Volume 12, Issue 11 ~ March 11-17, 2004

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Letters to the Editor

We welcome your opinions and letters — with name and address. 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.

Captivated by Llovio’s Proposal
Dear Bay Weekly:
Louis Llovio’s “My Quest for the Perfect Proposal” [Vol. XII, No 7: Feb., 12] was wonderful. His dry, sagacious wit made me read the entire article at once, hoping for more. It’s really not such a bad thing to live your life in print, as long as you (and the people close to you!) don’t take everything too seriously.

— Tracy Morgan, Annapolis

Let’s Not Throw out the Science with the Bay Water
Dear Bay Weekly:
Steve Carr’s article “Our Dying Bay Needs Treatment, Not Research” [Vol. XII, No. 6, Feb. 5] made several excellent points. That it’s time to step up to the plate and finally get the job done in reducing nutrient and sediment loads to Chesapeake Bay. And that it’s time for us to reach into our pockets and pay an extra surcharge or two if it means cleaning up our sewage and returning a degree of former health to what is still the nation’s largest and most valuable estuary.

But the article’s counter current (and headline) were way off if they meant to say that we should stop supporting scientific research. There are indeed times when corporations or governments try to buy time by calling for “more research.” This is simply not the case with the Chesapeake Bay. From the beginning, scientists have been out front in leading the call for the cleanup. It was the first Bay study — funded by Congress (thanks to the leadership of Maryland’s Sen. Mathias) and overseen by the EPA — that led to the outcry in the early 1980s that the Bay is dead.

At that time, some decision makers intoned that we’ve had enough research; now it’s time for action. It is. But it is not time to suggest that science is responsible for our not cleaning up the Bay. Scientists, especially at research labs in Maryland and Virginia, documented the damaging role of nutrients. Sen. Mathias recalls that in the beginning, “We all thought it was going to be Bethlehem Steel.” That is, big industry.

Though we still have a number of problems with toxic compounds and a legacy of industrial waste, we now understand that human waste and runoff from agricultural and suburban lands pose the biggest threat to the Bay’s ecosystem. We know that because of the work of a number of scientists.

Back in the 1980s there were still things we did not understand and did not foresee. There is so much we don’t know. A call to action is important. But we have to avoid the illogical either-or fallacy that says we must choose between research or action. The plain truth is we need them both — or we’re never going to figure out what to do and how to make it work.

— Jack Greer, Edgewater

On Boats and Bears, Sad, Selfish Views
Dear Bay Weekly:
In the March 4-10 Bay Weekly [Vol. XII: No. 10] on page 4 is the article Speed Kills with the remark that slowing speed boats down to a safe level is not possible and ending with the statement by Mick Blackistone “There is nothing we can do about it. … And in the end, if you buy a boat, you have a right [!] to do whatever you want.” Then we have, on page 11, the claim that hunting is a “time-honored way to manage wildlife.” It has never been honored by the people I know. What sad, greedy, selfish views.

— Betty-Carol Sellen, Deale

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Last updated March 12, 2004 @ 1:37am.