Volume 14, Issue 34 ~ August 24 - August 30, 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 editor@bayweekly.com. or submit your letters on line, click here

On Renaissance Fest, Bennett Hit the Spot

Dear Bay Weekly:

Kat Bennett’s story “The Maryland Renaissance Festival Opens Its 30th Season” [Vol. xiv, No. 33: Aug. 17 was spectacular! Well written. (I am no longer surprised at how many local papers’ articles are poorly written.) Captures the feel well.

—Tony Guida: Cardinal Sinnius Lascivious Vice at the Maryland Renaissance Festival

Writing Urban Legends?

Dear Bay Weekly:

In a recent Bay Weekly Reflections column “60 Goes the Boomer” (Vol. xiv, No 30: July 27), Margaret Tearman stated that “four hapless — I hesitate to add now headless — humans have already been mauled to death this year in the vicinity of Chicken [Alaska].”

This is utterly false. 

The statement gives the wrong impression about Alaska and its wildlife. The fact is that no one has been killed by a bear in Alaska this year around Chicken or anywhere else. Bear attacks are very, very rare in Alaska, due in a large part to the great pains bears take to avoid humans. Sometimes, however, people leave them few choices and the unfortunate occurs. Since 2000, 19 people have been killed by bear in North America: one in New York, one in New Mexico, two in Tennessee, four in Alaska and the rest in Canada.

You had the same chance getting killed by a bear in the lower 48 as in Alaska. A study by the Alaska state epidemiologist showed that during the first 85 years of this century, only 20 people died in bear attacks in Alaska. In the 10 years from 1975 to 85, 19 people in Alaska were killed by dogs.

The four people killed in Alaska since 2000 were the Huffmans (an Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge camping/rafting couple) on the North Slope Hulahula River last year and Treadwell (aka Grizzly Man) and his girlfriend at Katmai N.P. in 2003.

—Joe Leahy, Crofton

Writer Margaret Tearman responds:

I was indeed incorrect in stating that four humans have been “mauled to death” by bears. They weren’t killed; they were just mauled.

The words “hapless, now headless humans” are the unfortunate result of my attempt at dark humor. As my Alaskan contact corrects me, only one of the maulings she read about included a human head, and it wasn’t a decapitation, just a severe loss of facial tissue.

Scammer Alert

Dear Bay Weekly:

I received a telephone call recently from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T service technician who was conducting a test on the telephone lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine zero, the pound sign, then hang up.

Luckily, I was suspicious and refused. Upon contacting the telephone company, I was informed that by pushing 90#, you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line, which enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone number. I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many local jails and prisons.

So do not dial 90# for anyone.

—Frank Gouin, Deale

Frank Gouin is the Bay Gardener.

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