Volume 13, Issue 39 ~ September 29 - October 5, 2005

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

Safety of Homemade Smokers

Dear Bay Weekly:
I am not 100 percent sure, but I believe that the metal racks in old refrigerators are coated with cadmium or other metals which food must not contact directly, especially during cooking. Converting an old fridge into a food smoker as described by Joan Lehmann (Reflection: Vol. xiii, No. 38; Sept. 22) is a bad idea. Please pass the word.

– Al LaRoche, Annapolis

Editor’s reply: As writer Lehmann is the doctor, we asked her to address the question. Here’s what she said:

I do not know the evaporation point of cadmium or if it forms a gaseous state. However, food is not in direct contact with the metal racks. The fish and other meats are on cookie sheets. Also, the racks never come into direct contact with flame, and the temperature does not get above 200 degrees. If this remains a concern, other metal racks or trays could be substituted, say from an old oven or barbecue grill.

Reversing Global Warming Up to Us

Dear Bay Weekly:
In the past month, two severe hurricanes have slammed into the Gulf Coast, uprooting whole cities, scattering their residents across the country. These storms also damaged the biggest concentration of this nation’s oil refineries in Texas and Louisiana. Consequently, the price of gasoline shot upward after Katrina, and we expect the same with Rita.

Even skeptical scientists are now acknowledging the reality of rapid climate change — global warming—and the more violent storms it foments. The increased burning of fossil fuels like oil, coal and gasoline is causing the earth’s atmosphere and oceans to heat up.

Our cars and power plants not only contribute to global warming but also pollute our air and waters, leading to health problems such as asthma, cancer and brain damage. Citizens of Maryland seem ready to begin to improve the situation.
In Annapolis, the Economic Matters Committee oversees the electric industry in Maryland and will debate the Healthy Air Act in January. Contact your delegates and ask for their support.

Regionally this Thursday, Sept. 29, Sierra Club and Southern Maryland Greens are sponsoring an Alternative Energy and Conservation Forum at the northern Senior Center on Old Rt. 5 in Charlotte Hall at 7pm. St. Mary’s County Commissioner Larry Jarboe and others will talk about practical ways we can reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce our impact on air pollution and climate change.

—Frank L. Fox, Mechanicsville

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