Volume 12, Issue 25 ~ June 17-23, 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.

For the Bay, Hope Renewed
Dear Bay Weekly:
“To Change the Bay, You Can’t Be Afraid to Get Your Feet Wet” [Vol. IX, No. 24, June 10] was very good. I found facts that I like to use all collected in one place, and I felt that the promise of progress was once again viable. After last year’s decimation of the Tributary Strategy staff at Maryland Department of Natural Resources, I was not sure that this administration was going to support Bay efforts with anything more than lip service. I have more hope now.

There was one fact that was incorrect. In discussing the flush tax, it was stated that funds would be generated by charging homeowners $30 a month. That should read $30 a year.

I teach part of the nutrient management course for Maryland Department of Agriculture. May I use excerpts from this article directly in my teaching?

—Gary K. Felton: Department of Biological Resources Engineering, University of Maryland

Editor’s Note: Dr. Felton is right. The cost of Maryland’s new flush tax is $30 per year. In editing, the per month cost was replaced by the per year cost to reflect the cost to all homeowners, septic system users as well as public sewer users. But the key word was not changed.

We’re offering Dr. Felton a job as proofreader as well as granting him permission to use the story in his teaching.

Outfoxing the Faxers
Dear Bay Weekly:
What a great piece Bill Burton wrote April 22 [Out-Faxed: I’m Pulling the Plug: Vol. IX, No. 17]. We’ve looked in frustration at the pile of useless faxes building up around our machine, using our printing film and our paper. They are a waste and an imposition, but we can’t turn the machine off because it’s part of our business. Possibly the worst is that these idiots send the faxes at 2:30 or 3am, and the phone, ringing through its prescribed four cycles, wakes us up at the time of deepest sleep.

There is not the slightest chance that any of us would ever use any service, take any trip or respond to any merchandise advertised this way. Their names become anathema to us.

This spring The Wall Street Journal, under byline of Mark Wigfield, Dow Jones Newswires, had an article about “a record $5.37 million fine levied against a California direct marketing company (Fax.com) for faxing unsolicited ads to consumers, in violation of consumer-protection law.” The Federal Communication Commission finally brought down the hammer.

Apparently the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits unsolicited fax advertisements. The rats were fined $11,000 per unwanted fax. The 104 companies whose ads were sent also received citations. Isn’t that great?

How can we get the FCC to act again? And where do we send our complaint?

—Kent and Nancy Mountford, Lusby

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