Volume 16, Issue 27 - July 3 - July 9, 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 [email protected]. or submit your letters on line, click here

How Boaters Can Stop One More Permit Hassle

Dear Bay Weekly:

Nice work on your recent editorial putting into perspective for the fishing and boating community the dire implications of the ludicrous EPA permit as written [Give Recreational Boaters a Break from Useless Permits: Vol. xvi, No 24: June 12]. One omission and perhaps the most important part: how readers can take action. The coalition web site — www.boatblue.org — easily lets people contact their federal representatives to thwart this poorly written regulation.

–Capt. C.D. Dollar, Bryantown, Md.

The Facts on Right-of-Way Signs

Dear Bay Weekly:

While Calvert County mulls over the removal of signs posted on the state highways, let’s simply study the facts.

In focus are the commercial signs that appear on Friday afternoons and are typically removed by Monday mornings.

Instead of enforcing a regulation, already on the books, to ban all commercial signs from state roads right-of-way, the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners is instead trying something that was tried before, and that failed.

The current effort giving the Calvert County Economic Development Commission until July 15 to devise a self-regulation agreement with the offending businesses to lower the number of weekend signs sounds more like the country-western song lyrics, Give me just one more last chance.

Following are the facts:

The signs are illegal. We live in a country based upon the rule of law, not the rule of what is convenient or solely best for commerce. In 1999, a voluntary understanding was formed within the business community to “self-regulate” the use of those Litter-on-a-Stick signs. If that previous agreement that limited businesses to two signs per intersection and none on highway medians had worked then, the issue would not be arising again.

The state highway right-of-way includes the road and the area essentially up to the line of telephone poles on both sides of the highway. Signs in this right-of-way area can be a distraction to driving, hence considered dangerous.

The proliferation of the signs and misuse of a previous gentleman’s agreement brings the matter to the forefront with the most egregious example when 22 such signs for a septic company were posted at one traffic light in Dunkirk. That’s some welcome to Calvert County.

It was reported that one misinformed individual claimed that such enforcement would also affect commissioners up for re-election using a phrase that, What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. While any political signs would be covered if placed in the state highway right-of-way, the implication that all political campaign signs are likewise covered is not true. Those running for office are given specific posting instructions that include not placing any signs on the state highway right-of-way. Such signs are posted on private property, presumably with permission gained first from the owner.

Business owners deserve the right to advertise their business, but doing so in state highway right-of-way is not the place — regardless of size.

–Evan Slaughenhoupt,

President: Dunkirk Area Concerned Citizens Association • www.daccamd.com

Editor’s Note:

Bill Burton thanks the many readers who’ve already responded to the question in his column of June 26: In view of the current energy and economic dilemma, would you allow drilling for oil in Alaska or off our shores?

So far, all writers have elaborated eloquently on one word: no.

Your letters will be the basis of his column of July 10. So if you haven’t written yet, you’ve still time.

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