SACReD Truths: People Will Have Their Say

"Gotta raise a ruckus."

Thus sang internationally known guitarist Bill Kirchen in Shady Side last weekend at the victory party celebrating the success of South Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development, SACReD. (Kirchen and his band Too Much Fun played for free and lived up to their name.)

There's a lesson in those lyrics.

An organization of regular folk (not professional environmentalists) shut the Baldwin's Choice subdivision out of the Shady Side Peninsula. Now, instead of 152 homes, pollution run-off and further crowding of roads and schools, people will have a 477-acre park, bought with government money.

In a decade-long battle, those citizens proved that not only can you fight developers and city hall, you can pull them into your camp.

Such victories are the best tonic for people feeling sick, like letter writer Betty-Carol Sellen says she is this week, about development in their backyards.

There's plenty of major environmental and community changes in the works out there that have people feeling sick and worried:

We don't know the answers.

We do know that it won't work to oppose all development. Even a ruckus-raising organization like SACReD - or so its name claims - says it supports "Responsible Development."

We do know that the time has passed when governments and developers are able to bulldoze their plans past compliant citizens.

All through Anne Arundel and Calvert counties, people who've never heard their neighbor Bill Kirchen (he lives out in the country down Owings way) sing "You gotta raise a ruckus" have already taken that lesson to heart.

We just want to remind the big boys not to count the people out - or they might get flattened by a ruckus.

| Issue 5 |

Volume VII Number 5
February 4-10, 1999
New Bay Times

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