmental issues?

We can only hope that the next governor puts a quick end to this nonsense and devotes limited state resources to legitimate programs, not ones intended to punish one of the most important industries in the state.

Bill Satterfield

Georgetown, Del.

The writer is executive director of Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc.

Confronting Hussein sustains our security

Kudos to Democratic and Republican leaders for setting aside their partisan interests and supporting the interests of the American people by accepting President Bush's wording of a resolution authorizing the use of force to disarm Saddam Hussein if he cannot be disarmed by peaceful means ("Deal reached to allow force against Iraq," Oct. 3).

Many people criticized the CIA and FBI for not connecting the dots and preventing the Sept. 11 attacks. Well, now the dots are being connected, and they are pointing to Mr. Hussein.

Our government must do everything possible to prevent future attacks on the United States and a repeat of Sept. 11.

The thought of a pre-emptive attack on another country to prevent an attack is not easy for most Americans to accept. But the events of Sept. 11 have shown that, with modern weapons of mass destruction, a small, rogue nation like Iraq can be a real threat to a superpower like the United States.

Murray Spear

Baltimore

Welcome Giant into Waverly

As a community on the verge of decline and instability, Waverly should welcome the investment by Giant as a key component in its revitalization ("Giant store is food for thought in community," Sept. 29).

Alongside the Johns Hopkins University's Charles Village and Eastern High developments, the imminent construction of Stadium Place and the YMCA, and the renovations to the 33rd Street Amoco, this supermarket will be the crown jewel in Waverly's turn-around. It will bring needed jobs and add stability to a shaky housing market.

Residents should not let the loss of a few mostly worn-out houses and several mature trees stand in the way of this important project.

Jim Fendler

Baltimore

Animal experiments teach wrong lesson

Many teachers are unaware of the shift that has been occurring, even in medical schools, away from using animals for experiments ("Student allowed back into anatomy class," Sept. 26).

More than 75 percent of U.S. medical schools, including Harvard, Yale and Stanford, have abandoned live animal experiments.

They have found that sophisticated computer programs and simulators do a better job of teaching future doctors. High schools could benefit from following their lead.

Computers allow students to repeat concepts over and over until they are thoroughly learned.

This approach offers health and environmental pluses as well. Children are spared the health hazards of formaldehyde, natural ecosystems are left intact, and students are taught an important lesson about the value of life and our ability to destroy or preserve it.

Dr. Patrice Green

Baltimore

Ruling was victory for common sense

The Sun's article about U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake's recent ruling in the suit against the wireless industry implies that Judge Blake rejected "scientific evidence" in reaching her ruling ("Evidence denied in cell phone lawsuit," Oct. 1). In fact, quite the opposite is true.

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