Volume 13, Issue 33 ~ August 18 - 24, 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 editor@bayweekly.com. or submit your letters on line, click here


Surviving Congestion on Roads

Dear Bay Weekly:
I have a comment after reading the article by Pat Piper, “10 Tips to Get Along on the Water.” In my younger days, I spent a little time on the water, and I spent 25 years in the Navy.

Then for 10 years I traveled the USA and Canada in a motor home. I enjoyed it until the price of gas went too high. I found a lot of difference in the attitude of the drivers that I shared the road with. This is my opinion and of course there are exceptions to the general rule. The drivers east of the Mississippi are less considerate than those west of the Mississippi. The Texans are the most considerate, and the Canadians are right behind the Texans. The worst divers are in New York City; Atlanta is right behind New York.

There is a lot more traffic on the roads and on the water, and it will keep getting worse. I do not have a solution for the problem. But when I yield the right-of-way to the other driver, it makes two people feel good: me and the person I yielded to. When I was traveling, most Texans I met were smiling; those in New York and Atlanta were scowling.

—Dallas Jensen, Delmar


No Roundup for Organics

Dear Bay Weekly:
In Bay Gardener on July 28 (Vol. xiii, No. 30), Dr. Gouin wrote that Roundup “can even be used in organic gardening.” I would like to clarify: According to the USDA National Organic Program standards, Roundup or glyphosate, is not allowed to be used by gardeners and farmers who wish to sell their products as certified organic. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides and herbicides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.

Under the national rule, if the organic gardener had applied glyphosate (or a prohibited substance) to a garden, it must go through a three-year transition period before they can start selling their crop as organic. During the transition period, they can still sell their crop as conventional.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Organic Certification Program is a USDA-accredited organic certification agency, and we have observed frequent problems and confusion due to the different definitions used for organic labeling. Although many products making organic claims may comply with the regulations, many do not. This creates a negative impact on the farmers and gardeners who are trying to sell their products as certified organic.

Thank you for helping us clear the confusion to help farmers, gardeners and consumers understand the definition of certified organic.
—Karen Fedor, Manager, Organic Certification Program: Maryland Dept. of Agriculture

Dr. Gouin replies: I stand corrected. I was informed by an organic gardener that she had approval to use glyphosate to clear an area of Bermuda grass prior to planting an herb crop. I have now informed her that she cannot.

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