August 28, 2008

Aquaculture boosts the state's economy

I appreciate The Baltimore Sun's support for aquaculture and recognition of the important role that the shellfish industry plays in improving water quality in our treasured Chesapeake Bay ("Moneymaking on the half-shell," editorial, Aug. 24).

Maryland's shellfish aquaculture industry employs several dozen people and generates approximately $3 million for our economy.

Under Gov. Martin O'Malley's leadership, the Maryland Department of Agriculture is working to implement aquaculture enterprise zones, which will help streamline the permit process for aquaculture projects in the Chesapeake Bay and coastal bays, provide incentives to catalyze private investment in leasing operations and encourage commercial fishery experts to transition to aquaculture.

The Agriculture Department is working with other Cabinet agencies to develop further recommendations to expand Maryland's aquaculture industry that we intend to present to the governor in the coming weeks.

Roger Richardson, Annapolis

The writer is secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Focus on dissension distorts convention

Once again, the media are interfering with the ability of voters to receive information by pandering to their need for sensationalism.

It is now widely conceded that the media's failure to ask the tough questions and produce hard-hitting data to counter President Bush's rhetoric about Iraq helped enable him to snow the public about the need to invade that country.

Now we are in the midst of a convention that may be the most important ever for the Democratic Party, but rather than stressing the messages in the speeches, the media stress the disaffection of some supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton ("Obama must be president, Clinton tells crowd," Aug. 27).

When will we have balance instead of bias?

Stephanie Miller, Baltimore

McCain's remarks show that he's the real elitist

It is a long-standing trend for Sen. John McCain loyalists and conservative bloggers such as Betsy Newmark to tell only half of a story ("Sound off," Commentary, Aug. 24).

But Sen. John McCain's wealth is not the issue here. The issue is that the McCain camp tried to paint Sen. Barack Obama as an "elitist" who is out of touch with middle-class America. They put the issue on the table, and it has backfired on them. Mr. Obama's camp merely responded with the truth.

Essentially, Mr. McCain was hoisted by his own petard, and now, as has been often been the case, conservatives are attempting damage control with their usual disingenuous sound bites and half-truths.

Mary Margaret Hughes, Pasadena

Roland Park land was never a park

I am neither a member of the Baltimore Country Club nor a resident of Roland Park. But I find the signs "Keep the Park in Roland Park" arrogant and misleading ("Big senior center remains a bad fit," letters, Aug. 16).

The property in question for the proposed senior care center has never been a public park. It is a fenced-off piece of property belonging to the Baltimore Country Club.

If the community wants the land, it should outbid the Keswick Multi-Care Center.

Then, to make the area truly a park, the fence around it should be removed.

Martin Puritz, Baltimore

Spending way too much for new law building

Does anyone else think that the University of Baltimore spending $107 million for a law building involving world-class architecture is too much ("Courting Architects," Aug. 12)?

The University of Baltimore has courted many architects to its design contest because "it has a fairly substantial budget." But Marylanders should be outraged that the state has agreed to contribute $93 million for a new law school building.

UB seems to care more about outward appearances than about its students.

Treating students better and improving the education given to students would be better ways to improve the school.

Marylanders should pay more attention to how the state spends its money.

Batya Minster, Baltimore

The writer graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in May.

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