October 07, 2007

ISSUE: -- Annapolis is a centuries-old hand at hosting momentous events: the formal end of the Revolutionary War; George Washington ceding military authority to civilian rule; Teddy Roosevelt greeting a French fleet that brought John Paul Jones' remains.

Then again, it doesn't take more than the October boat shows or a Navy football game to turn the city into a miserable parking lot.

So it was with both pride and a touch of nervousness that Maryland's capital reacted to news that the Naval Academy might be the site of a Mideast peace conference - and the attendant media hordes - in November.

"I think it's a natural fit," said Mayor Ellen O. Moyer. "Remember, we were once the capital of the United States."

How would you feel about Annapolis hosting such an international gathering? Would the attention brought to the city outweigh the inconvenience to its residents?

The complainers can always leave

Annapolis has, in the past, hosted numerous NATO summits and, if memory serves, at least one other peace conference. To think that the impact on the city would be any different now than in the past - or during one of the more "acceptable" traffic disasters such as the boat shows - doesn't warrant consideration.

The only difference between then and now is that the type of people living in Annapolis now are more concerned with their own convenience - or inconvenience - than with petty matters such as peace. Older Annapolitans - that is, those of us who were BORN into multigenerational families in Annapolis - accept, and are rather proud of, the hullabaloo that comes with having the Naval Academy as a neighbor.

The people who are complaining knew the Naval Academy was there when they moved to Annapolis; that they have the gall to raise issue with it now makes me want to help them pack and move back to wherever they came from.

Michael Calo Glen Burnie

The conference would be great

Annapolis hosting an international conference would be a great thing for the city and for our state. It would highlight and bring attention to our historic Annapolis. Attention being brought to Annapolis would never be a bad thing. And in Annapolis we cannot stand down from this international gathering because I might have to leave home a few minutes earlier because traffic might be bad. A gathering like this would bring people and money in the Annapolis infrastructure. It would bring renewed tourism into historic Annapolis.

I would strongly support Annapolis hosting an international gathering such as this.

Victor Henderson Glen Burnie

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