Volume 14, Issue 18 ~ May 4 - May 10, 2006

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

Water Doesn’t Care What It Destroys

Dear Bay Weekly:

I am writing in response to an article by Kat Bennett [When Will the Bay Flood Again: Vol. xiii, No 36: Sept. 8, 2005] concerning surge effects in your basin. Over the past several years I’ve learned a great deal about storm direction and flooding. Having been in Hancock County, Mississippi, for the eye of Katrina, I learned that direction of storm movement means everything. If it hadn’t been for tropical storms Isadore and Lily, I would have been much more complacent.

Isadore passed directly over Waveland and flooded us in for over 24 hours. South of us, some homes went under in 18 to 20 feet of flood water. My home is some five miles inland and that saved our lives. Water blasted through here at approximately 26 feet above sea level and destroyed all but three houses other than ours (our home is on a ridge, and 18 feet above sea level would be required to flood it). However, we had no attic access and would have more than likely drowned when it filled to almost nine feet inside the house in just under two minutes (clocks separated by seven feet stopped at 10:45 and 10:47) were it not for my concern with being trapped again.

Pay heed: Water doesn’t care what it destroys, and the amplification of a bay and shallow waters makes for a nasty mess. We are still repairing six months after and don’t see complete repairs for at least another six months. As for the areas around us, the best I can guess is based on experiences by other areas hit hard, and the standard seems to be five years. Imagine that in your town.

Doug M., Waveland, Mississippi

Bay Gardener Defends Roundup

The EarthTalk “Nixing Weeds the Non-Toxic Way” published in Vol. xiv, No. 16 [April 20], suggests that ingesting three-fourths of a cup of Roundup can be lethal. May I suggest that ingesting three-fourths of a cup of aspirin, table salt and vinegar can also be lethal, dependent on age, and these are all products that we consume almost daily, while Roundup is not FDA approved for consumption. Common sense keeps most of us from self-mutilation.

Yes, many weeds can be controlled with the hoe and by using film mulches such as landscape fabric and black plastic. (Applying excessive amounts of wood mulch can also kill plants by suffocating the roots.) Try as hard as you can, there are many perennial weeds that cannot be controlled with the hoe or with mulches. To effectively control Japanese honeysuckle, Bermuda grass, poison ivy and many more, we need a systemic herbicide such as Roundup.

But you’ve got to follow the directions. I recently visited a home where the owner sprayed his azaleas with Roundup because wild morning glory was growing all over them. Instead of removing the vine, laying it on a sheet of plastic and spraying only it, he sprayed both the morning glory and the azaleas, killing them both. The directions clearly state to avoid contact with desired plants.

Since 1959 I have been involved in research with herbicides. Roundup is probably the safest herbicide that I have worked with. Problems with Roundup can always be traced to improper use by the applicator.

—Francis R. Gouin, Deale

Editor’s note: Dr. Gouin writes Bay Weekly’s Bay Gardener column

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