Letters To The Editor


September 09, 2005

Dredging isn't way to enhance our oyster beds

How ironic that Tom Horton described one of the bay's oyster restoration success stories ("Inlet is example of oyster repopulation," Sept. 2) a day after state Sen. Richard Colburn wrote in a letter that the bay's oysters are "essentially doomed" ("Power-dredging can give boost to oysters in bay," letters, Sept. 1).

I disagree that oysters are doomed and offer Mr. Horton's description of the Lynnhaven River in Virginia as but one example of success.

Closer to home, the collaborative efforts of the Oyster Recovery Partnership, the University of Maryland and the Maryland Watermen's Association, among others, have yielded very encouraging results by removing diseased oysters from bars before replanting them with disease-free seed oysters.

The consensus among most scientists involved in Maryland's oyster restoration is that these techniques should be applied on a broader scale.

A piecemeal proposal to expand power-dredging is not justified by a belief that oysters are doomed or for any other reason.

The current dredging proposal should be rejected until power-dredging can be incorporated into a comprehensive strategy that balances oyster removals with enhancements.

William J. Goldsborough


The writer is a fisheries scientist for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

A contradictory rant on morning-after pill

Susan Reimer's column "Delay of pill another blow to women's health needs" (Sept. 6) was a useless rant against the Bush administration and pharmacists that was full of contradictions.

I would have liked to learn more about why the morning-after pill has been delayed and how this impacts women's rights. Instead, Ms. Reimer complains that unprotected sex leads to disease but doesn't mention that the "morning-after" pill would probably increase the likelihood of unprotected sex.

She then describes the effect of the pill as interrupting pregnancy at three possible points, one of which prevents the implantation of the fertilized egg.

She dismisses the argument that this would be abortion by stating that no one would know at which step the "process was interrupted."

That's like saying it is OK to play Russian roulette because no one would know in which chamber the bullet sits.

David Plaut


Pro-life agenda is cruel to children

The Bush administration's effort to delay approval of the "morning-after" pill is more than "just the latest in a series of insidious assaults on the reproductive health and privacy rights of women by the Bush administration," as Susan Reimer called it ("Delay of pill another blow to women's health needs," Sept. 6).

It is also the intentional infliction of pain and suffering on the many unwanted children who will be born into poverty and neglect because of the Bush administration's anti-birth control policies.

Religious conservatives demand that the federal government oppose contraception, but then refuse to demand that the same government provide decent education, health care, nutrition and shelter to unwanted children.

This is not being pro-life; instead, it is being cruel.

Paul Streckfus


Limiting options will harm women

Bravo to Susan Reimer for so eloquently voicing her outrage - as we all should - about the Food and Drug Administration's non-decision on allowing emergency contraception to be sold over-the-counter ("Delay of pill another blow to women's health needs," Sept. 6).

Thanks to these self-appointed guardians of public morals - who eschew scientific fact to promote their unrealistic, puritanical agenda - we've delayed freer access to a simple way to expand women's reproductive options.

That will hurt women every day.

Harriet Rubinson


Amazed by nonsense about the dinosaurs

So now we hear that the dinosaurs were vegetarians in the Garden of Eden until Adam and Eve sinned and only then did they become carnivores ("Dinosaurs are new stars of creationism," Sept. 3).

And about 4,500 years after Adam and Eve, pairs of baby dinosaurs were on Noah's Ark while a colossal flood drowned the rest of the dinosaurs and scattered their bones.

This is all so totally absurd that I am almost speechless with astonishment.

When did such ignorance gain such a foothold in American society?

Nancy Spies


Let blame game wait until care is provided

After food, clothing and shelter are found for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, after restoring electricity, opening roads and providing medical care and other necessities for the hurricane victims, then and only then should members of Congress begin their blame game in an effort to win votes ("Bush vows inquiry into Katrina response," Sept. 7).

The hearings to fix blame for the slow response to the storm will not help one victim.

Congress should direct its energy to helping people and then, when the dust settles, it can start the political battles.

Larry Johnston


Put media in charge of rescue efforts?

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