Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 03, 2006

Blackwater Resort will hurt watershed

The Sun's editorial "Bad day at Blackwater" (Aug. 27) failed to mention one important issue regarding the Blackwater Resort controversy: A Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey conducted in Dorchester County found that 73 percent of the voters opposed changing the zoning to allow intensive development of the critical area near the Little Blackwater River.

Many of the people who have been protesting against the project at council meetings are Dorchester County residents. And all the landowners who filed lawsuits with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to stop the project are locals.

These are the people whom Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., state Sen. Richard F. Colburn and the city and county council members are willfully ignoring when they state that Blackwater Resort is a "local issue."

If it is a local issue, why aren't they listening to the locals who are protesting?

Many of the incumbent politicians who support the project are facing opponents who argue that the Blackwater Resort is dumb growth fed by empty rhetoric and greed.

How else can you characterize a mega-development project near a major national wildlife refuge that lacks an environmental impact statement, a comprehensive stormwater management plan and a bond to ensure that the developer follows through on his "pie in the sky" promises?

The one thing we can be sure of is that Blackwater Resort will one day represent what not to do when it comes to Smart Growth on the Eastern Shore.

After the pollution and fish kills ruin the Little Blackwater River and Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, and after area residents see their taxes skyrocket, these protesting locals will still be around to tell us all why they were against the project from the start.

Lisa Mayo

Germantown

The writer is a volunteer at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

City ozone monitor overdue for return

The city should have its own ozone monitor because, as The Sun's article "State resumes ozone testing" (Aug. 29) correctly points out, ozone levels are higher in the city than in the surrounding suburbs.

But this is not surprising. Because there is a direct correlation between summer high temperatures and ground-level ozone formation, and because the city is generally warmer than surrounding counties, ozone levels will be higher.

The drop in ozone action days from 2002 to 2003 can also partly be explained by the number of 90-plus-degree days in those years. In 2002, there were 48 days with temperatures greater than 90, while in 2003, there were only 12 days. The number of hot days and ozone action days will vary from year to year.

Spending $26,000 for an ozone monitor in Baltimore is a small price to pay to warn those who suffer from asthma.

Mike Brayton

Monkton

The writer is an environmental scientist.

I was greatly pleased to see the Maryland Department of the Environment correct its past mistake and put an ozone monitor back in Baltimore.

The monitor had been removed in 2003, leaving the city no way to measure smog levels.

Andrew Dangel

Baltimore

No `silver lining' in new travel rules

As a somewhat frequent flyer, I find the "silver lining" The Sun suggests in new restrictions on air travel somewhat elusive ("Silver lining," editorial, Aug. 30).

Instead of waiting in one security line, I now wait in two - for baggage check-in and for security. And I have to wait for my luggage to be returned to me - which sometimes takes 20 to 30 minutes at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Airplane boarding has been made faster by making people check in more baggage, but the airlines are now struggling to cope with the vastly increased amount of checked luggage.

And if the security lines start moving more quickly, does anybody really think the Transportation Security Administration won't reduce the number of agents and number of lines?

Then, in a little while, the security lines could be just as long and slow as ever.

Phil Maxwell

West Friendship

Terrorists beat Bush at his own game?

There's a memorable scene in the classic movie The Sting depicting a card game on a train between the fearsome gangster played by Robert Shaw and the slick con man played by Paul Newman.

Mr. Shaw's character stops at nothing to win, so he is shocked when he is cleaned out. He asks one of his cronies how this happened and is told, "He cheats better than you do."

This scene came to mind as I read the headline "Terrorists lie, Rumsfeld says" (Aug. 29).

Not only have we been outwitted - no surprise there - in our scheme to do whatever it is that we are attempting to do in Iraq, but now we've apparently been "outlied" also.

"They are actively manipulating the media in this country," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld went on to say.

I must confess that I find this astonishing.

When it comes to half-truths, no-truths, obfuscation and media manipulation, I had given this administration straight A's, only to find that, like the character in The Sting, it is being beaten at its own game.

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