Letters to the Editor
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Big Spenders, Big Buyers
Dear Bay Weekly:
A big thank you to Bill Burton for his insightful column (Walking in Our Own Moccasins: Vol. xvi, No. 20: May 15). We are two percent of the world’s population and consume 51 percent of the world’s gas and oil. There are men and women out there on the rigs literally risking their lives so we can live as we please. No praise for the man I saw today sitting in his SUV in a parking lot, talking on his cell with his motor running. (the 10 minutes I was there, anyway)
We are ranked seventh in the world for oil reserves. No refineries built here in the past 20 years. Try researching the damage the pipeline has done to Alaska. You won’t find any. And we are still dependent on Saudi Arabian oil? Before you complain the next time, please think about all this first.
Linda Carullo, Shady Side
Faust Didn’t Sign this Farm Bill
Dear Bay Weekly:
I enjoyed your May 8 editorial about the federal farm bill “Chesapeake Bay and that Fellow Named Faust” [Vol. xvi, No 19]. But the Faust reference, although clever, was just not true. There are certainly things that can be criticized in the 673 page, five-year update of the farm bill, but it isn’t remotely necessary for any member of Congress to sell his soul to vote in favor of it.
Sure, the huge bill supports a lot of priorities and does not include all the policy changes we would like. However, it provides more than $10 billion to help food and nutrition programs; helps fruit, vegetable and nursery growers for the first time ever; promotes organic agriculture; reduces subsidies for corn-based ethanol production; makes land and water conservation programs more effective; and is fully paid for without raising taxes or adding to the deficit.
For people who care about the Chesapeake, the legislation generously supports the three-year long effort by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and other groups throughout the region to get Congress to provide more conservation funding to reduce the nitrogen, phosphorous and sediment pollution that is harming Bay water quality, blue crabs and many other creatures.
That is why the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture, the American Farmland Trust, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and 399 members of Congress (including 46 out of 53 in the Chesapeake Bay watershed) supported the final legislation. Such broad support is a very long way from Doctor Faust and his moral bargain.
Doug Siglin, Federal Affairs Director: Chesapeake Bay Foundation
Comedian Delaney Promoted to Prophet
Dear Bay Weekly:
You’ve probably heard by now the limits on female crabs this year. What I find interesting is that I can remember writing an article for your paper about five or six years ago [Commentary: Vol. ix, No. 26: June 28, 2001] about the diminishing crab population. In it, I had a (fictitious) talk with some old watermen who said the solution was simple; Stop catching female crabs. Maybe Maryland Department of Natural Resources should get a free subscription to your paper.
Allen Delaney, Prince Frederick
Editor’s note: Delaney is beloved by Bay Weekly readers for his humor; he’s feeling a bit smug in the new role of prophet.
What Do You Know about Bill Burton?
Bill Burton celebrates 15 years with Bay Weekly next month. Help us prepare a retrospective edition, filled with memories, yarns, encounters and your favorite bits from his stories over the years. To freshen your recall, you can review his columns in 1993 and from 1998 to this week on line at www.bayweekly.com.
Sandra Olivetti Martin, Bay Weekly Editor
Department of Corrections
We have failed to give credit where due. Tom Tearman shot the dramatic photograph illustrating Margaret Tearman’s Twin Beach Players’ performance of Much Ado about Nothing in Vol. xvi, No. 20: May 15.