Commission finally acts to protect bay The Sun's...


October 08, 2006

Commission finally acts to protect bay

The Sun's article about the Critical Area Commission's blocking the golf resort proposal near Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge warmed my heart ("Shore resort is blocked," Oct. 5).

Twenty-some years ago, I was a member of the Environmental Matters Committee of the House of Delegates and worked with my committee member colleagues, Gov. Harry S. Hughes, state House Speaker Benjamin L. Cardin and committee Chairman Larry Young to pass the most far-reaching environmental legislation of that time.

It was most controversial. In fact, I recall that the hearing on the bill ended around 2 a.m. after 13 hours of exhaustive (and exhausting) testimony.

After the legislation passed, it seemed to me that the resulting Critical Area Commission didn't really do what most of us legislators had intended, because there seemed to be more development along waterways than there was before the law was enacted.

However, it was heartening to this former legislator to read that the commission last week did its job the way those of us who put the proposal into law had intended.

I hope it keeps protecting our waterways actively.

And, for me, it is nice to know that things one has done a long time ago are still positively affecting the people and land of this state.

Lawrence A. La Motte


The writer is a former member of the House of Delegates who is now the president of an energy consulting firm.

Appointed panel free to curb growth

Wednesday's 22-0 vote by the Critical Area Commission was a resounding denial of the Blackwater Resort project's growth allocation request ("Shore resort is blocked," Oct. 5).

If it had been granted, the growth allocation would have allowed the resort to locate a golf course, conference center and hotel near the Little Blackwater River.

When this same question was faced by our local officials, few of them opposed the growth allocation for the resort's sprawling development.

All three bodies that have made decisions on the issue - the Dorchester County Council, the Cambridge City Council and the Critical Area Commission - received voluminous testimony from concerned citizens and scientists who opposed the growth allocation.

The remarkable discrepancy between the votes of our elected officials and the votes of an appointed commission is quite perplexing.

I sure hope this doesn't have anything to do with campaign contributions.

Catherine McCulley


The writer is on the steering committee of Dorchester Citizens for Planned Growth.

Absentee ballots ensure a fair count

Someone has to be kidding - here we are one month away from a critical Senate election and we're still goofing around with a non-mature, error-prone e-voting system that has to be patched every time it is tested ("E-poll results undecided," Oct. 4)?

This is clearly a test of bad software for which Maryland taxpayers have the pleasure of paying millions of dollars.

Based on the comments of election workers, it seems that convenience is being favored over accuracy - how American that is these days.

As for me, I will vote absentee and force election officials to count my vote by hand.

Harry DeBusk


A simple solution to the page problem

Stopping, or seeking ways to modify, the congressional page program, as some Republican congressmen are now suggesting, would not address the real problem ("Ex-pages defend House program amid calls to reform or abolish it," Oct. 5).

The idea that the program is somehow to blame for the current scandal is tantamount to suggesting that the Catholic Church should have stopped using altar boys to deal with abuse in the church.

The solution is to stop covering up for pedophiles and charge them according to the letter of the law if they commit crimes.

Melissa Falen


Limiting gun rights is wrong solution

Isn't it ironic that in today's litigious society, we still have not been able to put appropriate blame on the appropriate offenders?

In recent weeks, we have seen a teenager walk into a school and kill the principal, and then the tragic story of a man walking into an Amish school and killing five young girls.

Both killers were identified as troubled. But before any charges were levied against the perpetrators of the crimes, gun owners and gun lobbyists were almost immediately being held to account and blame ("Congress has failed to stand up to NRA," letters, Oct. 5).

But the truth is this: In any society, under any rules or regulations, there will always be that small percentage of people who fail to abide by the rules.

It is not only ineffective but also absurd to consider removing the constitutionally protected rights of millions of law-abiding American gun owners because of the actions of a demented few.

Tom Myers


Lurid killing details serve no purpose

I was touched by Jean Marbella's sensitive description of the modest Amish people whose community was cruelly thrust into focus by the brutal slayings of its schoolchildren ("A modest people, a respectful distance," Oct. 4).

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