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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 [email protected]. or submit your letters on line, click here

Make Heather’s Law a Reality

Dear Bay Weekly:

Over the Christmas holidays, my wife and I traveled to Florida to visit with my daughter Heather. As part of this trip, we were scheduled to meet on January 3 with Walt Disney World’s wedding planner to discuss plans for my daughter’s upcoming wedding.

At 11:30am, while traveling to meet her mom and me at the wedding planner and stopped at a traffic signal, my daughter and her fiancé were involved in a 10-car traffic accident. Patrick, her fiancé, survived, but our Heather was killed instantly. It is alleged that the tractor-trailer driver who caused this accident was text messaging his driver’s log to his company when the accident occurred.

Because of text messaging while driving, I will never walk my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day, never dance the father-daughter dance at her wedding, never hold a grandchild or hear her voice and little giggle ever again.

On March 4, I was honored to testify in Annapolis in favor of HB1110 that would have banned text messaging while driving in Maryland except in the case of an emergency. Although this bill died in committee, we live to fight another day. My wife and I have started a letter-writing campaign and petition drive that will bring this very important legislation back in the 2009 General Assembly.

I urge all Bay Weekly readers to write their state senator and delegates to call on them to co-sponsor and support a bill that would ban text messaging while driving in Maryland and make Heather’s Law a reality.

–Russell Hurd, Abingdon, Md.

Fix the Critical Areas Law

Dear Bay Weekly:

I just opened my Bay Weekly, which I read from cover to cover. The first thing I read in your March 6 edition [Vol. xvi, No. 10] was your editorial, “A March Must: Fixing Maryland’s Broken Critical Area Law.” It was a terrific article pointing out broken policy. Then on the bottom of the page, I saw your mission statement, which so coincided with the article. I definitely agree: We want to leave a clean Bay for generations after us.

Your editorial noted the Chesapeake Bay Foundation study of four counties reporting that 64 percent of variances are approved in critical areas. That’s ridiculous. The law hasn’t been updated since Gov. Harry Hughes signed it in 1972. It’s time we tighten up the loopholes now.

You also say Gov. O’Malley would like contractors who build without permission to lose their license and houses built without permits to be torn down. Good for him.

What’s going to happen to that house built without permits on Dobbins Island?

And you noted that an eagle passed over as the governor spoke. In the first week of March, I looked out to an osprey platform in front of my house and saw an eagle sitting there. Then March 10, my first osprey came back and started building its nest.

–Robert Coleman, Shady Side

Department of Corrections

In Putting the Wind to Work [Vol. xvi, No 11: March 13] the kilowatt production of the Wind Cube was misstated. The cube generates some 175,000 kilowatts. For more info: Green Energy Technologies of Maryland at [email protected].

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