Volume 13, Issue 8 ~ February 24 - March 2, 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

New Oysters Now

Dear Bay Weekly:
The recent discussion of proposed legislation in the Maryland General Assembly to delay the official introduction of the Asia oyster into Chesapeake Bay is disturbing.

Over the last 10 years, the Asia oyster has been studied by the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences, University of Maryland, University of Maryland Sea Grant College, University of Delaware, the National Marine Fisheries Service and a host of other researchers. In 1995, the Virginia Legislature authorized the Institute of Marine Sciences to start testing the Asia Suminoe oyster, which it has been doing on a regular basis.

We need scientific research to make logical decisions, but what you need to keep in mind is that a scientist never solves the problem. They always want further research. These guys live on grant money, and the money does not come unless there is a problem. That’s why they continue to whine about this oyster, which could save our Bay. They need problems to keep their grants.

It’s been stated that one Asia oyster will filter 100 gallons of water per day. I think it’s time to support the governor and secretary of Natural Resources on this one. We need this oyster to clean the Bay. The research has been done.

—Captain Kerry Muse, Edgewater

Just Stop the Leaks

Dear Bay Weekly:
The legislative hearing in Annapolis February 16 concerning a series of proposed bills dealing with the problems related to MTBE contamination of groundwaters in our state pointed the difficulties the legislators and regulatory agencies have in doing their job.

Their job, lest we forget, is to serve and protect the people who have hired them to be their representatives.

The issue is simply that gasoline from service station underground tanks and piping is leaking into the ground. MTBE, a federally mandated additive in reformulated gasoline, is thus present to contaminate groundwaters. The obvious and logical solution to this problem is to stop the leaks. The Maryland Department of the Environment is already working on this.

Few of the witnesses pushed this solution, however. The residents of the affected areas complained of the contamination of their well waters, evoking sympathy. They fear that the MTBE in their water would harm their health. Others said that the minor amounts of MTBE in the water were not harmful.

Forget that. It should not be there. Stop the leaks.

Others said that we should ban MTBE and replace it with other oxygenated chemicals such as ethanol, or perhaps nothing.

Not so harmful, but the gasoline would still leak.

Supporters of ethanol praised their product. Farm interests that would raise the barley proposed as a feed stock for ethanol production obviously supported the ethanol option.

But the gasoline would still leak.

One can only hope that our weary legislators can sit back, look over the broad picture and do the right thing. Worry not about how our gasoline is formulated. Just stop the leaks.

—Dr. Sidney Rankin, Baltimore

Don’t Miss Footworks

Dear Bay Weekly:
Congratulations to Footworks on their new digs. Having worked with this wonderful dance company on several occasions, I can attest to the fact that if one ever has the opportunity to view their entertaining performance, it is well worth the price of admission. Congratulations to principals Eileen Carson-Schatz and Mark Schatz for all their future endeavors and proving that live dance and music should always be appreciated.

—Sid Curl, North Beach

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