All Win by Increasing Cigarette Taxes
Dear Bay Weekly:
A recent media release concerning the proposed bill in the Maryland General Assembly to raise the tax on cigarettes showed that 78 percent of Maryland residents favored the increase. Even 45 percent of smokers polled favored it. This bill is a win-win proposal because, in addition to providing badly needed money to balance the state budget, the bill would dissuade hundreds of our children from becoming tobacco addicts and maybe get a few current smokers to quit.
Del. George W. Owings of Chesapeake Beach, the House majority whip, opposes the bill. Owings is quoted as saying, Its funny how in Baltimore City and in Prince Georges County, addicts who use illegal drugs receive needles, yet unfortunate addicts of tobacco in Maryland are asked to balance the states budget.
I find it ironic that Owings, a smoker, now admits tobacco is addictive. He was among the many legislators who used to rant at me years ago when I provided testimony, along with supportive medical evidence, to the General Assembly stating that tobacco was addictive. I guess he finally saw the light through all that tobacco haze.
John OHara, Bowie
Running over Wetlands
Dear Bay Weekly:
I am trying to raise awareness of a proposal by a focus group connected to the State Highway Administration to build an overpass across Route 3 in Crofton. The overpass would connect both sides of Route 450 from Bowie to Crofton. The problem is that the site where they intend to cross is a wetlands area. In fact, dozens of streams come together there and then form some of the headwaters of the Patuxent River.
Do any of your readers have a suggestion on how to stop such a project before it is too late?
Steve Holcomb, Gambrills; email@example.com
Too Much Liquor in Beaches
Dear Bay Weekly:
There soon will be another liquor establishment in Calvert County in the old Paris Oaks Shopping Center on Route 260. Previously, the residents of the area successfully encouraged the Liquor Board to deny an existing proprietors liquor license request. Now, however, the Board has decided to approve liquor in the new Griffins Pub & Grill.
I dont understand why.
The same citizens concerns exist: The additional hazard in an extremely busy and very dangerous intersection (Route 260 and Boyds Turn Road); the possible effect on school bus safety; the approximately five blocks to another liquor establishment plus several other liquor establishments also on Route 260; the close proximity to schools and churches.
Letters B, C & E of the State of Maryland Guidelines for granting Liquor Licenses would appear to apply.
All license applicants must prove the following facts:
B. The granting of the license would not adversely impact or unduly disturb the peace, safety and harmony of the neighborhood.
C. The granting of the license would not impede or injure the operation of a school within close proximity to the proposed site.
E. The area surrounding the proposed site does not contain a sufficient number of licenses.
Why do we need another liquor establishment in the Chesapeake Beach/North Beach area especially at this location? What could the governor-appointed Calvert County Liquor Board members have been thinking?
There was no public notification of the Griffin Pub & Grill liquor license application.
Cheryl Emery, Owings
Department of Clarifications
Readers responding to Tony Martins letter of last week have reported difficulty in filing their tree stories. Weve had success in typing in anew the standard prefix as well as the address: http://www.angelfire.com/oh5/treestory2002.
We welcome your letters and opinions. We will edit when necessary. Include your name, address and phone number for verification. Mail them to Bay Weekly, P.O. Box 358, Deale, MD 20751 E-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.