Volume 16, Issue 25 - June 19 - June 25, 2008

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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 editor@bayweekly.com. or submit your letters on line, click here

Burton’s Wife Has the Last Word

Dear Bay Weekly:

When I heard that Bay Weekly was doing a tribute to Bill for his 15 years of writing columns for this wonderful newspaper [Vol. xvi, No. 24: June 12], I was overjoyed. I have been married to Bill for 41 years so I am aware and proud of his love of the outdoors and its myriad recreational activities and opportunities. Bill has devoted much of his life to promoting Maryland and preserving its resources for our children and grandchildren. He has hunted or fished in all 50 states and Canada, but his love is Chesapeake Country. Originally from Vermont, and always professing to miss the mountains, he rapidly grew to love this state for its ocean, its Bay, its mountains and all of the land between. This love has not diminished in his 81 years on earth, and he has grown even more of an activist. Thank you for recognizing his ongoing efforts to make life better for all of us.

–Lois Burton, Riviera Beach

Burton’s Early Life as Beaver Cleaver

Dear Bay Weekly:

Your Bill Burton tribute for June 12 flashed his picture when he was a youth on page 4. Ye Gods, he’s a dead ringer for Theodore Cleaver, yes, The Beave from the classic Leave It to Beaver Show. So the Beaver grew into the legend known as Bill Burton? Can this mean that Eddie Haskell might just be a crabber out of Deale or that Wally is the owner of the Tastee Freeze in North Beach? This is very weird. One can only ponder!

–Bill Barnes Jr., Dunkirk

From One Family Historian to Another

Dear Bay Weekly:

I was touched by Jane Elkins’ splendid piece, The Searchers [Vol. xvi, No. 22: May 29]. The author captures the fervor of family historians devoted to unearthing details, mysteries, even myths, while filling out their family trees. We may not have the same stamina as John Gadd for genealogy, but the exercise is enriching and often addictive.

I took my own roots journey after my mother died and wrote about it in these pages [Stepping Out — How to Start Your Own Roots Journey: Vol. viii, No. 8: March 1, 2000]. I grew a few brain cells keeping track of both sides of my mother’s and father’s families, and I felt hugged as this fifth-generation Washingtonian walked down city streets I thought I knew.

In her feature, Elkins weaves a great story about the process and rewards of delving into the past so you can get started and not lose your ancestors to the dust of the ages. Also, I didn’t know that researching family history is now the Number One hobby in America.

–M.L. Faunce, Churchton

Texting While Driving Ought to Be Against the Law

Dear Bay Weekly:

It was with a sickening horror that I read the latest study on text messaging while driving. The study shows that Maryland is one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to this extremely dangerous practice. Thirty-six percent of Marylanders admit to texting while driving.

As I have written before, I am very aware of what texting while driving can do. My daughter Heather was killed on January 3, 2008, by a tractor-trailer driver that was allegedly texting his drivers log when the accident occurred.

When is enough enough? It’s time we demand that the Maryland legislature pass a comprehensive handheld cell phone and texting ban in the 2009 General Assembly. We have started a petition drive and letter writing campaign to urge the legislature to pass Heathers Law in 2009.

A new website is under construction, www.4heather.com, that will allow citizens to sign our petition online. I also urge you to write your state senators and delegates demanding that Heather’s law be passed in 2009.

–Russell Hurd, Abingdon

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