Dear Bay Weekly:
I have just returned home from a day-long session of the Maryland State Council on Cancer Control. The Glendening Administration has implemented a comprehensive multifaceted cancer and tobacco control program that appears to be working. Maryland has moved from being ranked fourth nationally in overall cancer mortality to ninth. The major reduction has been lung cancer, where we are currently ranked 19th. Tobacco use by our youngsters has also decreased significantly.
We still have a long way to go, but the program is now in place, and if it continues we should see accelerated results. The coming gubernatorial election will determine whether we continue making progress or if we regress.
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has pledged to continue these programs if she is elected. She has also pledged to raise the cigarette tax, which will further reduce tobacco consumption by our children and persuade many adults to quit smoking. According to the media, her opponent, Robert Ehrlich, stated that the program is a waste of money and that he would not increase the tobacco tax. This has caused many in the health community to brand him as the new Marlboro Man.
It is worth noting that Ehrlich received more than $30,000 from the tobacco industry while a member of Congress. This may help explain his failure to address the problem of tobacco control and its terrible toll.
John H. OHara, Bowie
The Enemy of My Enemy
Dear Bay Weekly:
As a former opponent of the misguided and misleading actions of South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development, better known as SACReD, in its endeavors to eradicate every employment and convenience benefit that Safeway would have brought to Deale, I now find myself allied with this organization. A pastoral glade of non-tidal wetlands is about to be invaded by an avaricious developer who plans to build 65 cluster homes on just 19 acres. This does not meet the common-sense test even to my non-SACReD, non-tree hugging brain. Heck, with this kind of bulk development, there would not even be room left for any trees to be hugged.
But there may have to be room for a new shorefront skyline of 100-foot water towers. It is reported that the existing aquifers in the Deale area may not meet the Fire Departments requirements for water pressure and volume should the Elks Landing development be allowed to proceed. The new Deale water-tower farm could become a tourist attraction, but at what cost to the current residents, myself included, who wish to keep this quiet wetland free and open habitat?
A few years ago, the residents of Owings Beach and Masons Beach petitioned the county and state to review the acreage for inclusion in either of the jurisdictions rural lands buyback programs. After inspecting the lands, it was determined that the acreage was both tidal and non-tidal wetland unsuitable for parks development. If these government bodies could not approve a tree-rich, open-area park on these wetlands, how can they possibly approve a 65-home development on the same 19 acres?
SACReD has joined Deale area residents in the effort to stop Snyder Development from despoiling this land. The enemy of my enemy is now my friend.
Richard Phillips, Deale
Dont Get Mad, Get Even
Dear Bay Weekly:
Janet Owens didnt show up to an environmental forum, eh? [Dock of the Bay: Vol. X, No. 43.] Probably didnt want to face the facts regarding the runaway development in this county. Nor did she really want to defend herself after taking all of the developers money to line her campaign coffers.
Janet Owens sold out the environmentalists who supported her in 1998, and I for one wont be making that mistake this year.
Benny Gonzales, Annapolis
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