Volume 13, Issue 13 ~ March 31 - April 6, 2005
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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 [email protected]. or submit your letters on line, click here

Save the Turn Signal

Dear Bay Weekly:
I drive only three miles on sidestreets on my daily jaunt to work; yet in this short time I witness daily some of the most inconsiderate and unskilled driving I’ve seen in my 25-plus years behind the wheel. At a time when our local legislature is considering a bill to make aggressive driving carry stiff penalties, I wonder whether aggressive driving isn’t a by-product of the rude, heedless behavior of our neighbors on the road. I characterize aggressive driving as weaving and tailgating combined with honking and the middle finger salute.

What I see daily in Annapolis is a surfeit of illegal U-turns, wide turns, blatant and dangerous red-light running, queue-jumping (evil doers riding the exit-only lane till the last second only to cut you off and jump back in the queue) and drivers who challenge you to hit them as they pull in front of you.

I’m not trying to fix all that now. Maybe in the future I’ll elaborate in a book: Courteous Driving for Dummies.

Now, I just want one thing: the return of the common courtesy of the turn signal. Maybe time has passed me by; everyone is psychic now and just ‘knows’ what the guy in front is going to do next.

I’m all for better aggressive driving laws, but it seems to me in all the attention to drunk driving, seat-belts and cell-phone use has caused law enforcement to forget the little things that may just add up to a formula for aggressive driving.

Brothers, sisters, neighbors, I implore you all to go back to the good old days of sparing the guy behind you the danger and inconvenience of slamming on his brakes because you’re zigging right or left while indicating no zig at all.

—Tim McArdle, Annapolis

Twin Beach in Search of More Players

Dear Bay Weekly:
The Twin Beach Players are in urgent need of help and is in danger of closing its doors without more volunteers.

The vision of Twin Beach Players was to provide our local community with cultural theatrical productions such as our most recent production of The Foreigner. Over the years, TBP has produced outstanding shows that engaged people of all ages and theatrical experience. It has provided a family-friendly forum that allows for classic and modern plays.

Until we can drum up additional support, TBP is scaling down its production schedule for 2005. We will only have our
traditional Summer Boardwalk production.

Volunteers are the core of the Players’ continued success. We are in tremendous need of volunteers who appreciate what the Players provide. There are many ways to get involved. We have three vacancies on the Board of Directors; producers and members of the production team are always needed. It takes a lot of work and support to create a production and to manage the organization.

If you can dedicate any amount of time or want the honor of being a Board member, please join us for Twin Beach Players’ annual membership meeting, 7:30pm, March 31, at Vic’s Italia by the Bay in Chesapeake Beach.

—Kay Hart: Secretary/Membership Coordinator, [email protected]

No Paper, No Election

Dear Bay Weekly:
No paper trail means no valid election. No paper means —

  1. That even when errors are found, such as more votes than ballots cast, they can’t be corrected. A 2003 report identified 328 Diebold vulnerabilities, 26 of them high risk. In Maryland’s 2004 election, there were 200 errors in Diebold’s machinery.
  2. A potential for undetectable vote tampering. A 13-year-old can forge a card that can stop a Diebold machine from recording votes. In one case the PIN was a simple 1111. Maryland’s election czar is wrong: Paperless voting machines are computers and thus bait for hackers. Diebold’s brochure claims its machines are reliable because they run on a Microsoft Windows platform — a platform notorious for security difficulties!
  3. Our election czar will continue to dictate to voters at the polls who say they distrust the machines and request a paper ballot: Either use the machines or forfeit your right to vote.
  4. Suits like crazy after the 2006 election wherever there is even a close-to-close race. In 2004, a North Carolina court ordered a statewide special election costing 3.5 million because 4,438 votes were swallowed by one paperless machine. Maryland has had several narrow elections in recent years: Mary Rosso in the race for delegate in District 31 in 1998 by six votes, Don Lamb in the race for delegate in District 30 in 1986 by three votes.
  5. Declining confidence in our election system. Nationally, it was down to 38 percent in 2004. Paper trails are now mandatory in nine states and may soon be in five more. Paper trails are supported by nearly all the leading computer experts in the country.
  6. Voters will soon consider voting machines akin to slot machines. Sometimes you win, but mostly you lose. Sometimes your vote counts but mostly it doesn’t.

Support SB 9 and HB 107. Prepare to use absentee ballots in 2006 to protest. No paper, no election!

—J.A. Hoage, Severna Park

Shears without Tears Thanks to Bay Gardener

Dear Bay Weekly:
March blew in and along with it marching orders from Dr. Frank Gouin, who takes no hostages when it comes to pruning. Reading Dr. Gouin’s tough-love approach to pruning in your new column, The Bay Gardner, I’ve gotten the courage to tackle the crape myrtles in my yard. I will never fear pruning shears again, thanks to the doctor’s motivational column.

—M.L. Faunce, Churchton

Iowa Fifth Grader Seeks Souvenirs

Dear Bay Weekly:
My name is Courtney Hytrek. I am a fifth-grade student from West Ridge Elementary School in Harlan, Iowa. My class is studying geography and the history of the United States. I would appreciate it if you would send me souvenirs, post cards or other information about Maryland so I can learn more about our country. My teacher would like to have a car license plant for the school project if possible. I greatly appreciate your time.

—Courtney Hytrek, c/o Mrs. Newlin’s Class; 1401 19th St.; West Ridge Elementary School; Harlan, Iowa 51537

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