Volume 12, Issue 37 ~ September 9-15, 2004
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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 us at [email protected].

Freedom Came First

Dear Bay Weekly:
I’d like to comment on your article “Maryland Republican Delegation Heads to National Convention” [Vol. XII, No 35: Aug. 26]. In the article, a former attorney general of Puerto Rico who is now a Maryland delegate was quoted as saying: “the reason they [American citizens] get to protest [in New York at the convention] is because the president is out there protecting their freedom.”

While that may be the theme of the war president’s campaign, I would suggest that the delegate brush up on his history. The right of Americans to peacefully assemble in opposition of government policy is not something new under President George W. Bush. Our First Amendment rights are bestowed on all American citizens in the Constitution, and they were established long before Mr. Bush went to Washington.

The 9/11 attacks, as horrific as they were, did not threaten our basic rights granted to us under the Constitution. The real threat to America’s freedom, our rights, and our civil liberties is in the way that politicians and the media respond to the 9/11 attacks. The president responded well immediately following the 9/11 attacks, but then he decided to exploit our fear and to misuse his power by ordering U.S. troops to invade Iraq, a country with no significant ties to the terrorists who committed the 9/11 attacks.

Nearly 1,000 Americans have died in Iraq, nearly 4,000 have been wounded or disabled, and many more thousands of Iraqi citizens have been killed since this president decided to invade their country. Meanwhile, the president and the Republican congress haven’t addressed our own problems in the United States as the economy continues to get worse. It’s time for a change.
—John Douglas Parran, St. Leonard

Priced Out of Farming

Dear Bay Weekly:
Regarding your editorial “Lest Newcomers Become Nuisances” [Vol. XII, No. 34: Aug. 19], I also agree that newcomers to rural areas need to be better educated on what to expect. You can only do so much, though. Protecting farmers from lawsuits is admirable, but I would think that some (maybe quite a bit) of the property is being purchased from farmers and other large-acreage property owners who have decided to either sell to developers or to private parties or to develop on their own. When these properties are sold for high-dollar amounts, you can expect what is going to happen next.

I have often wondered why the county and state are set on buying up property to supposedly stop it from being developed (for the time being until they need the revenue) instead of offering some type of assistance (to the property owner) for letting the property be sold in larger parcels with limited single-family development for people who actually can and want to work the land but cannot afford the top-dollar prices being demanded. The impact of one home per 10 to 15 acres rather than a high-density development or a cluster of MacMansions is insignificant, and the property stays agricultural.

I will continue to try and find property for my family and me to live on and work, but finding it in the local area where friends and family are is not too promising.
—Victor Vanous Jr., Edgewater

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