Letters to the Editor

Volume VI Number 42
October 22-28, 1998


Dear New Bay Times~Weekly:

Thanks so much for coming and writing such a great article on our Sept. 19 Roundtable on Sustainable Technologies [NBT Sept. 24-30]. We have a volunteer as a result. Melinda Berry lives in Sherwood Forest, and part of the septics are, she suspects, failing there. She wants to be a public demonstration site for a composting toilet and gray water garden to expand the theme of reduce-reuse-recycle. We're proposing the site to Jay Prager of Maryland Department of the Environment.

-Anne Pearson, Alliance for Sustainable Communities

A.A. County Land Use Policy: Running off the Tracks

Dear New Bay Times~Weekly:

In the foyer of PACE, Anne Arundel's zoning office, there is a large picture of a train coming toward the viewer. In the foreground, the track turns abruptly, a sharp 90 degrees. The train is labeled 'Anne Arundel County.' The track around the turn is labeled 'County Land Use Policy.'

Gwendolyn Girdling is the tree officer. She is supposed to tell the 16 Small Area Planning Citizen Committees how their parts of the county measure up to federal requirements for air quality. But she won't. She fears it would make road building tougher for her boss.

Penelope Pirquewell (aka 'Septic Sue') is the wetlands officer. She is supposed to provide 12 Watershed Management Master Plan studies to guide the committees. Only one and a half of these studies have been completed, but Penelope doesn't think this should delay the work.

C. Lesse Quayle is the farm officer. He is supposed to tell the committees the sewer capacity in their areas, but he won't. It might delay his solution to the tobacco problem: a crop of townhouses, which won't overcrowd the schools because only childless people will move in.

Weyden Moore Rhodes is the boss and also the highway officer. He is supposed to tell the committees their transportation capacity. Needless to say, he's the developers' favorite bureaucrat. To cut costs, he vetoes traffic lights unless fatalities rise above one child a year.

But there is one PACE staffer who does want to help: Racine O. Hall, the speedway officer. She wants an 'entertainoplex' in each of the 16 small planning areas. You walk through a lobby filled with slot machines to grandstands around a track with a band stand in the infield. When critics deride her 'rasinohalls' as road-cloggers, Racy retorts: 'Hey, go talk to Weyden. The Fort Smallwood Bridge traffic jam is just part of the human condition. Live with it!'

-James A. Hoage, Severna Park

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