March 22, 2009

Make chicken firms pay for bay cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency is right to enforce federal pollution rules governing chicken manure, but it is wrong to place the burden on the state's poultry farmers ("Chicken growers face EPA crackdown," March 15).

These farmers face a production system imposed upon them by the companies they contract with, the large chicken processing companies. The EPA should be careful not to make chicken farmers suffer because of industrial policies they didn't create but are contractually bound to abide by.

Maryland and other jurisdictions have been subsidizing these large integrated chicken operations by allowing them to dump waste into the environment and let someone else deal with the cleanup and the consequences of excess nutrients flowing into the bay.

The state and the EPA must impose stricter enforcement on unsustainable chicken operations while also encouraging and rewarding good stewardship.

Robert S. Lawrence, Baltimore

The writer is the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.

Protect remaining cultural assets

I am despondent that I allowed my opera season tickets to expire a few years ago and decided to attend only an occasional performance ("City opera to shut down," March 13). Because of me and hundreds of people like me, Baltimore has lost its world-class opera company.

Let's not inflict the same fate on our world-class symphony or our superior theater groups and art museums.

Paul Edgar, Sparks

Turn the Senator into opera venue

I hope that the Senator Theatre will ultimately be a place for entertainment and cultural events ("Is this curtains for the Senator?" March 17). The demise of the Baltimore Opera Company suggests to me that perhaps the Senator could become a place where we enjoy the transmissions of live opera as well as films of past opera performances from all over the world. The large screen and the wonderful sound system at the theater would make this a great experience.

Alice Rohart, Baltimore

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