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Volume 14, Issue 8 ~ February 23 - March 1, 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


Yes, Mr. Comptroller, That Was Sexual Harassment

Dear Bay Weekly:

As I sat relaxing and watching the late night news after a long day, which included chairing the most recent meeting of the Calvert County Commission for Women, I was appalled. There, on TV, was Comptroller William Donald Schaefer displaying the most blatant example of sexual harassment. I could have been watching a training video of what not to do.

What did the other people in the room do? Inappropriately laugh. Until we make it clear by immediate response that this is not acceptable, we are perpetuating the actions of the perpetrator. I am sure that some in the room were embarrassed, but not half as much as the young lady who was the subject of Mr. Schaefer’s actions.

An employee is entitled to a work environment free of sexual harassment and one in which every individual is accorded dignity and respect. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. For more information, see www.dol.gov/oasam/regs/statutes/2000e-16.htm; or www.mchr.state.md.us/sexualharrassment2003.html.

Prevention and education are the best tools to eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Employers should clearly communicate to employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. They can do so by instituting comprehensive training, establishing an effective complaint or grievance process and taking immediate and appropriate action when an employee complains.

—Linda Bracey: Chair, Calvert County Commission for Women


Another Serving on Sharing Our Fish

Dear Bay Weekly:

In his letter Serving Out Shares of Our Fish, [Vol. xiv, No. 7: Feb. 16] Steve Zimmerman should get his facts straight before suggesting that recreational anglers will deprive everyone of delicious seafood. For the most part, wild seafood no longer comes from Chesapeake Bay — except when an angler brings home dinner. Modern aquaculture, particularly from outside the U.S., has taken over 60 percent of the domestic seafood retail market, according to the USDA.

It’s time to start facing the facts. Technology and highly efficient commercial netting systems now far outstrip the ability of the targeted species to reproduce and maintain their population in the wild. This situation makes the anglers upset when they recognize that a tiny segment of Maryland’s citizens now spoil the recreational opportunities in Maryland as well as the ecosystems within the Bay.

Commercial fisherman, though dramatically reduced in number, still demand vastly disproportionate shares of each fishery with far more expensive equipment and less to take home after expenses.

In the case of yellow perch, just 40 netters have destroyed a fishery that used to give great pleasure to tens of thousands of family anglers as they shook off cabin fever and lined the banks of local streams and rivers in a rite of early spring. The vaunted rockfish (striped bass), under strict federal regulation in the wild, has recovered from historic lows, but over 61 percent of the rockfish in the market now come from aquaculture.

Recreational anglers have finally woken up to these facts and will no longer accept a Bay managed only for the maximum exploitation of our shared fisheries by the very few. We will also not accept Mr. Zimmerman’s subterfuge and attempt to mischaracterize the situation by using fear.

—Larry Jennings, Silver Spring

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