November 02, 2008

Enforce state laws to protect resources

Candus Thomson identified important weaknesses in the public's effort to protect its natural resources from those who steal or misuse them ("Baby oysters settling in as newest bay residents," Oct. 19).

These deficiencies are manifested in the state courts' handling of the case of Joey Janda, the poster child for repeat criminal behavior with regard to natural resources violations.

Mr. Janda, a commercial fisherman with a history of convictions, recently received for his latest violations a fine small enough to be considered just a cost of doing business.

Three factors are necessary to protect our natural resources: vigorous law enforcement by the Natural Resources Police; vigorous prosecution of violations of these laws; and judges who take these thefts of public property seriously and impose penalties of sufficient magnitude to deter repeat offenses.

However, in some district courts, state's attorneys and judges do not appear to consider these violations of fisheries regulations or thefts of public property seriously.

They need to hear from the public that it wants this criminal behavior to receive appropriate penalties to discourage repeat offenses.

Kenneth B. Lewis, Baltimore

The writer is a volunteer for the Coastal Conservation Association.

Bay pollution plan can't wait any longer

How sad it is that the lovely jewel of the Chesapeake Bay continues to decline ("Group threatens to sue government over bay," Oct. 29).

Houses are built without permits, chicken farms' runoff and fertilizers add to the pollution - what is happening to all the money that is supposed to be going to remediate these issues?

Why should it take another two years for the Environmental Protection Agency to put a plan in place for baywide pollution reduction?

Anne Hackney, Parkton

Using public money to pay for bonuses

Numerous investment banks that received, or are scheduled to receive, bailout money have stashed money away for end-of-the-year bonuses for executives ("Bank bosses might profit by sharing the pain," Oct. 29).

This bonus money is substantial, in some cases rivaling the amount of bailout money the banks will receive.

Rather than accepting bailout money in government stock purchases, shouldn't these companies award the same stock to executives in lieu of bonuses?

Chris Shane, Towson

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