Volume 12, Issue 52 ~ • December 23 - December 29, 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 [email protected]. Or Click Here to Submit Your Letters Online.

Makeshift Roadside Memorials Can Outlive Their Time

Dear Bay Weekly:

Your editorial about all the signs cluttering our roadsides [Vol. XII, No 49: Dec. 2] left out one notable example: crosses and other memorials to those who have lost their lives in traffic accidents. It’s not that I don’t sympathize with their loss and the need to memorialize it, but that’s what cemeteries are for. The intricacies of some of these roadside tributes, such as photographs and draped personal effects, are so strikingly out of place that they can be distracting to motorists. Apparently, the State Highway Administration considers the memorials sacred and allows them to remain. I suppose that no one, including the SHA, wants to offend the grieving, but grief should be expressed in personal ways that do not require acknowledgement by the general public.

—Kip Suss, Holland Point

Our Governor Has Guts

Dear Bay Weekly:
This writer agrees with the commentators and pundits who emphasize the arguments that Gov. Robert Ehrlich is arrogant, cynical, slot machine-mad, submissive to state land developers and many other special interests, uses taxpayer funds for his political ads (i.e., “public service” announcements) and has many other shortcomings.
However, one prominent newspaper has taken to task the governor for refusing to talk to its reporters and editors. The governor has been sued by the paper alleging violation of the Constitution. Such a theory misconstrues the document.
The First Amendment provides Freedom of the Press. Over the past 216 years, our courts have decreed that this means that the press can say what it wishes about ordinary citizens but must pay the piper if convicted of defaming that citizen. There is a different rule for elected officials. This rule is that the press can say what it wishes about the official and is not subject to defamation law.
As a result, in confrontations between press and officials, the press always wins. Unfortunately for the governor, the press will ultimately win this one also. Mr. Ehrlich is probably smart enough to know that. If not, this little spat will provide the education.
The governor, too, may get the silent treatment. This is another tactic of the press followed by many publications, to-wit; no coverage to the official or his activities. This is also included within the multitude protections of Freedom of the Press.
The bottom line is an appreciation for the guts of Ehrlich for his unique and rare challenge to the press. Democracy marches on!

—Bill Burlison, Odenton

Editor’s note: Mr. Burlison, a former congressman from Missouri, is an elected member of the Anne Arundel County Council.

Has Bill Burton Held a Wolf by the Ears?

Dear Bay Weekly:
I really enjoyed reading on-line Bill Burton’s piece encouraging young readers in which he used the line “cave ab homine unius libri” [Vol. 12, No. 12: March 18] Although I translate the line as “Beware of the man who reads only one book,” it has been my maxim for the last 60 years since I was a young man.
Bill’s interpretation holds true for the young and innocent, but at a more profound level the man who only wants to read one book is indeed to be feared.

I would like to read how Bill explains the expression holding a wolf by the ears.

—John Bramwell, Surrey, England.

Editor’s Note: We’ll ask Bill Burton, and let you and all our readers know his answer in 2005.

Seeking Spiritual Vibrations

Dear Bay Weekly:
In your Vol. 6, No. 31 edition [August 6, 1998] there was an article titled “Old Ways and School Days: Shady Side School Reunites” about a reunion where a gospel group called The Spiritual Vibrations performed. I once saw this group perform at Annapolis Harbour Center and thought they were great! I got a business card from the group, but lost it soon after. I have searched the Internet for months (years) for information on the group and found your site. I also found something about a group by the same name in Iowa, but I believe they must be a different group. Could you please tell me anything about this group and how I may contact them. If not, could you tell me who was the organizer of the reunion so I may get in touch with them?

—Frank Bowlby, Glen Burnie: [email protected]

Editor’s Note: Perhaps readers can make the connection. If you can lead Mr. Bowlby to The Spiritual Vibrations, please email him. We’d like to know at Bay Weekly, as well.

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