Volume XI, Issue 34 ~ August 21-27, 2003

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Letters to the Editor

Cigarettes Are a Choice, Not a Weapon

Dear Bay Weekly:
John O’Hara’s letter referring to cigarettes as a “weapon of mass destruction” [Vol. XI., No 33: Aug. 14] is one of the most asinine things I have ever read. Mr. O’Hara implies that because of the number of deaths allegedly caused by cigarettes every year, we should declare “war” on tobacco.

Individuals, not terrorists, choose to begin smoking. Individuals, not terrorists, put the cigarettes into their mouths and light it. And it is the responsibility of individuals, not government, to deal with the consequences of smoking.

Mr. O’Hara’s implication that smoking is on par with the attacks of September 11 is equally asinine. His lack of common sense and sensitivity to the innocent victims of this abominable attack deserves censure.

— Benny Gonzales, Annapolis

Interns Are as Good as Gold

Dear Bay Weekly:
Although I know that your summer intern, Lauren Silver, has already left to complete her final year at Vanderbilt University, I trust it isn’t too late for me, her grandfather, to say how proud I am of her for the job she did at Bay Weekly. You have permitted her to prove what a young, progressive woman of the 21st century can do, given the opportunity. In Lauren’s case, I’m not surprised. However, I’m equally proud of you and your fine and thoughtful newspaper for offering her the chance and placing your confidence in her.

— Edwin A. Silver, Silver Spring

August is Sneak-It-Through Month

Dear Bay Weekly:
It’s the old sneak-it-through-the-Anne Arundel-County-Council-in-August. Everyone is away or inattentive — just as they are in December, the other sneak-it-through month.

The overdevelopers, their puppets in Planning and Zoning and Janet Owens herself are about to drop the mother of all bombs on the school system. Surprisingly, they have already managed to sneak it past the school board.

Bill number 43-03, Subdivisions – Adequacy of Public Facilities for Schools, will require the school board to build new schools to suit the overdevelopers or let the overdevelopers overwhelm existing schools with new students. New elementaries cost more than $10 million; middle schools, $20 million; high schools, $40 million.

The bill will divert money from such sorely needed projects as replacing worn-out school air-conditioning at 47 schools and building walls in open-space schools. Any overcrowding crisis would threaten money for instructional programs and teachers and might require changing the schools students attend.

The bill will end Ms. Owens’ policy of not granting waivers to housing projects that would overwhelm nearby schools. The bill would delay such projects no more than six years.

Overdevelopers’ zeal for this bill proves that her policy has slowed overdevelopment.

Overdevelopers like to play the Polish noble of the 18th century with the rest of us playing serf. Now they want to victimize the serfs’ kids. Down the line, when Anne Arundel’s schools become hopelessly impoverished, the nobles’ greed, bad citizenship and this sneaky bill will be three of the chief causes.

— J.A. Hoage, Severna Park

Editor’s note: Since this letter was written, the County Council has devised alternative proposals that, along with a revised version of this bill, will be debated in their September 15 meeting.

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 editor@bayweekly.com.



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Last updated August 21, 2003 @12:32am