|Keep Your Eye on the Plan in 2001
Dear Bay Weekly:
Many of us were afraid that Anne Arundel County's Planning Advisory Board would meekly follow the lead of the Planning and Zoning Department in criticizing the Report of the Deale/Shady Side Small-Area Planning Committee, especially the report's emphasis on controlling growth and on protecting this sensitive peninsula. But they didn't. Instead, at a formal work session several weeks ago, the Planning Advisory Board pleasantly surprised us by agreeing with the report in general and supporting most of its recommendations. That support should help the committee when its report is presented to our county council for final approval some months from now.
Why the surprise? Let me speak for myself. I'm ashamed to say that years of frustration dealing with PACE (the forerunner of Planning and Zoning) had made me so pessimistic that it seemed too remote to consider that any official organ of the administration would ever openly disagree with Planning & Zoning on land-use policy. Apparently this board is different. Despite the fact that it's listed in the county charter under the Office of Planning and Zoning, that it is housed in Planning and Zoning quarters and that it probably relies on them for a good deal of help, it was designed to be independent.
As set up by the county charter, it advises the county executive, the council and the Planning and Zoning office. To "assure the public that persons appointed would serve on the basis of dedicated public service" the Charter even specifies that "members of the Advisory Board should receive no salary." I, for one, am happy that the report has the blessing of these dedicated public servants.
Nevertheless, it remains important that the citizens in the Deale/Shady Side Small Area read the report (available at the libraries) and plan to support it at the county council's public hearing. There may be a long wait for that hearing; please don't lose your patience. In the meantime the board, the administration and the council are open to letters and phone calls on the subject.
This is not a closed issue; we're nowhere near a tie or an "electile dysfunction." The majority in favor of controlling growth and protecting our peninsula is a large one.
-Bill Papian, Shady Side
Right on Circle Hooks
Dear Bay Weekly:
Although I have never been a proponent of more laws and regulations, especially when it comes to our rights to fish and hunt, Bill Burton's column on circle hooks was right on target. Bottom line is circle hooks [No. 49: Dec. 7-13] do save lives - the lives of undersized rockfish that have been "gut hooked" but must be released in any event. Couple the gut hooking with the higher water temperatures in late spring and summer, and I would be surprised if any of the fish survive.
Yes, you do need to fish a little differently with circle hooks, but when you get the hang of it, you will discover that 99 percent of the fish caught with circle hooks are hooked in front or usually the side of their mouth. If they are undersized, you can release them quickly and hopefully be able to catch them another day.
-Captain John Deering, Shady Side Charters