Letters to the Editor

 Vol. 10, No. 29

July 18-24, 2002

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No Red Light Cameras for Calvert

Dear Bay Weekly:
In an unexpected move, Calvert County Sheriff John ‘Rodney’ Bartlett made a request at the beginning of the Board of Commissioners’ public hearing July 16 to withdraw his request for $165,000 funding for red light cameras. Many in the audience said what?

Still, the commissioners listened to the testimony from a dozen or more citizens who signed up to speak, some opposed and some in support. Immediately following their statements, Commissioner Bobby Swann made a motion to kill the red light camera plan, and all commissioners — including Commissioner Barbara Stinnett, who earlier in the day had said on a Channel 8 TV interview that she supported the red light cameras — voted unanimously to support Commissioner Swann’s motion.

Politics is strange theater, and this evening was about as strange as it gets.

My opinion, and that’s all it is, is that Commissioner David Hale and Sheriff Bartlett saw that this was a losing political issue. Everywhere people were opposed to the red light cameras, and there was the fundamental issue of why the county was spending $165,000 of county taxpayers’ money to take on the responsibility to set up cameras along the state’s intersections.

The bottom line is that this was a losing issue from the beginning, and the sheriff underestimated the opposition from two commissioners, Linda Kelley and myself, and a citizenry that wants no part of trying to be like some of the urban areas we moved away from. When Commissioner Hale jumped ship rather than go down with the Titanic, red-light-camera advocates Commissioners Swann and Stinnett were left one vote short of a majority.

In the end, the citizens won. Government won’t be used to take advantage of the citizens in a scam to pick the pockets of those caught at the end of a short, yellow light. Innocent vehicle owners wont be getting tickets for traffic violations that they didn’t commit, and the county still retains a bit of country — unlike the urban areas of the state that have adopted video surveillance of its citizens.

Commissioner Swann said to me this evening “You’ve won.” Yes, I won … and so did everybody else.

— John Douglas Parran, Calvert County Commissioner

Too Hot to Paint for the InquisitionDear Bay Weekly:
I gave your July 3-10 cover [Vol. X, No. 27] more than a cursory glance. Annapolitan artist Lali’s drawings of sensual female figures, you say on page 2, are inspired by an art style of a century ago in her native Barcelona.

Another Spanish artist, Goya, also painted sensual female figures. The “Naked Maja” is a masterpiece of the female nude, and it seriously disturbed the Inquisition in 1815. Lali would have to be very ingenious to cover her with fans to make her acceptable to the Inquisition. Goya did it by painting her again fully clothed.

— Tom Gill, Rose Haven

Department of Correction

Kay Volman is president of the Garden Club of Charles County, a title inadvertently omitted in last week’s article on garden clubs, “In Chesapeake Country, Garden Clubs Gild Our Lily” [Vol. X, No. 28].

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 [email protected].

Copyright 2002
Bay Weekly